Heinz-body hemolytic anemia from the ingestion of crude oil: a primary toxic effect in marine birds

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  20 May 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4599, pp. 871-873
DOI: 10.1126/science.6844918


Hemolytic anemia developed in young herring gulls and Atlantic puffins given daily oral doses of a Prudhoe Bay crude oil. Anemia developed 4 to 5 days after the initiation of oil ingestion and was accompanied by Heinz-body formation and a strong regenerative response. The data evince a toxic effect on circulating red blood cells involving an oxidative biochemical mechanism and the first clear evidence of a primary mechanism of toxicity from the ingestion of crude oil by birds.