Blood lead levels, δ-ALAD inhibition, and hemoglobin content in blood of giant toad (Rhinella marina) to asses lead exposure in three areas surrounding an industrial complex in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico
Environmental monitoring and assessment | 15 May 2012
CA Ilizaliturri-Hernández, DJ González-Mille, J Mejía-Saavedra, G Espinosa-Reyes, A Torres-Dosal and I Pérez-Maldonado
The Coatzacoalcos Region in Veracruz, Mexico houses one of the most important industrial complexes in Mexico and Latin America. Lead is an ubiquitous environmental pollutant which represents a great risk to human health and ecosystems. Amphibian populations have been recognized as biomonitors of changes in environmental conditions. The purpose of this research is to measure exposure to lead and evaluate hematological and biochemical effects in specimens of giant toads (Rhinella marina) taken from three areas surrounding an industrial complex in the Coatzacoalcos River downstream. Lead levels in toads' blood are between 10.8 and 70.6 μg/dL and are significantly higher in industrial sites. We have found a significant decrease in the delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (δ-ALAD) activity in blood from 35.3 to 78 % for the urban-industrial and industrial sites, respectively. In addition, we have identified a strong inverse relationship between the δ-ALAD activity and the blood lead levels (r = -0.84, p < 0.001). Hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin levels, as well as the condition factor, are found to be lower at industrial sites compared with the reference sites. Our results suggest that the R. marina can be considered a good biomonitor of the δ-ALAD activity inhibition and hematological alterations at low lead concentrations.
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