Plasticizers are found in muscle tissue of western Mediterranean sea turtles

21 April 2021

A study led by the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC) and the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) shows for the first time chemical additives associated with plastic (considered as endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic and possible carcinogens) accumulated in the tissue of western Mediterranean tortoises, specifically in the species loggerhead sea turtle or Caretta caretta.

The research, led by Ethel Eljarrat and Luis Cardona and published in the journal Environmental Pollution, reveals that the plasticizer levels are higher than other analised species in the Mediterranean sea, such as whales and dolphins. This is because the tortoise eats voluntarily macroplastics, mistaking it for jellyfish, whereas the other species ingest microplastics.

Berta Sala, Aleix Balasch, Ethel Eljarrat, Luis Cardona. First study on the presence of plastic additives in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from the Mediterranean Sea. Environmental Pollution 2021. 283, 117108. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117108

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