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Turtle eggs contain toxic metals with health risks  - study

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Turtle eggs contain toxic metals with health risks  - study


Posted 13/01/2020

Leatherback turtle eggs, contain high concentrations of trace metals and  their consumption could present  health risks to local communities says a 24 months  study by scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI.

Marine biologist Héctor Guzmán who led the  24 months study  explained that analyzes done in laboratories in Canada revealed that iron, zinc, arsenic and selenium and strontium concentrations were very high compared to previous measurements.

Leatherbacks  are an endangered species that nest on the beaches of Bocas del Toro where the annual egg collection is massive.

"High levels of trace metals could affect the human depending on the consumption of turtle eggs," said Guzmán.

He said they selected the Caribbean for the study , since, in 2016 we had already conducted a study on the Pacific beaches, with other species of turtles (green and golf),".

At that time, the scientists who analyzed the green turtle eggs and golf  found that high concentrations of toxic metals in them, such as manganese, iron, copper, zinc, arsenic, cadmium and mercury.

Guzmán said  that trace and toxic metals reach turtles, because they are highly migratory and annually travel thousands of kilometers, particularly feeding on jellyfish. "We still do not know the mechanism very well of the presence of metals, but the logical thing would be for food," he said.



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