Chemical Contamination of Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Eggs in Peninsular Malaysia: Implications for Conservation and Public Health
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Background: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) -such as organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) , polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) , and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) -and heavy metals have been reported in sea turtles at various stages of their life cycle. These chemicals can disrupt development and function of wildlife. Furthermore, in areas such as Peninsular Malaysia, where the human consumption of sea turtle eggs is prevalent, egg contamination may also have public health implications. Objective: In the present study we investigated conservation and human health risks associated with the chemical contamination of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) eggs in Peninsular Malaysia. Methods: Fifty-five C. mydas eggs were collected from markets in Peninsular Malaysia and analyzed for POPs and heavy metals. We conducted screening risk assessments (SRAs) and calculated the percent of acceptable daily intake (ADI) for POPs and metals to assess conservation and human health risks associated with egg contamination. Results: C. mydas eggs were available in 9 of the 33 markets visited. These eggs came from seven nesting areas from as far away as Borneo Malaysia. SRAs indicated a significant risk to embryonic development associated with the observed arsenic concentrations. Furthermore, the concentrations of coplanar PCBs represented 3?300 times the ADI values set by the World Health Organization. Conclusions: The concentrations of POPs and heavy metals reported in C. mydas eggs from markets in Peninsular Malaysia pose considerable risks to sea turtle conservation and human health.
Environmental Health Perspectives
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Wildlife and Habitat Management