Geohealth Editors' Highlights

Dolphins in Florida Show Exposure to Phthalate Contaminants

Scientists have detected exposure to phthalates among a majority of bottlenose dolphins sampled in Sarasota Bay, Florida (2016–2017), including some with levels comparable to those observed in humans.

Source: GeoHealth


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Phthalates are chemicals used in common consumer items, including cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products, pesticides, and plastic. These chemicals and their metabolites have been associated with endocrine disruption, reproductive impairment, and other adverse health effects in laboratory animals and human epidemiologic studies. Hart et al. [2018] is the first report of urinary detection of phthalate exposure in wild bottlenose dolphins, some of which were at levels comparable to human concentrations. Although health impacts resulting from phthalate exposure are currently unknown for bottlenose dolphins, these findings demonstrate prevalent exposure and suggest further study to assess sources and potential for associated health effects in dolphins, other marine and aquatic organisms, and humans.

Citation: Hart, L. B., Beckingham, B., Wells, R. S., Alten Flagg, M., Wischusen, K., Moors, A., et al. [2018]. Urinary phthalate metabolites in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, FL, USA. GeoHealth, 2. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GH000146

—Paul A. Sandifer, Editor, GeoHealth

Text © 2018. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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