>From: wampum at tiac.net (Curt Gates)
>Subject: shellfish dust
>Date: 25 Aug 1997 23:22:55 GMT
>I am having trouble finding information about the toxicity of dust from
>shell and coral. It is well known among people who work shell that
>abalone and black coral are particularly toxic, but all the references I
>have seen refer to shell as calcium carbonate, and give it a fairly benign
>I suspect that most of the problem comes from proteins in the shell
A good possibility.
>But several people have mentioned that the abalone contains
>arsenic. Others say that the shell can also contain a high percntage of
>Does anybody have any research data on dust from shell and coral?
Numerous marine organisms produce toxic substances, but I consider it
unlikely that significant amounts of these agent would be incorporated into
shell or coral matrix. Perhaps someone more familiar with marine toxicology
will respond to your question and fill us in. Below is one "hit" I obtained
from a medline search using "coral" and "toxic" as keywords. Whether the
"exudate toxin" is stable and is present in harvested coral is an
interesting toxicological question.
As a footnote for those who are not yet aware of it, medline searches are
now FREE TO ALL with internet access. Government isn't all bad : > ) . To
access medline, use the URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ and click on the
Toxic exudate from the hard coral Goniopora tenuidens.
Gunthorpe L; Cameron AM
Department of Zoology, University of Queensland, St.
NLM CIT. ID:
Ten colonies of Goniopora tenuidens were placed
individually in sea water
for 1 hr after which time the sea water was assayed
using toxicity to
another hard coral Galaxea fascicularis and to other
colonies of G.
tenuidens. Sea water from eight of the 10 colonies
assayed was toxic to at
least one of the bioassay organisms. Thus, G. tenuidens
biologically active substances that adversely affect
both interspecific and conspecific.
0 (Cnidarian Venoms)
Dr. Charles A. Miller, rellim at mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu
Bionet.toxicology news group:
Dept. Environmental Health Sciences, SL29
Center for Bioenvironmental Research
Tulane Univ. School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
1430 Tulane Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70112