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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1185: Assessment of Mercury Concentration in Turtles (Podocnemis unifilis) in the Xingu River Basin, Brazil

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1185: Assessment of Mercury Concentration in Turtles (Podocnemis unifilis) in the Xingu River Basin, Brazil

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061185

Authors: Marina Teófilo Pignati Juarez Carlos Brito Pezzuti Larissa Costa de Souza Marcelo de Oliveira Lima Wanderlei Antonio Pignati Rosivaldo de Alcântara Mendes

Many studies on mercury contamination in aquatic biota deal with the effect of consuming metal-contaminated organisms on human health. In this study, we examined the factors that cause mercury contamination in Podocnemis unifilis in the Xingu River Basin of Mato Grosso and Pará States, Brazil. We quantified by atomic absorption spectroscopy with cold vapor the total mercury (THg) content in the liver and muscle samples of 50 Podocnemis unifilis specimens collected from the basin. The liver and muscle samples contained 134.20 ± 119.30 ng g−1 THg and 24.86 ± 26.36 ng g−1 THg, respectively. Each chelonian or meal has, on average, 5.34× more Hg than the highest level established as acceptable. From the results it can be inferred that, given the weekly consumption of chelonians, the riverine and indigenous communities in the Xingu River Basin are at risk of chronic consumption of Hg in amounts beyond the acceptable limit. The potential high risk to the health of this population is evident; however, the risk classification needs to be further studied.

Authors:   Pignati, Marina Teófilo; Pezzuti, Juarez Carlos Brito; Souza, Larissa Costa de; Lima, Marcelo de Oliveira; Pignati, Wanderlei Antonio; Mendes, Rosivaldo de Alcântara
Journal:   International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume:   15
edition:   6
Year:   2018
Pages:   1185
DOI:   10.3390/ijerph15061185
Publication date:   06-Jun-2018
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  • Research
  • liver
  • Brazil
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