Concentrations of chromium, manganese, and lead in air and in avian eggs

Environmental Pollution



The expansion of urbanization introduces air pollution to wildlife areas. Some metal contaminants occurring in concentrations too small to have any measurable impact on adult birds may seriously affect embryos that are more sensitive to contaminants than the adult. Chromium, manganese, and lead are toxic and can be passed from the hen to the egg. This study relates the concentrations of these metals in eggs to their concentrations in air in three cities. Rock dove eggs were sampled and air pollution records were examined in the California cities of Riverside, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The eggs from San Francisco did not differ from those of Los Angeles in lead concentration but the air did differ. The eggs collected in Los Angeles in 1998 had concentrations of chromium greater than in those from Riverside and from Los Angeles 1999 but the air had concentrations of chromium that did not differ among those three collections. Concentrations of manganese did not differ among the eggs but did differ among the air samples of the three cities. Exposures of embryos to chromium and manganese in this study were not at levels warranting concern. Although the concentration at which lead in eggs impairs avian health is not established, the highest concentrations found in this study exceed estimated safe concentrations. There is no indication that embryo exposure is directly related to atmospheric levels of these metals in the cities of this study.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Concentrations of chromium, manganese, and lead in air and in avian eggs
Series title Environmental Pollution
DOI 10.1016/S0269-7491(02)00158-6
Volume 120
Issue 2
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 6 p.
First page 201
Last page 206
Country United States
State California
City Los Angeles, Riverside, San Francisco
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