Lead Contamination of Greenland Birds

Updated 2000-06-19

In Greenland lead exposure to humans from the local diet in general is very low. But the use of lead shot introduces a significant amount of lead in locally hunted birds. Human exposure to lead from the use of lead shot will be assessed by analysing breast meat from thick-billed murre and common eider. In common eider, the Greenland species which is suspected to be most exposed to lead toxicity, the frequency of embedded shots and of shots in the gizzard will be studied, and wing bones will be analysed for lead as an indicator of long-term exposure to lead.

This is a National Implementation Plan (NIP) project

Time frame

Status
Completed
Project time span
1998 - 2001
Data collection
1998 - 2000
Data processing
1999 - 2001
Data reporting
1999 - 2001

Contact information

Contact person
Poul Johansen
Address
National Environmental Research Institute Department of Arctic Environment Frederiksborgvej 399 DK-4000 Roskilde Denmark
Phone
+45 46 30 19 36
Fax
+45 46 30 19 14
Email
kd.umd@jop
Other project contacts
Gert Asmund, NERI

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Heavy metals
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Seabirds

Geography

Regions studied
Greenland

Data availability

Are data archived or planned to be archived at an AMAP Thematic Data Centre?
yes-all
Data centres
Marine TDC
References to key publications (or planned publications) and data reports
Johansen P, Asmund G & Riget F. 2001. Lead contamination of seabirds hunted with lead shot - implications to human diet in Greenland. Environ. Pollut. 112:501-504. Johansen P, Asmund G & Riget F. 2004. High human exposure to lead through consumption of birds hunted with lead shot. Environ. Pollut. 127:125-129.
Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?
Yes
Specimen banking information

Most samples will be stored deep frozen or freeze-dried in NERIs specimen bank in Roskilde, Denmark. No limit for storage

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

Birds are bought or collected whole by NERI personnel or contactors in Greenland, frozen and sent to NERIs lab. in Roskilde, Denmark. In each bird shot pellets are located and counted. Birds are skinned and viscera, head, wings and legs removed, after which to body is cooked. The soup and breast meat are then analysed for lead after removal of visible shot pellets from thick-billed murre and common eider. In common eider, the Greenland species which is suspected to be most exposed to lead toxicity, the frequency of embedded shots and of shots in the gizzard will be studied, and wing bones will be analysed for lead as an indicator of long-term exposure to lead. Samples for chemical analysis are freeze-dried and fine-ground, after which a subsample is digested in nitric acid and lead is determined by atomic absorption spectrometry.

QA/QC Information (what QA/QC procedures are implemented, laboratories involvment in QA/QC activities, model verification/validation routines, etc.)

NERIs lab. takes part in Quasimeme and follows well established procedures within quality assurance.

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
No
Other institutes involved in the project

Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

Please log in to edit this record