Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Int. 2020 Feb;135:105387. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.105387. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Landfills represent significant atmospheric sources of exposure to halogenated flame retardants for urban-adapted gulls.

Author information

1
Centre de recherche en toxicologie de l'environnement (TOXEN), Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, P.O. Box 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada.
2
Centre d'étude de la forêt (CEF), Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt, Université Laval, 2405 rue de la Terrasse, Quebec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada.
3
Groupe de recherche en écologie comportementale et animale (GRECA), Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, P.O. Box 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada.
4
Centre de recherche en toxicologie de l'environnement (TOXEN), Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, P.O. Box 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada. Electronic address: verreault.jonathan@uqam.ca.

Abstract

Halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) are contaminants that are abundantly emitted from waste management facilities (WMFs) and that became ubiquitous in air of urbanized regions. Urban birds including gulls have adapted to exploiting human food resources (refuse) in WMFs, and have thus experienced population explosions worldwide. However, foraging in WMFs for birds may result in exposure to HFRs that have been shown to be toxic for animals. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of foraging near or in various WMFs on the atmospheric exposure of birds to HFRs, and to localize other sources of HFRs at the regional scale in a highly urbanized environment. We measured the atmospheric exposure to HFRs in one of the most abundant gull species in North America, the ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis), breeding in the densely-populated Montreal area (Canada) using a novel approach combining bird-borne GPS dataloggers and miniature passive air samplers (PASs). We determined concentrations of 11 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and three emerging HFRs of high environmental concern in PASs carried by gulls. We show that the daily sampling rates (pg/day) of PBDEs in PASs were highest in gulls foraging in or around landfills, but were not influenced by meteorological variables. In contrast, the daily sampling rates of emerging HFRs were lower compared to PBDEs and were not influenced by the presence of gulls in or near WMFs. This study demonstrates that atmospheric exposure to HFRs and perhaps other semi-volatile contaminants is underestimated, yet important for birds foraging in landfills.

KEYWORDS:

Air pollution; Bird; Halogenated flame retardant; Urban wildlife; Waste management facility

PMID:
31841804
DOI:
10.1016/j.envint.2019.105387
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center