Are phthalate ester contaminants in northern fulmar preen oil higher in birds that have ingested more plastic

Published on Jan 1, 2020in Marine Pollution Bulletin4.049
· DOI :10.1016/J.MARPOLBUL.2019.110679
Jennifer F. Provencher25
Estimated H-index: 25
(CWS: Canadian Wildlife Service),
Stephanie Avery-Gomm13
Estimated H-index: 13
(UQ: University of Queensland)
+ 3 AuthorsMark L. Mallory50
Estimated H-index: 50
(Acadia University)
Abstract Understanding the impacts of plastic pollution is a global research priority. Previous research has shown that plasticizers such as phthalate esters detected in seabird tissues can be useful non-lethal biochemical markers of plastic ingestion as compared with more standard necropsy techniques. We examined the concentrations of six phthalate esters in the preen oil of Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) in relation to their retained plastics. Contrary to a previous study, we found that the phthalates examined were not analytically detectable in fulmar preen oil. Given that the birds we examined had up to 100 pieces of plastics in their stomachs, and all uropygial glands were completely emptied during the necropsies, it does not appear that measuring phthalates in preen oil of Northern Fulmars is a useful, non-lethal technique to determine if individuals ingest plastics, at least not currently given the available commercial analytical detection limits.
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