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Hg and Se in Organs of Three Cetacean Species from the Murcia Coastline (Mediterranean Sea)

Martínez-López, E., Peñalver, J., Lara, L., García-Fernández, A. J.
Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2019 v.103 no.4 pp. 521-527
Delphinus delphis, Tursiops truncatus, biomarkers, brain, coasts, dolphins, kidneys, liver, lungs, mercury, muscles, protective effect, risk, toxicity, Mediterranean Sea, Spain
We determinated Hg and Se concentrations in liver, kidney, brain, lung and muscle of five bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), four common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and four Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) stranded along the Murcia coast, Southeast Spain, in order to evaluate the risk of Hg toxicity. Hg concentrations showed similar concentrations to other individuals in the Mediterranean Sea with the same length in the same period. We observed a positive correlation of Hg and Se in liver (r = 0.948, p < 0.001) and kidney (r = 0.939; p = 0.001) and ratio the Se/Hg molar was higher than 1 in most cases. Our results suggest that the protective effects of Se against Hg toxicity occur in cetaceans. However, we detected levels of Hg described as responsible liver damage and neurotoxicological effects so other tools, as biochemical markers, should be included. Besides, more studies are needed to evaluate the risk of Hg exposure in dolphins from Murcia coastline.