Navigation Links
Turtle studies suggest health risks from environmental contaminants
Date:2/19/2008

The same chemicals that keep food from sticking to our frying pans and stains from setting in our carpets are damaging the livers and impairing the immune systems of loggerhead turtlesan environmental health impact that also may signal a danger for humans.

Jennifer Keller, a researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., reported on Feb. 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that a scientific team monitoring the blood plasma of loggerhead turtles along the U.S. East Coast consistently found significant levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). PFCs are used as nonstick coatings and additives in a wide variety of goods including cookware, furniture fabrics, carpets, food packaging, fire-fighting foams and cosmetics. They are very stable, persist for a long time in the environment and are known to be toxic to the liver, reproductive organs and immune systems of laboratory mammals.

Keller said that in a 2005 study,* PFC concentrations measured in the plasma of turtles found along the coast from Florida to North Carolina indicated that PFCs have become a major contaminant for the species. The levels of the most common PFC, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), were higher in turtles captured in the north than in the south. Data recently evaluated by NIST and College of Charleston graduate student Steven OConnell shows that this northern trend of higher PFOS concentrations continues up into the Chesapeake Bay.

Blood chemistry analyses of PFC-contaminated loggerheads suggested damage to liver cells and the suppression of at least one immune function which could lead to a higher risk of disease. To support the cause-effect relationship between PFCs and illness, the researchers exposed Western fence lizards to the same PFOS levels found in loggerheads in the wild. The lizards showed significant increases in an enzyme that indicates liver toxicity. They also had signs of suppressed immune function.

These findings, Keller said, indicate that current environmental PFC exposuresat concentrations comparable to those seen in human blood samplesare putting marine species at enhanced risk of health problems from reduced immunity and may suggest a similar threat to us.

Keller reported that a recently completed study** led by colleague Margie Peden-Adams of the Medical University of South Carolina that showed PFOS is toxic to the immune systems of mice at concentrations found both in loggerhead sea turtles and humans. The ability of the mouse immune system to respond to a challenge was reduced in half by PFOSand this occurred at the lowest level of the compound ever reported for a toxic effect.

If our immune systems have a similar sensitivity to PFOS, Keller explained, humans could be immunocompromised from current environmental exposure to PFOS.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael E. Newman
michael.newman@nist.gov
301-975-3025
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Small-scale fishing in Mexico rivals industrial fisheries in accidental turtle deaths
2. Research shows loggerhead sea turtles threatened by small-scale fishing operations
3. RNA-based methods for developmental studies are featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
4. Iowa State researcher studies how enzymes break down cellulose
5. New studies suggest brain overgrowth in 1-year-olds linked to development of autism
6. Experts from Stevens, Merck, publish joint paper, Biosynthetic Studies of Platensimycin
7. New studies on schizophrenia, depression, trauma and autism highlight annual meeting
8. NIH grants enable energy studies
9. 2 carotid artery stenting studies show results comparable to AHA guidelines
10. LSU professor studies army-ant-following birds
11. Clinical studies show REMICADE reduces incidence of bowel surgeries in ulcerative colitis patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Turtle studies suggest health risks from environmental contaminants
(Date:2/10/2017)... , Feb 10, 2017 Research ... report "Personalized Medicine - Scientific and Commercial Aspects" ... ... medicine. Diagnosis is integrated with therapy for selection of treatment ... early detection and prevention of disease in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Feb. 7, 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ... reported financial results for its quarter and year ended December ... of 2016 was $3.9 million compared to $6.9 million in ... quarter of 2016 was $0.6 million compared to $2.6 million ... fourth quarter of 2016 was $0.5 million, or $0.02 per ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... , Feb. 7, 2017 Report Highlights ... billion by 2021 from $8.3 billion in 2016 at ... 2016 to 2021. Report Includes - An overview ... global market trends, with data from 2015 and 2016, ... 2021. - Segmentation of the market on the basis ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... -- Symic Bio, a biopharmaceutical company focused on matrix ... announced today the completion of enrollment for the SHIELD ... trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of SB-030, ... restenosis following angioplasty. "We,re pleased to ... Nathan Bachtell , M.D., Chief Medical Officer of ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... , ... FireflySci, Inc is an explosive small business that continues to grow ... bringing their powerful cuvette and spectrophotometer calibration to the spectroscopy world. ... on as they add yet another mark on the global map. , With distributors ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017  OncoSec Medical Incorporated ("OncoSec") (NASDAQ: ONCS), a ... Key Opinion Leader event to highlight new clinical data ... presentation at the upcoming 2017 ASCO-SITC Immuno-Oncology Symposium and ... be held in-person and via live webcast on Tuesday, ... PST at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel in ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... portfolio to include an array of biochemical analyses critical for Lead Discovery. ... drive their hit-to-lead and SAR programs, including inhibitor potency and selectivity, mechanism of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: