About 30 studies from the published literature were reviewed to determine the pollution status regarding heavy metals and organic compounds of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR). The literature revealed that most studies were performed in the South and Central American Caribbean Region with sparse reports on the small island states. Collectively, the most frequently analyzed heavy metals were Pb, Cu, Zn, Fe, Cd, Ni, Mn and Cr while DDT and its metabolites were the most frequently reported organic pollutants. The samples which were analyzed vary in terms of sampling schemes, parameters and analytical techniques, as well as differences in data reporting presentation (i.e. dry weight versus wet weight, sediment fraction analyzed, or % lipids). These differences make meaningful comparisons of the available data very difficult. Furthermore, there is limited data available for most of these contaminants from the majority of nations in the WCR. Therefore, any attempt to create a regional scale assessment from contaminants data available in the open literature is limited by the scarcity of available information.
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