Maternal offloading of arsenic and other trace elements in Peruvian fur seals
Marine Mammal Science
Arsenic, Maternal transfer, Milk, Pinniped, SECLER, Serum, Trace Elements, Vibrissae
The maternal transfer of 15 elements was examined in Peruvian fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) dam and pup paired vibrissae (whiskers), serum, and milk samples collected from 2009 to 2019. Pup vibrissae, grown in utero, represented gestational transfer, while milk represented lactational transfer. Element concentrations, except arsenic, were highest in vibrissae compared to serum and milk for both dams and pups. Mean arsenic concentrations in pup vibrissae (0.44 μg/g) and milk (0.41 μg/g) were twice as high as dam vibrissae concentrations (0.19 μg/g) and nearly ten times higher than dam (0.06 μg/g) and pup serum (0.04 μg/g) concentrations. Mean arsenic concentrations from 2011 to 2019 increased in dam vibrissae (0.026 μg/g to 0.262 μg/g) and milk (0.361 μg/g to 0.484 μg/g). Pup vibrissae had significantly higher concentrations for 11 of the 15 elements analyzed compared to dam vibrissae, suggesting that element transfer is occurring through recent exposure and remobilization of elements from dam body stores. Potentially high concentrations of aluminum, arsenic, copper, and lead in pup tissues may impact their survival and population health. The impact of regional mining activities can contribute to elevated trace elements through runoff and pose a possible threat to local marine environments.
Kooyomjian, C., Giarikos, D., Adkesson, M., & Hirons, A. (2022). Maternal offloading of arsenic and other trace elements in Peruvian fur seals. Marine Mammal Science. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12920. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cnso_chemphys_facarticles/302