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Secondary poisoning of nickel to marine birds.

Period: June 2003 till September 2003
Status: Completed

Thesaurus terms: Cockles; Marine birds; Nickel; Risk assessment; Risk assessment; Risk assessment
Taxonomic term: Cerastoderma edule (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]

Data on nickel (Ni) toxicity to top predators in the aquatic eco- system are scarcely available (e.g. water/mollusk or fish/bird pathway). Bioaccumulation factors (BAF) between 100 and 350 are generally found for mollusks, except for the cockle Cerastoderma edule for which BAF's from 3000 to 60000 are reported. These high BAF's imply a possible risk of secondary poisoning to birds that feed on this cockle. Secondary poisoning by Ni has rarely been studied and the lack of indications of biomagnification suggests that it would be surprising that this is a critical pathway. This calls for a thorough analysis of the reliability of the study in which the high BAF's were measured. If the study proves to be reliable, the effect of dietary Ni to birds will be analyzed. The maximum Ni concentration in food that will not lead to adverse effects will be derived and compared with observed Ni concentrations in Cerastoderma edule.

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