Cadmium in pheasant tissues as a bioindicator of environmental pollution in 23 Serbian districts
A b s t r a c t: Concentrations of cadmium (Cd) were measured in leg muscle and liver of pheasants (n = 316) from 23 different Serbian regions under the Serbian National Residue Monitoring Program during 2013-2015. Levels of Cd in pheasant tissues were determined by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Most of the pheasants examined had Cd in their tissues. In the third year of the residue monitoring program, the Cd concentrations detected in leg muscles were nearly double the levels detected in the first year. The highest Cd levels in muscles were measured in pheasants from Podunavlje, Macva and Zlatibor districts. All leg muscle samples had Cd concentrations below permitted maximum residue levels (MRL = 0.05 m kg-1). However, fifteen liver samples had Cd levels that exceeded the permitted MRL (0.50 mg kg-1). The number of non-compliant pheasant liver samples increased over the years. The lowest mean Cd level in pheasant livers was measured in birds from Morava district (0.035 mg kg-1), while the highest was in birds from Branicevo district (0.574 mg kg-1). This monitoring program shows that the Cd levels measured in pheasants, which are suitable bioindicators of environmental pollution, indicate that environmental pollution with Cd is increasing.