New research has found that tiger snakes in Perth’s urban wetlands accumulate high levels of chemical substances from ingesting PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which affect overall -the health of poisonous reptiles.
The research, jointly led by Curtin University, Australia’s National Science Agency CSIRO and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, tested tiger snake liver to better understand the effects of PFAS, which are commonly found in non-stick cookware, food packaging and firefighting foam. . .
They found that the muscle function, body tone and energy levels of the tiger snakes were affected. The study was published in the journal General Environmental Science.
The lead researcher Dr. Damian Lettoof, from Curtin’s School of Molecular and Life Sciences and CSIRO’s Environmental Systems Biology Team, said the study was one of the first to investigate the impact of PFAS on wild snakes worldwide.
“Our findings suggest that tiger snakes in Perth’s urban wetlands, including Herdsman Lake and Lake Joondalup, are consuming these harmful chemicals and are skinnier and appear sicker, compared to healthy ones. tiger snakes. They also experience poor muscle tone and body tone, as well as decreased energy levels,” said Dr. Lettoof.
“As a top predator, tiger snakes get most of their exposure to pollution from the animals they eat, which means that frogs, birds and lizards in these wetlands can also accumulate PFAS and should be tested.
“Further research is needed to fully assess whether exposure to PFAS in these tiger snakes affects their survival, but this research gives us an insight into how these harmful chemicals can affect normal Snakes’ body pathways and energy level functions.”
Most people in Australia—and many other countries—likely have very low levels of PFAS in their bodies, through exposure to everyday household products such as carpet and upholstery protective sprays, cosmetics, sunscreens, and some non-stick cookware.
Dr. Lettoof said the findings could be useful for local and state governments to help improve regulation of these products and limit their exposure to Western Australian wildlife.
“Concerns about the health effects of PFAS exposure have led to some governments regulating or banning PFAS, and some companies eliminating these chemicals from their products,” said dr. Lettoof.
“The most common PFAS chemical we found in tiger snakes was PFOS, or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, which was used in firefighting foam until it was banned in the early 2000s. However, PFAS remain in many products and less harmful to the environment. , where they can continue for decades and accumulate in animals.
“While previous studies in animals and humans have shown adverse effects of chronic PFAS exposure on the liver, immune function and thyroid hormones, more research is needed to understand its full impact and whether those reptiles respond in the same way.”
DC Lettoof et al, Bioaccumulation and metabolic effects of environmental PFAS residues in wild-caught urban wetland tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus), General Environmental Science (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.165260
Provided by Curtin University
Citation: Harmful substances affecting tiger snakes across Perth, study finds (2023, July 17) retrieved on July 17, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-substances- impacting-tiger-snakes-perth.html
This document is subject to copyright. Except for any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. Content is provided for informational purposes only.