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Scientists of the NArFU find out what dangers hidden in eggs of Arctic birds

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Scientists of the NArFU find out what dangers hidden in eggs of Arctic birds
Scientists of the NArFU find out what dangers hidden in eggs of Arctic birds

Researchers of the Arctic Biomonitoring Laboratory of the NArFU continue to conduct research within the framework of the mega-project of the Government of the Russian Federation.

Recall, the goal of the Arctic Biomonitoring Laboratory's work is to track the ways of transferring contaminants to the human body that adversely affect health. The laboratory is headed by Ph.D. Tatyana Sorokina. She talked about the research conducted by the unit's employees.

"Now we are studying fish samples and bird eggs found on Franz Josef Land in the framework of the expedition" Arctic Floating University - 2017 ". During the expedition we worked out methods of early detection and monitoring of dangerous pollutants that could spread by biological pathways. Basically, we explore the species that people consume for the food. We also selected the eggs of the lyurik, eider and burgomaster to test a biological object that is not directly subjected of chemical contamination, but which possibly can accumulate toxicants that could have entered to the object from the mother's body. Thus, the detection of a pollutant in the egg is the reason for carefully monitoring the migration routes of this bird population to determine the sources of pollution and possible prevention of transboundary transfer of ecotoxicants to the fragile ecosystem of the Arctic, "says Tatyana Yurievna.

Read more about the study of bird eggs found during the expedition of the "Arctic Floating University", said graduate student, junior researcher of the laboratory Nikita Sobolev. He conducts a quantitative chemical analysis of samples, summarizes the obtained results and is preparing to write scientific articles on this topic.

"A significant proportion of pollutants that the bird consumes with food on contaminated areas contaminated with heavy metals and pesticides passes into the eggshell and into the egg's contents. As a result of seasonal migration, birds carry pollutants to the Arctic, where they nest and lay eggs. We carry out sampling of eggs to quantify the possible transboundary transport of ecotoxicants by birds. Samples are analyzed for the content of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants such as pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls - extremely toxic substances that are banned for use in almost all countries of the world. In our laboratory, heavy metals are analyzed in food products using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, which allows us to determine metals at the level of one microgram per kilogram of sample (one atom of metal per billion atoms of the sample). Organic pollutants we analyze with the use of the instrument base of the Centre for collective use of scientific equipment "Arktika", "said Nikita Sobolev.

As Tatyana Sorokina reported, the first articles on toxicants in Arctic fish and eggs should appear this summer.

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