PMID: 10871424Jun 28, 2000

Transfer of DDT and metabolites from fruit orchard soils to American robins (Turdus migratorius) twenty years after agricultural use of DDT in Canada

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
M L HarrisK V Henning


Wildlife contamination studies found high levels of DDT and associated metabolites in bird eggs from Canadian orchard sites during the early 1990s. The present study investigated local dietary uptake of DDT and geographic variability in tissue concentrations in the same orchards. A soil-earthworm-robin food chain was chosen for study, as early surveys showed that robins contained the highest levels of DDT of several avian species and because published research indicated that earthworms were a probable dietary exposure route. Organochlorine pesticides and PCBs were measured in soil, earthworm, robin egg, and robin nestling samples collected from fruit orchards and reference sites. High average DDE (soil: 5.2 mg/kg; earthworm: 52 mg/kg; robin egg: 484 mg/kg dry weight) and DDT (soil: 9.2 mg/kg; earthworm: 21 mg/kg; robin egg: 73 mg/kg dry weight) concentrations in Okanagan (British Columbia) samples confirmed that previously recorded contamination was common in the region. Concentrations detected in Simcoe, Ontario, orchards were not as high but were still significantly elevated relative to levels in soils and robins from reference areas. Significant positive linear regressions between soil and earthworm concentrations and consis...Continue Reading


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