Document Detail

Mercury contamination in turtles and implications for human health.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20556939     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Mercury contamination threatens many ecosystems worldwide. Methylmercury bioaccumulates at each trophic level, and biomagnifies within individuals over time. Long-lived turtles often occupy high trophic positions and are likely to accumulate mercury in contaminated habitats. Millions of turtles worldwide are sold in Asia for human consumption, and consumers may be at risk if turtles contain high levels of mercury. The authors dissected 71 turtles from 14 food trade species and analyzed their tissues (liver, kidneys, muscle, claws, and scutes) for total mercury content. Mercury was generally highest in carnivores, and lowest in herbivores. Liver and scutes had the highest concentrations. The authors compared mercury concentrations with consumption limits developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration to evaluate mercury in fish tissue. Several samples exceeded the recommended 1,900 parts per billion (ppb) consumption threshold, indicating that consumers who eat certain turtle species frequently may be at risk for mercury-related health problems.
Aaliyah D Green; Kurt A Buhlmann; Cris Hagen; Christopher Romanek; J Whitfield Gibbons
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of environmental health     Volume:  72     ISSN:  0022-0892     ISO Abbreviation:  J Environ Health     Publication Date:  2010 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-06-18     Completed Date:  2010-07-22     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0405525     Medline TA:  J Environ Health     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  14-22     Citation Subset:  IM    
Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy, Augusta, GA 30906, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Diet / veterinary
Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
Environmental Monitoring
Food Chain*
Food Contamination / analysis*
Kidney / chemistry
Liver / chemistry
Mercury / analysis*,  toxicity
Risk Assessment
Risk Factors
Statistics, Nonparametric
Turtles* / classification,  metabolism
Water Pollution, Chemical / adverse effects*
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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