Using blood samples to estimate persistent organic pollutants and metals in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas)
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Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals have been reported in a number of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations worldwide. However, due to ethical considerations, these studies have generally been on tissues from deceased and stranded animals. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of blood samples to estimate the tissue contamination of live C. mydas populations. This study analysed 125 POP compounds and eight heavy metals in the blood, liver, kidney and muscle of 16 C. mydas from the Sea World Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Program, Gold Coast, Australia. Strong correlations were observed between blood and tissue concentrations for a number of POPs and metals. Furthermore, these correlations were observed over large ranges of turtle size, sex and condition. These results indicate that blood samples are a reliable non-lethal method for predicting chemical contamination in C. mydas.
Marine Pollution Bulletin