Chemical Contamination of Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Eggs in Peninsular Malaysia: Implications for Conservation and Public Health

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van de Merwe, Jason P
Hodge, Mary
Olszowy, Henry A
Whittier, Joan M
Ibrahim, Kamarruddin
Lee, Shing Y
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Date
2009
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Abstract

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.

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Environmental Health Perspectives
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117
Issue
9
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© The Author(s) 2009. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this journal please refer to the journal's website or contact the authors.
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Environmental sciences
Wildlife and habitat management
Biomedical and clinical sciences
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