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Contamination of Organochlorine Pesticides in Nest Soil, Egg, and Blood of the Snail-eating Turtle (Malayemys macrocephala) from the Chao Phraya River Basin, Thailand

Authors: Sarun Keithmaleesatti, Pakorn Varanusupakul, Wattasit Siriwong, Kumthorn Thirakhupt, Mark Robson, Noppadon Kitana


Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are known to be persistent and bioaccumulative toxicants that may cause reproductive impairments in wildlife as well as human. The current study uses the snail-eating turtle Malayemys macrocephala, a long-lived animal commonly distribute in rice field habitat in central part of Thailand, as a sentinel to monitor OCP contamination in environment. The nest soil, complete clutch of eggs, and blood of the turtle were collected from agricultural areas in the Chao Phraya River Basin, Thailand during the nesting season of 2007-2008. The novel methods for tissue extraction by an accelerated solvent extractor (ASE, for egg) and liquid-liquid extraction (for blood) have been developed. The nineteen OCP residues were analyzed by gas chromatography with micro-electron captured detector (GC-μECD). The validated methods have met requirements of the AOAC standard. The results indicated that significant amounts of OCPs are still contaminated in nest soil and eggs of the turtle even though the OCPs had been banned in this area for many years. This suggested the potential risk to health of wildlife as well as human in the area.

Keywords: Gas chromatography, persistent organic pollutants, rice field, sentinel species.

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