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Biomarker sensitivity to vehicle exhaust in experimentally exposed European starlings.

Biomarker sensitivity to vehicle exhaust in experimentally exposed European starlings.
Author Information (click to view)

North MA, Smits JEG,


North MA, Smits JEG, (click to view)

North MA, Smits JEG,

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Environmental science & technology 2017 10 05() doi 10.1021/acs.est.7b03836
Abstract

The effects of vehicle-related emissions on health has been a long-standing question in human health sciences; however, the toxicology of chronic exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of these complex mixtures has not been characterized in wild birds. Adult European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were exposed to vehicle emissions, with combined benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) concentrations totaling 13.3 µg/m(3) over 20 days of exposure for 5 hours per day. Exposed birds had significantly lower cell-mediated immunity (measured using PHA skin test, p<0.0001), thyroxine (T4, p=0.042) and glutathione concentrations (tGSH, p=0.034) than control birds. There was no difference in body condition, antibody response to vaccination, triiodothyronine (T3), hepatic biotransformation (EROD activity) or oxidative stress (TBARS and ratios of reduced to oxidized GSH) or organ masses between exposed and control birds. This study supports findings of previous exposure studies examining wild birds exposed to air contaminants, and raises concern that environmentally-relevant concentrations of common urban volatile pollutants may have measurable effects on health.

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