Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Jul 15;41(14):4901-6.

Evaluation of noninvasive approach for monitoring PCB pollution of seabirds using preen gland oil.

Author information

Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University, Minato-cho 3-1-1, Hakodate, Hokkaido 041-8611, Japan.


Oil secreted from the preen gland (located at the base of the tail feathers) of seabirds can be collected from live birds. We determined PCB concentrations and profiles in the preen gland oil and corresponding abdominal adipose tissue collected from 30 seabirds (2 orders, 3 families, 10 genera, 13 species) to examine the utility of the oil as a monitoring medium. Samples were collected from seabirds that had died in traffic accidents or had become caught unintentionally in experimental drift nets and long-lines in the North Pacific Ocean. Significant concentrations of PCBs were detected in all oil samples, with a concentration range of 9-4834 ng/g-lipid and a geometric mean of 404 ng/ g-lipid. PCBs in the oil had more lower-chlorinated congeners than those in corresponding abdominal adipose, suggesting that they had less opportunity to undergo metabolism before they were secreted from the gland. We observed a weak but significant correlation between the PCB concentrations in the oil and abdominal adipose tissue (R2 = 0.19, P < 0.05). Correcting for the metabolic loss of PCBs on the basis of congener profiles improved the correlation (R2 = 0.48, P < 0.001), implying that congener-specific determination of PCBs in the preen gland oil enables us to estimate PCB concentrations in the abdominal adipose within 1 order of magnitude difference. The differences in PCB concentrations among the 13 species are discussed in terms of dietary behavior, habitat, and migration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center