Document Detail

Use of skin and blood as nonlethal indicators of heavy metal contamination in northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16001147     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Relatively little is known about contaminants in reptiles, particularly snakes. The concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury, and selenium were examined in blood and skin of 46 northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon) in Tennessee and correlated with concentrations in internal tissues (liver, kidney, muscle) to determine if blood or skin could serve as a nonlethal indicator of internal metal exposure or body burden. Snakes were collected from the East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) within the United States Department of Energy's Y-12 National Security Complex (part of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory) and from a reference stretch of the Little River in East Tennessee. For blood, the only consistent positive correlations with internal organs were for mercury, and correlations were low except for muscle. Skin showed significant positive correlations with all three organs for mercury, chromium, selenium, and lead. For manganese and cadmium, skin level was positively correlated with liver level. Blood generally reflects recent exposure, not necessarily body burden, but in water snakes it correlates with body burden for mercury. Skin proved useful for more metals, although patterns were not necessarily consistent across sex and locality subgroups. The most consistent pattern was for mercury, the metal of greatest concern in many aquatic ecosystems, including EFPC.
J Burger; K R Campbell; T S Campbell; T Shukla; C Jeitner; M Gochfeld
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.     Date:  2005-07-06
Journal Detail:
Title:  Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology     Volume:  49     ISSN:  0090-4341     ISO Abbreviation:  Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol.     Publication Date:  2005 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-09-15     Completed Date:  2005-10-20     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0357245     Medline TA:  Arch Environ Contam Toxicol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  232-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation and Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Colubridae / blood*,  growth & development
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Environmental Monitoring / methods*
Metals, Heavy / analysis*,  blood
Skin / chemistry*
Tissue Distribution
Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*,  blood
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Metals, Heavy; 0/Water Pollutants, Chemical

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