Environmental toxins may be hurting North American eagles

New research indicates that bald and golden eagles in North America may be exposed to dangerously high levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which are chemicals used in the production of a wide variety of textiles, plastics, and electronics.

Investigators analyzed the livers of 33 and 7 collected throughout Washington and Idaho, finding that eagles associated with large urban areas had the highest PBDE concentrations.

"The PBDE concentrations we observed in eagle livers suggest a range of exposure, from nearly no detection to concentrations that may be significant toxicologically," wrote the-authors of the Environmental Toxicology study. "More information is required to evaluate trends in exposure and accumulation in eagles in the northwest United States and whether trends or source areas differ regionally across North America."

Explore further

Study: Wind farms killed 67 eagles in five years

More information: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in bald (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and golden (Aquila chrysaetos) eagles from Washington and Idaho, USA, Environmental Toxicology, 2014.
Provided by Wiley
Citation: Environmental toxins may be hurting North American eagles (2014, November 4) retrieved 27 February 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2014-11-environmental-toxins-north-american-eagles.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments