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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 190353, 9 pages
Research Article

Levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Polychlorinated Biphenyls, and Organochlorine Pesticides in Various Tissues of White-Backed Vulture in India

1Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Anaikatty, Coimbatore 641108, India
2Industrial Hygiene & Toxicology Division, Regional Occupational Health Centre (Southern), ICMR Complex, Kannamangala PO, Devanahalli TK, Bangalore 562 110, India

Received 3 April 2013; Accepted 20 June 2013

Academic Editor: Qaisar Mahmood

Copyright © 2013 V. Dhananjayan and S. Muralidharan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study provides information on the current status of contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the tissues of endangered White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis in India. Chemical analyses revealed detectable amounts of PAHs, PCBs, and OCPs. Concentration ranges of PAHs, PCBs, and OCPs in tissues were 60–2037 ng/g, 30–5790 ng/g, and 3.2–5836 ng/g wet weight, respectively. 1,1-Dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p,p′-DDE) concentrations ranged from below detectable level to 599 ng/g wet weight, representing more than 90% of the total dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Among the various OCPs analyzed, p,p′-DDE was detected most frequently. All the contaminants recorded show higher accumulation in liver than other tissues. Levels of contaminants measured in the tissues of vulture are comparable with the levels documented in a number of avian species and are lower than those reported to have caused deleterious effects. Although no threat is expected from the current level of contamination, the presence of varying levels of contaminants and their additive or synergistic toxicity is a cause of concern to vultures. Values reported in this study can serve as guideline for future research.