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Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in feathers of colonial water-bird species from Pakistan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date10/2011
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Number of pages7
Pages3044 - 3050
Original languageEnglish


Feathers of two colonial water-birds species (Bubulcus ibis, Egretta garzetta) from four heronries in the Punjab province, Pakistan were analysed for 28 Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) congeners. Median concentrations of ∑PBDEs were 2.41 and 1.91 ng/g in little and cattle egrets. PBDE-47, -100, -138, -153 were abundant and detected in >70% of feather samples in both species. Species-specific differences based on dietary preferences indicated higher concentration of PBDE-47, -66, -75, -100, -153, -154, and -183 in fish eating little egret. BDE-47 and -100 were more frequent in little egrets and BDE-99 was more dominant in cattle egret which feed on terrestrial habitat. Higher ∑hexa- and hepta-BDEs congeners showed larger concentrations in feathers from heronries close to water bodies which receive urban and industrial effluents whereas lower-brominated congeners (BDE-47–BDE-100) dominated in rural/agricultural regions. Hazard quotients (HQs) indicated that measured ∑PBDEs pose no risk to egret population.

Bibliographic note

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