Trace metal accumulation in hair and skin of the harbour seal, Phoca vitulina

Wenzel, C., Adelung, Dieter, Kruse, H. and Wassermann, O. (1993) Trace metal accumulation in hair and skin of the harbour seal, Phoca vitulina Marine Pollution Bulletin, 26 (3). pp. 152-155. DOI 10.1016/0025-326X(93)90126-5.

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Skin and hair samples of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) found dead along the west coast of northern Germany in 1988 were analysed for total mercury, cadmium and lead. Cadmium and lead concentrations were below the detection limit in most skin samples. The mercury content of the hair (median: 23.1 μg g−1 wet wt) was several magnitudes higher than the mercury content of the skin (0.27 μg g−1 wet wt). Mercury concentrations in hair samples were significantly higher than lead concentrations (0.54 μg g−1 wet wt), which significantly exceeded cadmium levels (0.09 μg g−1 wet wt). Female seals revealed lower cadmium concentrations in the hair than male seals. Accumulations of metals with age were observed for cadmium and lead in hair samples and for mercury in skin samples of male seals. A connection between metal accumulation and pigmentation or rather moult was clearly recognizable.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > Institute for Marine Science Kiel
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/0025-326X(93)90126-5
ISSN: 0025-326X
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2018 12:06
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2018 12:06

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