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    Developing a non-lethal approach for assessing endocrine disruptors in Antarctic seabirds

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    S. Corsolini (Italy), W.Z. Trivelpiece (USA) and S. Focardi (Italy)
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    The CEMP Standard Method book comprises a ”Protocol for collecting samples for toxicological analyses” (Part IV, Section 5: 1-3), dated August 1997. This procedure describes the methods to collect samples of organisms to be analyzed for ecotoxicology. The aim is to detect toxic persistent organic pollutants (POPs, such as organochlorine compounds), heavy metals and biomarkers in Antarctic organisms. Results can be used both for POP global transport studies and for biomagnification and risk assessment. However, currently, the procedures used to gather samples for analysis involve either sacrificing animals or collecting tissues from dead specimens.
    Here, we suggest the use of blood as an alternative (or additional) technique for residue analyses. This methodology is particularly useful where protected/endangered organisms and/or protected/ecological relevant areas have to be investigated. This paper reports the preliminary results obtained by this new sampling and analytical technique and outlines our future work proposals.