Genotoxic, teratogenic, and cytotoxic chemical agents are often products of anthropogenic activities, such as agriculture and industry, and many eventually settle in marine and coastal ecosystems. Therefore, there is a need to implement monitoring programs that provide early warnings of the risks and problems associated with contamination to contribute to the conservation of coastal ecosystems and human health. This paper describes the fundamental characteristics of a micronucleus assay that uses seabird embryo blood and highlights its ability to detect the presence of micronucleogenic genotoxic agents along the coasts of Mexico. This paper also demonstrates the potential of this assay to assess possible seasonal and spatial effects of these agents on wildlife, which has direct implications for human health.
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