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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Heavy Metals in Northern Fur Seals (Callorhinus ursinus) from the Pribilof Islands, Alaska1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 12 No. 4, p. 478-482
    Received: July 19, 1982

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  1. Craig J. Goldblatt and
  2. Robert G. Anthony2



Samples of liver, kidney, muscle, and bone were collected from northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) from St. Paul Island, Alaska during the summer of 1975 and analyzed for Cd, Zn, Pb, Ni, and Hg. Positive correlations existed between age of the seals and concentrations of Cd in liver, muscle, and bone, and Hg in liver. Concentrations of Zn, Pb, and Ni were not significantly correlated with age. Cd residues in kidney and liver samples were higher than those reported in 1970–1971 for the same species, suggesting increased contamination of this metal in the food chain of northern fur seals. Concentrations of Pb and Ni were low and those of Zn were similar to levels found in other mammals, including man. Levels of Hg were considerably lower than those reported for other pinnipeds. Among the four tissues sampled, Cd and Zn concentrations were significantly higher in kidneys, whereas concentrations of Pb and Ni were highest in bone.

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