School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

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House geckos share living quarters with humans in the tropical and subtropical regions inhabited by these reptiles. Gecko behavior, biological traits, continuous exposure to suspended particulate matter 0 µm in diameter (PM10) and dust, as well as status as exotic species, motivated the choice of these species to examine environmental exposure to ambient air pollutants, in particular metals, and subsequent accumulation in these organisms. One part of the study was conducted in Tamaulipas (Mexico) where Hemydactylus frenatus is abundant in urban and industrial environments, the other part was conducted in Andalucia (Spain) where Tarentola mauritanica is found in similar environments. Adult geckos were collected on buildings in locations affected by various air pollution sources. For both species, higher metal contents were observed in whole-body (including digestive tracts) analysis and were markedly different between collection sites. Contents in tails, digestive tracts, and carcasses without digestive tracts were not correlated. Based on contamination factor values, bioaccumulation in H. frenatus tissues occurred for 12 of the 15 metals analyzed. Data suggest that H. frenatus might serve as a biomonitor for Cu, Ni, Pb, Cr, Li, and V, whereas T. mauritanica might be a biomonitor for Cu, Ni, Pb, and Cr. To our knowledge, metal contents for H. frenatus are reported here for the first time. House gecko data could be integrated into a highly representative monitoring system and health risk assessments related to air quality in residential areas.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A on February 3, 2023, available at:

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Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A





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