Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) accumulate heavy metals near a former skeet shooting range in Kailua, O'ahu, Hawai'i

Published

Author(s)

Katherine Shaw, George Balazs, T. Todd Jones, Harry Lynch, Jing Liu, George Cobb, David Klein, Jennifer Lynch

Abstract

This study determined if green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Kailua Bay, Oahu, in the Hawaiian Islands have elevated blood and scute Pb, As, and Sb concentrations resulting from lead deposition at a historic skeet shooting range. Blood and scute samples were collected and analyzed for Pb, As, and Sb via inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Prey, water, and sediment samples were also analyzed. Turtle samples in Kailua Bay (45) have blood Pb concentrations (328 ± 195 ng/g) greater than a reference population (Howick Group of Islands, 29.2 ± 17.1 ng/g). Compared to other green turtle populations, only turtles in Oman, Brazil, and San Diego, CA have blood Pb concentrations greater than turtles in Kailua Bay. The estimated daily exposure of Pb from algae sources in Kailua Bay (0.12 mg/kg/day) was significantly lower than the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL, 100 mg/kg) of red eared slider turtles. However, the chronic effects of Pb on sea turtles is poorly understood and continued monitoring of this population will increase our understanding of the Pb and As loads of sea turtles in Kailua Bay.
Citation
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Keywords

marine turtle, reptile, lead, scute, Hawai’i

Citation

Shaw, K. , Balazs, G. , Jones, T. , Lynch, H. , Liu, J. , Cobb, G. , Klein, D. and Lynch, J. (2023), Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) accumulate heavy metals near a former skeet shooting range in Kailua, O'ahu, Hawai'i, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, [online], https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.5601, https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=935013 (Accessed April 25, 2024)
Created March 3, 2023, Updated March 31, 2023