Exposure of game species to trace elements and radiocesium on the Savannah River Site in South Carolina
Oldenkamp, Ricki Elaine
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Despite the widespread harvest and consumption of game by recreational hunters, there are few data available regarding contaminant burdens in many commonly harvested wildlife species. I sampled wild pigs (Sus scrofa), gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), and waterfowl from a contaminated Department of Energy site to quantify concentrations of trace elements and radiocesium in muscle and liver tissues for assessment of potential human health risks from the consumption of game, and contaminant accumulation rates in tissues. Concentrations varied among collection locations and species, although waterfowl collected from a coal ash basin consistently had high levels of trace element burdens (especially Selenium) and those from areas with known radiological contamination had elevated radiocesium concentrations, often exceeding limits established by the European Economic Community for safe human consumption.