alexa Global Assessment of Silver Pollution using Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) as an Indicator Species | OMICS International| Abstract

ISSN: 2161-0525

Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology

  • Research Article   
  • J Environ Anal Toxicol 2013, Vol 3(2): 169
  • DOI: 10.4172/2161-0525.1000169

Global Assessment of Silver Pollution using Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) as an Indicator Species

Laura C Savery1,2,3,4, Sandra S Wise1,2,3,4, Carolyne Falank1,2,3, James Wise1,2,4, Christy Gianios Jr1,2,3,4, W Douglas Thompson2,3, Christopher Perkins5, Michael D Mason2,6, Roger Payne2,4, Iain Kerr2,4 and John Pierce Wise Sr1,2,3,4*
1Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology, University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth St., Portland, ME, 04104, USA
2Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth St., Portland, ME, 04104, USA
3Department of Applied Medical Sciences, University of Southern Maine, 178 Science Building, Portland, ME, 04104, USA
4Ocean Alliance, 32 Horton Street, Gloucester, MA, 01930, USA
5Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of Connecticut, 3107 Horsebarn Hill Road, U-4210, Storrs, CT, 06269, USA
6Institute for Molecular Biophysics, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 04469, USA
*Corresponding Author : John Pierce Wise Sr, Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology, University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth St., Portland, ME, 04104, United States, Tel: +1-207- 228-8050, Fax: +1-207-228-8518, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Dec 05, 2012 / Accepted Date: Feb 28, 2013 / Published Date: Mar 04, 2013

Abstract

Silver pollution in the marine environment is of concern, particularly, with the rapid increasing use of silver nanoparticles in consumer products providing additional sources of silver emissions. Silver is highly toxic and known to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms; however, the risk silver poses to the marine ecosystem is poorly understood. The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), a toothed whale having a wide global distribution and high trophic level, is a sentinel of ocean health. The aim of this study was to provide a global baseline for silver as a marine pollutant using the sperm whale as an indicator species. Skin biopsies were collected in free-ranging sperm whales around the globe during the voyage of the research vessel, Odyssey, during 2000 and 2005. Total silver levels were measured in 298 sperm whales from 16 regions. Detectable levels were found in 176 whales and ranged from 0.1 to 4,179.0 μg/g ww with a global mean level of 16.9 ± 14.1 μg/g ww. The highest mean level was found in whales sampled in waters near Seychelles with 123.3 μg/g ww, and the lowest mean in whales near Chagos with 0.1 μg/g ww. These data provide an important global baseline for silver pollution that precedes the recent emergence of silver nanoparticles.

Keywords: Silver, Sperm whale, Skin biopsies, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Mediterranean Sea

Citation: Savery LC, Wise SS, Falank C, Wise J, Gianios C Jr (2013) Global Assessment of Silver Pollution using Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) as an Indicator Species. J Environ Anal Toxicol 3:169. Doi: 10.4172/2161-0525.1000169

Copyright: © 2013 Savery LC, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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