FEFU scientists found persistent organic pollutants in animal fur

February 13, 2019

Scientists of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), working as part of an international toxicologists' team, studied fur samples of the wild terrestrial mammals in Primorye, Russian Far East. All samples contained persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which are resistant to decomposition, tend to accumulate in body tissues and are potentially risky for human and animal health. Some of them are prohibited by the Stockholm Convention. The research outcome was published in Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

The highest POPs content level scientists found in the fur samples of musk deer which is an endangered species listed in the Red Book. One of the reasons for such toxicity could be the diet of the animals - musk deer feed on lichens, which could accumulate harmful substances absorbing them from the atmosphere.

In total, 15 animals' hair samples were studied. They were isolated from six leopard cats, three musk deer (musk deer), one Amur hedgehog, one wolf, and four raccoon dogs. "In 73 percent of cases, we found traces of the insecticide hexachlorobenzene and DDT derivatives prohibited by the Stockholm Convention. In 100% of cases, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were found such as anthracene, fluoranthene, pyridine, and phenanthrene. In a natural way, PAHs are formed as a result of the thermal decomposition of cellulose, but most of these substances are of technogenic origin, i.e., they appear in the environment as a result of human activity. In most of the studied fur samples, we found at least 10 of the 16 types of POPs, the presence of which was the subject of our study. The study was innovative, as our international team found evidence of the accumulation of different POPs types in the hair of five species of wild terrestrial mammals at once." Says Kirill Golokhvast, Ph.D., FEFU Vice-President for Research.

Researchers point out that at the global level, the environmental contamination by POPs compounds is increasing, which is of particular concern because they are harmful to humans, marine animals, and terrestrial ecosystems. Despite the fact that the global ban is imposed by the Stockholm Convention to the production and uses of such hazardous substances as hexachlorobenzene it continues to be found in living organisms throughout the world.

The researchers propose to further monitor the accumulation of POPs in the fur of a greater number of terrestrial mammals species because today the data on this topic are rather scarce.

Scientists refer to the analysis of animal fur and human hair samples as to the smooth, effective, as well as non-invasive and non-destructive methods of biological monitoring of ecosystem contamination. Animal fur samples are easy to collect, store and analyze its composition. For the purpose of the study, scientists took samples of the fur of the animals lost in Primorye as a result of traffic accidents or cases of hunting.

Far Eastern Federal University

Related Decomposition Articles from Brightsurf:

Endangered trees in Guam contribute to ecosystem diversity and health
Research at the University of Guam has shown that the decomposition of leaf litter from three threatened tree species releases nitrogen and carbon into the soil for use by other plants.

Biodiversity increases plant decomposition rate; should be factored into climate models, study finds
An international team of researchers published a meta-analysis of 176 studies investigating the effect of diverse leaf litter decay on ecosystems around the world on Sept.

Iron is to blame for carbon dioxide emissions from soil, says a soil scientists from RUDN
Iron minerals and bacteria can be the main agents of carbon dioxide emissions from the soil.

Could plants help us find dead bodies? Forensic botanists want to know
Search teams looking for human remains are often slowed by painstaking on-foot pursuits or aerial searches that are obscured by forest cover.

Studies shed new light on how biodiversity influences plant decay
Scientists have provided new insights on the relationship between plant diversity in forests and the diversity of organisms involved in their decay, such as bacteria and fungi.

Novel theory of climate dynamics: Three-pattern decomposition of global atmospheric circulation
Due to the lack of a complete theoretical system for climate prediction, the forecasting of drought and flood in summer of China has always been a major scientific problem for meteorologists.

New findings help design highly efficient metal oxide catalyst for ozone removal
A research team led by Prof. CHEN Yunfa from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences demonstrated the electron generation, compensation and transfer between ZnO and O3 through tuning crystal defects in ZnO.

Breaking down wood decomposition by fungi
Through a combination of lab and field experiments, researchers have developed a better understanding of the factors accounting for different wood decomposition rates among fungi.

Overcoming carbon loss from farming in peatlands
Miscanthus, willow found as good biomass crops to add carbon to vulnerable soils.

Interfacial chemistry improves rechargeability of Zn batteries
Prof. CUI Guanglei's group from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has proposed new concepts concerning in situ formed and artificial SEIs as a means of fundamentally modulating the electrochemical characteristics of Zn.

Read More: Decomposition News and Decomposition Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.