Platinum group elements in raptor eggs, faeces, blood, liver and kidney
Journal article, 2004
The increased use of platinum group elements (PGE) in automobile catalysts and their emission into the environment has lead to a concern over environmental and particularly biological accumulation. Specimens of samples from raptors are useful for the investigation of the impact of PGE because these birds are found in both urban and rural environments and are invariably at the top of the food chain. Platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd) and rhodium (Rh) concentrations were determined by quadrupole Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) in eggs of the sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) and the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), and in blood, liver and kidney of the peregrine falcon, while only Pt was determined in faeces of the peregrine falcon and the gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus). PGE concentrations were higher in blood compared to both faeces and eggs, while liver and kidney concentrations were not elevated indicating no bioaccumulation through metallothionein pathways. A significant spatial trend could only be established for Pt in faeces. The general lack of a spatial trend is probably due to the widespread distribution of automobiles and the long-range transport of nanoparticles containing PGE, and because birds migrate and forage over large areas. No significant temporal trend could be established. Higher relative concentrations of Pd, followed by Rh and Pt, indicates a mobility gradient of Pd >> Rh > Pt.