Multi-residue screening of non-polar hazardous chemicals in green turtle blood from different foraging regions of the Great Barrier Reef

Green turtles spend a large part of their lifecycle foraging in nearshore seagrass habitats, which are often in close proximity to sources of anthropogenic contaminants. As most biomonitoring studies focus on a limited number of targeted chemical groups, this study was designed to screen for a wider range of hazardous chemicals that may not have been considered in prior studies. Whole blood of sub-adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) were sampled from three different locations, a remote, offshore ‘control’ site; and two coastal ‘case’ sites influenced by urban and agricultural activities on the Great Barrier Reef in North Queensland, Australia. In order to screen blood samples for chemicals across a wide range of KOW’s, a modified QuEChER’s extraction method was used. The samples were analysed using a multi-residue gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry system (GC-MS/MS method that allowed simultaneous quantification of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated diphenyl ethers (PBDES), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). While PBDEs, PCBs and OCPS were below the limits of quantification, PAHs were detected in all turtle blood samples. However, PAH levels were relatively low (maximum ?PAH?=?13?ng/mL ww) and comparable to or less than those reported from other green turtles globally. The present study provides the first baseline PAH levels in blood samples from green turtles from nearshore and offshore locations in the Southern Hemisphere.

Authors: Vijayasarathy S, Baduel C, Hof C, Bell I, Del Mar Gómez Ramos M, Ramos MJG, Kock M, Gaus C. ; Full Source: Science of the Total Environment. 2018 Oct 23; 652:862-868. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.094. [Epub ahead of print]