Concentrations of cadmium and lead in pectoral muscles of mallards (N = 15) and coots (N = 15) shot on fishponds in Zator area (southern Poland, Europe) were determined with the graphite furnace AAS. Samples were dried and wet digested in the mixture of HNO3 and HClO4. Median concentration of cadmium was 0.0616 µg.g-1d.w. among mallards and 0.0868 µg.g-1d.w. among coots. Concentrations of lead were higher and median run to 0.1898 µg.g-1d.w. in mallards and to 0.2637 µg.g-1d.w. in coots. No differences in heavy metals concentrations between species were statistically significant. According to the thresholds for foodstuff given by European Commission, meat of all birds was edible in the aspect of cadmium concentration (only meat of one coot contained cadmium near the given border). In the aspect of lead, 26% of researched birds have concentration beyond the safety limit and their meat was not fit for human consumption. Considering the annually number of shot birds, any kind of monitoring must be planned to assess potential consumers’ safety.
game meat, metals, waterfowl, lead poisoning, cadmium