Mercury concentrations in different tissues of turtle and caiman species from the Rio Purus, Amazonas, Brazil

Sam Eggins, Richard C. Vogt, R Da Silveira, Bill MAHER

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Total mercury (Hg) concentrations of muscle, liver, blood, and epidermal keratin were measured in typically consumed, economically and culturally important species of turtle (Podocnemis unifilis and Podocnemis expansa) and caiman (Melanosuchus niger and Caiman crocodilus) from the Rio Purus in the Amazon basin, Brazil. Methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were also measured in muscle tissue, representing the first analysis of MeHg concentrations in Amazonian reptile species. In muscle tissues Hg was mostly MeHg (79-96%) for all species. No correlations existed between animal size and total Hg or MeHg concentrations for any species other than M. niger, possibly as a result of growth dilution or the evolution of efficient Hg elimination mechanisms. Significant linear correlations were found between total Hg concentrations in all pairs of nonlethally sampled tissues (keratin and blood) and internal tissues (muscle and liver) for M. niger and between keratin and internal tissues for P. expansa, indicating that nonlethally sampled tissues can be analyzed to achieve more widespread and representative monitoring of Hg bioaccumulation in Amazonian reptiles. Although mean Hg concentrations in muscle for all species were below the World Health Organization guideline for safe consumption (500µgkg-1), mean concentrations in caiman liver were above the safe limit for pregnant women and children (200µgkg-1). No significant differences were found between total Hg and MeHg concentrations in tissues from wild-caught and farm-raised P. expansa, suggesting that farming may not reduce Hg exposure to humans.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2771-2781
    Number of pages11
    JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
    Volume34
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Fingerprint

    Amazona
    Alligators and Crocodiles
    Turtles
    Mercury
    turtle
    Brazil
    Tissue
    Muscles
    Muscle
    Keratins
    muscle
    Reptiles
    Liver
    reptile
    Blood
    blood
    Agriculture
    Bioaccumulation
    Pregnant Women
    World Health Organization

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Total mercury (Hg) concentrations of muscle, liver, blood, and epidermal keratin were measured in typically consumed, economically and culturally important species of turtle (Podocnemis unifilis and Podocnemis expansa) and caiman (Melanosuchus niger and Caiman crocodilus) from the Rio Purus in the Amazon basin, Brazil. Methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were also measured in muscle tissue, representing the first analysis of MeHg concentrations in Amazonian reptile species. In muscle tissues Hg was mostly MeHg (79-96{\%}) for all species. No correlations existed between animal size and total Hg or MeHg concentrations for any species other than M. niger, possibly as a result of growth dilution or the evolution of efficient Hg elimination mechanisms. Significant linear correlations were found between total Hg concentrations in all pairs of nonlethally sampled tissues (keratin and blood) and internal tissues (muscle and liver) for M. niger and between keratin and internal tissues for P. expansa, indicating that nonlethally sampled tissues can be analyzed to achieve more widespread and representative monitoring of Hg bioaccumulation in Amazonian reptiles. Although mean Hg concentrations in muscle for all species were below the World Health Organization guideline for safe consumption (500µgkg-1), mean concentrations in caiman liver were above the safe limit for pregnant women and children (200µgkg-1). No significant differences were found between total Hg and MeHg concentrations in tissues from wild-caught and farm-raised P. expansa, suggesting that farming may not reduce Hg exposure to humans.",
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    Mercury concentrations in different tissues of turtle and caiman species from the Rio Purus, Amazonas, Brazil. / Eggins, Sam; Vogt, Richard C.; Da Silveira, R; MAHER, Bill.

    In: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 34, No. 12, 2015, p. 2771-2781.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Mercury concentrations in different tissues of turtle and caiman species from the Rio Purus, Amazonas, Brazil

    AU - Eggins, Sam

    AU - Vogt, Richard C.

    AU - Da Silveira, R

    AU - MAHER, Bill

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    AB - Total mercury (Hg) concentrations of muscle, liver, blood, and epidermal keratin were measured in typically consumed, economically and culturally important species of turtle (Podocnemis unifilis and Podocnemis expansa) and caiman (Melanosuchus niger and Caiman crocodilus) from the Rio Purus in the Amazon basin, Brazil. Methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were also measured in muscle tissue, representing the first analysis of MeHg concentrations in Amazonian reptile species. In muscle tissues Hg was mostly MeHg (79-96%) for all species. No correlations existed between animal size and total Hg or MeHg concentrations for any species other than M. niger, possibly as a result of growth dilution or the evolution of efficient Hg elimination mechanisms. Significant linear correlations were found between total Hg concentrations in all pairs of nonlethally sampled tissues (keratin and blood) and internal tissues (muscle and liver) for M. niger and between keratin and internal tissues for P. expansa, indicating that nonlethally sampled tissues can be analyzed to achieve more widespread and representative monitoring of Hg bioaccumulation in Amazonian reptiles. Although mean Hg concentrations in muscle for all species were below the World Health Organization guideline for safe consumption (500µgkg-1), mean concentrations in caiman liver were above the safe limit for pregnant women and children (200µgkg-1). No significant differences were found between total Hg and MeHg concentrations in tissues from wild-caught and farm-raised P. expansa, suggesting that farming may not reduce Hg exposure to humans.

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