We measured organochlorine residues in three species of sea turtles from the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. Seventeen of 21 organochlorine pesticides analyzed were detected, with heptachlor epoxide and gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane the most prevalent (14 (40%) and 11 (31%) of the 35 tissue samples, respectively). PCBs were detected in all but one of the 9 turtles studied, with congener 18 the most commonly detected (8 (23%) of the samples). The dioxin-like congeners 118 and 180 were detected in 4(11%) and 3(9%) of the samples, respectively. Percent contribution of congeners was negatively correlated to their octanol-water partition coefficients, with kidney and muscle containing more lower-chlorinated congeners than liver or adipose samples. Levels of organochlorines detected in the present study were low, potentially attributable to the feeding habits of the predominant species collected in this study (herbivorous) and/or the samples obtained in an unindustrialized region. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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