Distribution and maternal transfer of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead and selenium in Baikal seals (Phoca sibirica)
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- Institutt for biologi 
Concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead and selenium were determined in the muscles, brains, adrenal and thyroid glands, gonads, livers, kidneys and hair of pups and adult females of Baikal seals. Low concentrations of these five selected elements were found in Baikal seals in comparison with those published for other marine mammals, suggested low contamination of the selected elements in Lake Baikal. Results indicated that the main route of maternal transfer of Hg is via parturition, whereas that of Cd and Pb is via lactation. Further study is required on the investigation of element concentrations in plasma and milk. Due to the low concentrations of the elements in both adult females and pups, maternal transfer of the selected elements was found to constitute low potential risk for pups.