Science.gov

Sample records for soil mercury levels

  1. Evaluation of mercury level in waters, bottom sediments and soils in selected rural areas.

    PubMed

    Umińska, R

    1987-01-01

    The studies carried out aimed at evaluation of the mercury level in waters, bottom sediments and soils in selected rural areas, during the season of mercury biocides application and after their withdrawal from agricultural use. Generally, in the period between 1976-1980 the mercury level in 1268 environmental samples has been examined. Shallow dug wells of bad technical state and wrong location particularly exposed to contamination, have been selected for the studies. Mercury level has been determined after mineralization with concentrated acids by means of flameless method of atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The results have been compared with standards for mercury level in drinking waters (1 microgram/l) and in surface waters (5 micrograms/l), with the Warren-Devault criterion for soils (0.25 mg/kg) and with the value 1 mg/kg adopted as maximum natural mercury level in bottom sediments. The results have also been the subject to statistical analysis by means of the Tsao-Fei method and t-test. Mercury level in well waters, surface waters, bottom sediments and soils varied according to the region and the year of study and were respectively: 0.08-26.00 micrograms/l; 0.00-25.20 micrograms/l; 0.02-91.91 mg/kg; 0.01-24.94 mg/kg. Mercury levels of several dozen micrograms/l (waters) and several dozen mg/kg (bottom sediments and soils) have been recorded only in a few cases. A statistically significant decrease of mercury level in the environment of the regions investigated coincided with mercury biocides withdrawal from agricultural practice in our country. PMID:3571971

  2. Removal of mercury from soil with earthworms

    SciTech Connect

    Dorfman, D.

    1994-12-31

    Earthworms can live in soils containing high quantities of mercury, lead, and zinc. The worms (Lumbricus terrestris) concentrate these heavy metals in their tissues. The use of these worms to reduce the quantities of mercury and other heavy metals in soils may be practical. In July, 1993, a preliminary study was made using earthworms and soils with differing amounts of mercury, The quantities were 0.0 grams, 0.5 grams, and 1.0 grams of mercury as mercuric chloride. Earthworms were placed into these soils for two or more weeks, then harvested. The worms were rinsed with deionized water, then dissolved in nitric acid. Each sample was prepared for analysis with the addition of HNO{sub 3}, H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}, potassium permanganate, and hydrozylamine hydrochloride. A Jerome Instrument gold foil analyzer was used to determine levels of mercury after volatilizing the sample with stannous chloride. Worms exposed to contaminated soils remove 50 to 1,400 times as much mercury as do worms in control soils. In a hypothetical case, a site contaminated with one pound of mercury, 1,000 to 45,000 worms would be required to reduce mercury levels to background levels in the soil (about 250 ppb). After harvesting worms in contaminated soil they could be dried (90% of their weight is water), and the mercury regained by chemical processes. Soil conducive to earthworm survival is required. This includes a well aerated loamy soil, proper pH (7.0), and periodic watering and feeding. There are several methods of harvesting worms, including flooding and electricity. Large numbers of worms can be obtained from commercial growers.

  3. Effects of mercury release from amalgam dental restorations during cremation on soil mercury levels of three New Zealand crematoria

    SciTech Connect

    Nieschmidt, A.K.; Kim, N.D.

    1997-05-01

    A vast amount of research has been undertaken in the last 15-20 years on the corrosion reactions occurring in dental amalgam, release of mercury from amalgam restorations, and the toxic effects of this released mercury on the human body. However, one environmental aspect of amalgam dental restorations that has not received a great deal of attention is the release of mercury during cremation. Mercury is liberated during cremation both because dental amalgams are unstable at cremation temperatures (650-700{degrees}C) and because the free mercury metal is highly volatile. In New Zealand, 58% of deaths are followed by cremation and this figure is likely to rise in the future. This increasing use of cremation as the method of corpse disposal, coupled with the fact that each amalgam restoration is approximately 50% mercury, implies that a significant amount of mercury may be emitted into the environment every year. This study examines mercury released from crematoria in New Zealand. 20 refs., 2 figs., 5 tabs.

  4. Bioavailability and stability of mercury sulfide in Armuchee (USA) soil

    SciTech Connect

    Han, Fengxiang; Shiyab, Safwan; Su, Yi; Monts, David L.; Waggoner, Charles A.; Matta, Frank B.

    2007-07-01

    Because of the adverse effects of elemental mercury and mercury compounds upon human health, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is engaged in an on-going effort to monitor and remediate mercury-contaminated DOE sites. In order to more cost effectively implement those extensive remediation efforts, it is necessary to obtain an improved understanding of the role that mercury and mercury compounds play in the ecosystem. We have conducted pilot scale experiments to study the bioavailability of mercury sulfide in an Armuchee (eastern US ) soil. The effects of plants and incubation time on chemical stability and bioavailability of HgS under simulated conditions of the ecosystem have been examined, as has the dynamics of the dissolution of mercury sulfide by various extractants. The results show that mercury sulfide in contaminated Armuchee soil was still to some extent bioavailable to plants. After planting, soil mercury sulfide is more easily dissolved by both 4 M and 12 M nitric acid than pure mercury sulfide reagent. Dissolution kinetics of soil mercury sulfide and pure chemical reagent by nitric acid are different. Mercury release by EDTA from HgS-contaminated soil increased with time of reaction and soil mercury level. Chelating chemicals increase the solubility and bioavailability of mercury in HgS-contaminated soil. (authors)

  5. Mercury content of Illinois soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dreher, G.B.; Follmer, L.R.

    2004-01-01

    For a survey of Illinois soils, 101 cores had been collected and analyzed to determine the current and background elemental compositions of Illinois soils. Mercury and other elements were determined in six samples per core, including a surface sample from each core. The mean mercury content in the surface samples was 33 ?? 20 ??g/kg soil, and the background content was 20 ?? 9 ??g/kg. The most probable sources of mercury in these soils were the parent material, and wet and dry deposition of Hg0 and Hg2+ derived from coal-burning power plants, other industrial plants, and medical and municipal waste incinerators. Mercury-bearing sewage sludge or other fertilizers applied to agricultural fields could have been the local sources of mercury. Although the mercury content correlated with organic carbon content or clay content in individual cores, when all the data were considered, there was no strong correlation between mercury and either the organic carbon or the clay-size content.

  6. Sorption of mercury in soils with different humus content

    SciTech Connect

    Lodenius, M.; Seppaenen, A.; Autio S.

    1987-10-01

    The strong sorption of mercury to humic matter in soil and water has raised the question about the influence of organic matter of different soil types on the mobilization of mercury from soil. Mercury is normally bound to humic and fulvic acids, which may be released in connection with flooding, draining and ditching. High mercury contents in fish from man-made lakes have been reported mainly from temperated regions. This has been assumed to be a result of the slower metabolism of methyl mercury in cool water but the effect of temperature on the mobilization process is still poorly known. The sorption and leaching of mercury in three different soils was studied in vitro using a mercury concentrations near the natural level. Soil lysimeters were watered with distilled water or artificial acid rain at two temperatures.

  7. [Effects of Citric Acid on Activation and Methylation of Mercury in the Soils of Water-Level-Fluctuating Zone of the Three Gorges.Reservoir].

    PubMed

    Qin, Cai-qing; Liang, Li; You, Rui; Deng, Han; Wang, Ding-yong

    2015-12-01

    To investigate effects of the main component of vegetation root exudates-citric acid on activation and methylation of mercury in the soil of water-level-fluctuating zone (WLFZ) of the Three Gorges Reservoir area, simulation experiments were conducted by extracting and cultivating soil with different concentrations of citric acid. The results showed that after adding citric acid, the total mercury content in leaching solution before reaching peak were higher than that of the control, and increased with the increase of citric acid concentrations. The maximum amount of mercury complexes increased initially and then reached plateaus with the percentage against the total mercury in soil of 1.03%, 1.67%, 1.99%, 2.47%, 2.68%, 2.73% and 2.73% for different citric acid concentrations (0, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8 mmol · L⁻¹). In addition, concentrations of methylmercury ( MeHg) in soil remained stable in the first 3 hours, and then increased accompanying with the increasing rate rising with the concentration of citric acid ( besides the control group) . This result indicated that citric acid probably could promote the transformation process from inorganic mercury to MeHg in soil. which increased with the concentration of citric acid. PMID:27011985

  8. [Release of mercury from soil and plant in water-level-fluctuating zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir area and its accumulation in zebrafish].

    PubMed

    Li, Chu-Xian; Sun, Rong-Guo; Wang, Ding-Yong; Zhao, Zheng; Zhang, Jin-Yang; Ma, Ming; Zhang, Cheng

    2014-07-01

    To investigate the production, distribution and bioavailability of methylmercury (MMHg) in soil and plants of the water-level-fluctuating zone (WLFZ) of the Three Gorges Reservoir area, simulation experiments were conducted in laboratory. Results indicated that the level of total mercury (THg) in soil decreased with the lengthening of submerging time while that in water increased obviously. The level of MMHg in inundated soil and water increased, especially in the water treated by Echinochloa crusgalli and soils. And the MMHg level in that treatment was 2.52 times higher than that treated only by soils for 21 days. This indicated that soil and plants of WLFZ were important sources of mercury in the water of the reservoir. Echinochloa crusgalli as the tested plant was decomposed after being submerged, leading to lower pH and DO and higher DOC, which had little effect on MMHg in soil but significant effect on MMHg in water. The level of THg in the head, viscera and muscle of zebrafish increased obviously, which had a significant correlation with that in water (P < 0.01). MMHg levels accumulated in the head, viscera and muscle of zebrafish differed to some degree, particularly in the head and muscle. After treated in the soils for 21 days, MMHg levels in the head, viscera and muscle of zebrafish were 1.75-6.25, 3.53-8.38 and 2.22-3.36 times higher than those in the control groups, respectively. While for the treatment of Echinochloa crusgalli and soil, MMHg levels in zebrafish's head, viscera and muscle were 3.57, 2.37 and 1.52 times higher than those treated only by soil, respectively. Therefore, submerged soil was the main source of MMHg in fish. And submerged plants changed the water condition and affected the release of mercury to water so as to cause elevated levels of MMHg in fish. PMID:25244860

  9. Mercury speciation during in situ thermal desorption in soil.

    PubMed

    Park, Chang Min; Katz, Lynn E; Liljestrand, Howard M

    2015-12-30

    Metallic mercury (Hg(0)) and its compounds are highly mobile and toxic environmental pollutants at trace level. In situ thermal desorption (ISTD) is one of the soil remediation processes applying heat and vacuum simultaneously. Knowledge of thermodynamic mercury speciation is imperative to understand the fate and transport of mercury during thermal remediation and operate the treatment processes in a cost-effective manner. Hence, speciation model for inorganic mercury was developed over a range of environmental conditions to identify distribution of dissolved mercury species and potential transformations of mercury at near source environment. Simulation of phase transitions for metallic mercury, mercury(II) chloride and mercury sulfide with temperature increase showed that complete vaporization of metallic mercury and mercury(II) chloride were achieved below the boiling point of water. The effect of soil compositions on mercury removal was also evaluated to better understand thermal remediation process. Higher vapor pressures expected both from soil pore water and inorganic carbonate minerals in soil as well as creation of permeability were significant for complete vaporization and removal of mercury. PMID:26275352

  10. Accumulation and oxidation of elemental mercury in tropical soils.

    PubMed

    Soares, Liliane Catone; Egreja Filho, Fernando Barboza; Linhares, Lucília Alves; Windmoller, Cláudia Carvalhinho; Yoshida, Maria Irene

    2015-09-01

    The role of chemical and mineralogical soil properties in the retention and oxidation of atmospheric mercury in tropical soils is discussed based on thermal desorption analysis. The retention of gaseous mercury by tropical soils varied greatly both quantitatively and qualitatively with soil type. The average natural mercury content of soils was 0.08 ± 0.06 μg g(-1) with a maximum of 0.215 ± 0.009 μg g(-1). After gaseous Hg(0) incubation experiments, mercury content of investigated soils ranged from 0.6 ± 0.2 to 735 ± 23 μg g(-1), with a mean value of 44 ± 146 μg g(-1). Comparatively, A horizon of almost all soil types adsorbed more mercury than B horizon from the same soil, which demonstrates the key role of organic matter in mercury adsorption. In addition to organic matter, pH and CEC also appear to be important soil characteristics for the adsorption of mercury. All thermograms showed Hg(2+) peaks, which were predominant in most of them, indicating that elemental mercury oxidized in tropical soils. After four months of incubation, the thermograms showed oxidation levels from 70% to 100%. As none of the samples presented only the Hg(0) peak, and the soils retained varying amounts of mercury despite exposure under the same incubation conditions, it became clear that oxidation occurred on soil surface. Organic matter seemed to play a key role in mercury oxidation through complexation/stabilization of the oxidized forms. The lower percentages of available mercury (extracted with KNO3) in A horizons when compared to B horizons support this idea. PMID:25950134

  11. Blood Mercury Level

    EPA Science Inventory

    This indicator describes the presence of mercury in the blood of segments of the U.S. population from 1999 to 2008. Mercury can cause developmental and neurological problems, especially in children. This indicator shows how exposure to this environmental contaminant has change...

  12. Bonding of ppb levels of methyl mercury to reduced sulfur groups in soil organic matter.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Torbjörn; Skyllberg, Ulf

    2003-11-01

    The strong binding of CH3Hg+ to natural organic matter (NOM) in soils and waters determines the speciation of CH3Hg under aerobic conditions and indirectly its bioavailability and rates of demethylation. In lab experiments, halides (Cl, Br, I) were used as competing ligands to determine the strength of CH3Hg+ binding to solid-phase soil organic carbon (SOC) and to dissolved soil organic carbon (DOC) as a function of time, pH, and concentration of halide. Experiments were conducted with native concentrations of CH3Hg (1.7-9.8 ng g(-1)) in organic soils, and equilibrium concentrations of CH3Hg were determined by species-specific-isotope-dilution (SSID) gas-chromatography-induced-coupled-plasma-mass-spectrometry (GC-ICP-MS). A simple model (RS- + CH3Hg+ = CH3HgSR; log KCH3HgSR) was used to simulate the binding to SOC and DOC, in which the binding sites (RSH) were independently determined by X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy. The pKa values of RSH groups were fixed at 8.50 and 9.95, reflecting the two major thiol groups in proteins. Log KCH3HgSR values determined for SOC and DOC were similar, showing a range of 15.6-17.1 for all experiments covering a pH range of 2.0-5.1. Despite large differences in affinities between Cl, Br, and I for CH3Hg+, determined constants were independent of type and concentration of halide used in the experiments (log KCH3HgSR = 16.1-16.7 at pH 3.5-3.6). Even if our log KCH3HgSR values were conditional in that they decreased with pH above 3.5, they were in fair agreement with stability constants determined for the association between CH3Hg+ and thiol groups in well-defined organic molecules (log K1 = 15.7-17.5). Speciation calculations based on our results show that, in absence of substantial concentrations of inorganic sulfides, neutral chloro-complexes (CH3HgCl) and free CH3Hg+ reach concentrations on the order of 10(-17)-10(-18) M at pH 5 in soil solutions with 3 x 10(-5) M of chloride. PMID:14620818

  13. OCCURRENCE OF MERCURY-RESISTANT MICROORGANISMS IN MERCURY-CONTAMINATED SOILS AND SEDIMENTS IN PAVLODAR, KAZAKHSTAN

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is extensive mercury contamination of soil surrounding a chloralkali plant in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan that operated from 1970 to 1990. High-level mercury contamination exists within the confines of the plant, at nearby off-site waste storage and evaporation ponds, and in Balky...

  14. OCCURRENCE OF MICROORGANISMS RESISTANT TO MERCURY IN MERCURY CONTAMINATED SOILS AND SEDIMENTS IN PAVLODAR, KAZAKHSTAN

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is extensive mercury contamination of soil surrounding a chloralkali plant in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan that operated from 1970 to 1990. High-level mercury contamination exists within the confines of the plant, at nearby off-site waste storage and evaporation ponds, and in Balky...

  15. [Effect of Low Molecular Weight Organic Acids on the Chemical Speciation and Activity of Mercury in the Soils of the Water-Level-Fluctuating Zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir].

    PubMed

    You, Rui; Liang, Li; Qin, Cai-qing; Deng, Han; Wang, Ding-yong

    2016-01-15

    To investigate the effect of low molecular weight organic acids ( LMWOA) on the ability of migration and the species of mercury in the soil of the Water-Level-Fluctuating Zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir, citric acid, tartaric acid and oxalic acid were dded into the soil to conduct simulation experiments. The results showed that the percentage of exchangeable mercury increased with the increase of the concentration of citric acid, but the value declined slightly as the concentration of tartaric acid and oxalic acid increased. While all three acids elevated the bioavailability of mercury, which increased with the increase of the concentration of acids. Vhen the concentration of citric acid reached 15 mmol x L(-1), the activation effect was the best. But for oxalic acid and citric acid, 10 mmol x L(-1) was the optimal concentration. In general, the effect of three organic acids on the activation of mercury in the soil followed the trend of citric acid > tartaric acid > oxalic acid. In the soil supplemented with 15 mmol x L(-1) citric acid, the change of mercury pecies was more and more striking with the prolonged incubation, and the conversion did not stop until 14 d, at that time the stomach cid dissolved mercury increased obviously, which was mainly converted from elemental mercury. PMID:27078955

  16. Phytoremediation of mercury-contaminated soils by Jatropha curcas.

    PubMed

    Marrugo-Negrete, José; Durango-Hernández, José; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Olivero-Verbel, Jesús; Díez, Sergi

    2015-05-01

    Jatropha curcas plants species were tested to evaluate their phytoremediation capacity in soils contaminated by different levels of mercury. The experimental treatments consisted of four levels of mercury concentrations in the soil - T0, T1, T5, and T10 (0, 1, 5, and 10 μg Hg per g soil, respectively). The total mercury content absorbed by the different plant tissues (roots, stems and leaves) was determined during four months of exposure. The growth behavior, mercury accumulation, translocation (TF) and bioconcentration (BCF) factors were determined. The different tissues in J. curcas can be classified in order of decreasing accumulation Hg as follows: roots>leaves>stems. The highest cumulative absorption of the metal occurred between the second and third month of exposure. Maximum TF was detected during the second month and ranged from 0.79 to 1.04 for the different mercury concentrations. Values of BCF ranged from 0.21 to 1.43. Soils with T1 showed significantly higher BCF (1.43) followed by T10 (1.32) and T5 (0.91), all of them at the fourth month. On the other hand TFs were low (range 0.10-0.26) at the en of the experiment. The maximum reduction of biomass (16.3%) occurred for T10 (10 μg Hg g(-1)). In sum, J. curcas species showed high BCFs and low TFs, and their use could be a promising approach to remediating mercury-contaminated soils. PMID:25655698

  17. Sustainable remediation of mercury contaminated soils by thermal desorption.

    PubMed

    Sierra, María J; Millán, Rocio; López, Félix A; Alguacil, Francisco J; Cañadas, Inmaculada

    2016-03-01

    Mercury soil contamination is an important environmental problem that needs the development of sustainable and efficient decontamination strategies. This work is focused on the application of a remediation technique that maintains soil ecological and environmental services to the extent possible as well as search for alternative sustainable land uses. Controlled thermal desorption using a solar furnace at pilot scale was applied to different types of soils, stablishing the temperature necessary to assure the functionality of these soils and avoid the Hg exchange to the other environmental compartments. Soil mercury content evolution (total, soluble, and exchangeable) as temperature increases and induced changes in selected soil quality indicators are studied and assessed. On total Hg, the temperature at which it is reduced until acceptable levels depends on the intended soil use and on how restrictive are the regulations. For commercial, residential, or industrial uses, soil samples should be heated to temperatures higher than 280 °C, at which more than 80 % of the total Hg is released, reaching the established legal total Hg level and avoiding eventual risks derived from high available Hg concentrations. For agricultural use or soil natural preservation, conversely, maintenance of acceptable levels of soil quality limit heating temperatures, and additional treatments must be considered to reduce available Hg. Besides total Hg concentration in soils, available Hg should be considered to make final decisions on remediation treatments and potential future uses. Graphical Abstract Solar energy use for remediation of soils affected by mercury. PMID:26545893

  18. ALTERNATIVE FIELD METHODS TO TREAT MERCURY IN SOIL

    SciTech Connect

    Ernest F. Stine Jr; Steven T. Downey

    2002-08-14

    U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) used large quantities of mercury in the uranium separating process from the 1950s until the late 1980s in support of national defense. Some of this mercury, as well as other hazardous metals and radionuclides, found its way into, and under, several buildings, soil and subsurface soils and into some of the surface waters. Several of these areas may pose potential health or environmental risks and must be dealt with under current environmental regulations. DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) awarded a contract ''Alternative Field Methods to Treat Mercury in Soil'' to IT Group, Knoxville TN (IT) and its subcontractor NFS, Erwin, TN to identify remedial methods to clean up mercury-contaminated high-clay content soils using proven treatment chemistries. The sites of interest were the Y-12 National Security Complex located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the David Witherspoon properties located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and at other similarly contaminated sites. The primary laboratory-scale contract objectives were (1) to safely retrieve and test samples of contaminated soil in an approved laboratory and (2) to determine an acceptable treatment method to ensure that the mercury does not leach from the soil above regulatory levels. The leaching requirements were to meet the TC (0.2 mg/l) and UTS (0.025 mg/l) TCLP criteria. In-situ treatments were preferred to control potential mercury vapors emissions and liquid mercury spills associated with ex-situ treatments. All laboratory work was conducted in IT's and NFS laboratories. Mercury contaminated nonradioactive soil from under the Alpha 2 building in the Y-12 complex was used. This soils contained insufficient levels of leachable mercury and resulted in TCLP mercury concentrations that were similar to the applicable LDR limits. The soil was spiked at multiple levels with metallic (up to 6000 mg/l) and soluble mercury compounds (up to 500 mg/kg) to simulate expected ranges of mercury contamination and to increase the TCLP mercury values. IT/NFS investigated ambient temperature amalgamation/stabilization/fixation of mercury-contaminated soils to meet these objectives. Treatment ranged in size from a few ounces to 10 pounds. The treatability study philosophy was to develop working envelops of formulations where reasonable minimum and maximum amounts of each reagent that would successfully treat the contaminated soil were determined. The dosages investigated were based on ratios of stoichiometric reactions and applications of standard sets of formulations. The approach purposely identified formulations that failed short or longer cure-time performance criteria to define the limits of the envelope. Reagent envelops successfully met the project requirements one day after treatment and after greater than 30-day cures. The use of multiple levels of spikes allowed the establishment of reagent dosages that were successful across a broad range of mercury values, e.g., 50 to 6000 mg/kg mercury. The treatment products were damp to slightly wet material. Enough drying reagent, e.g., Portland cement or lime by-product, were added to some formulations to control the leachability of uranium and other hazardous metals and to ensure the product passed the paint filter test. Cost analyzes and conceptual designs for four alternatives for full-scale treatments were prepared. The alternatives included two in-situ treatments and two ex-situ treatments. The cost estimates were based on the results from the bench-scale study. All four alternatives treatment costs were well below the baseline costs.

  19. MERCURY RELEASE FROM DISTURBED ANOXIC SOILS

    SciTech Connect

    Jaroslav Solc; Bethany A. Bolles

    2001-07-16

    The primary objectives of experiments conducted at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) were to provide information on the secondary release of mercury from contaminated anoxic sediments to an aqueous environment after disturbance/change of in situ physical conditions and to evaluate its migration and partitioning under controlled conditions, including implications of these processes for treatment of contaminated soils. Experimental work included (1) characterization of the mercury-contaminated sediment; (2) field bench-scale dredging simulation; (3) laboratory column study to evaluate a longer-term response to sediment disturbance; (4) mercury volatilization from sediment during controlled drying; (5) resaturation experiments to evaluate the potential for secondary release of residual mercury after disturbance, transport, drying, and resaturation, which simulate a typical scenario during soil excavation and transport to waste disposal facilities; and (6) mercury speciation and potential for methylation during column incubation experiments.

  20. ALTERNATIVE FIELD METHODS TO TREAT MERCURY IN SOIL

    SciTech Connect

    Ernie F. Stine

    2002-08-14

    The Department of Energy (DOE) currently has mercury (Hg) contaminated materials and soils at the various sites. Figure 1-1 (from http://www.ct.ornl.gov/stcg.hg/) shows the estimated distribution of mercury contaminated waste at the various DOE sites. Oak Ridge and Idaho sites have the largest deposits of contaminated materials. The majorities of these contaminated materials are soils, sludges, debris, and waste waters. This project concerns treatment of mercury contaminated soils. The technology is applicable to many DOE sites, in-particular, the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge Tennessee and Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). These sites have the majority of the soils and sediments contaminated with mercury. The soils may also be contaminated with other hazardous metals and radionuclides. At the Y12 plant, the baseline treatment method for mercury contaminated soil is low temperature thermal desorption (LTTD), followed by on-site landfill disposal. LTTD is relatively expensive (estimated cost of treatment which exclude disposal cost for the collect mercury is greater than $740/per cubic yard [cy] at Y-12), does not treat any of the metal or radionuclides. DOE is seeking a less costly alternative to the baseline technology. As described in the solicitation (DE-RA-01NT41030), this project initially focused on evaluating cost-effective in-situ alternatives to stabilize or remove the mercury (Hg) contamination from high-clay content soil. It was believed that ex-situ treatment of soil contaminated with significant quantities of free-liquid mercury might pose challenges during excavation and handling. Such challenges may include controlling potential mercury vapors and containing liquid mercury beads. As described below, the focus of this project was expanded to include consideration of ex-situ treatment after award of the contract to International Technology Corporation (IT). After award of the contract, IT became part of Shaw E&I. The company will be denoted as ''IT'' for the rest of the document since the original contract was awarded to IT. This report details IT, Knoxville, TN and its subcontractor Nuclear Fuels Services (NFS) study to investigate alternative mercury treatment technology. The IT/NFS team demonstrated two processes for the amalgamation/stabilization/fixation of mercury and potentially Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) and radionuclide-contaminated soils. This project was to identify and demonstrate remedial methods to clean up mercury-contaminated soil using established treatment chemistries on soil from the Oak Ridge Reservation, Y-12 National Security Complex, the off-site David Witherspoon properties, and/or other similarly contaminated sites. Soil from the basement of Y-12 Plant Alpha 2 Building at the Oak Ridge Reservation was received at IT and NFS on December 20, 2001. Soils from the other locations were not investigated. The soil had background levels of radioactivity and had all eight RCRA metals well below the Toxicity Characteristic (TC) criteria. This project addresses the new DOE Environmental Management Thrust 2 ''Alternative Approaches to Current High Risk/High Cost Baselines''. Successful completion of this project will provide a step-change in DOE's treatment ability.

  1. Spatial distribution of mercury and arsenic levels in water, soil and cassava plants in a community with long history of gold mining in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Nyanza, Elias C; Dewey, Deborah; Thomas, Deborah S K; Davey, Mark; Ngallaba, Sospatro E

    2014-12-01

    This study examined the spatial distribution of total mercury (THg) and total arsenic (TAs) in water, soil and cassava (Manihot esculenta) (leaves and roots) samples taken from areas in Rwamagasa village in northwestern Tanzania where daily living activities occur in close proximity to extensive artisanal and small scale gold mining. Results indicated that 33.3 % of the water sources had THg levels above the WHO guideline of 1.0 µg/L for safe drinking water, and 12.5 % had TAs levels above 10 µg/L. Cassava leaves were found to have higher THg (ranging from 8.3 to 167 µg/kg) and TAs (ranging from 60 to 1,120 µg/kg) levels than cassava roots, which ranged between 1.2-8.3 µg/kg for THg and 25-310 µg/kg for TAs. Concentrations of THg and TAs in soil samples ranged between 5.8-1,759 and 183-20,298 µg/kg, respectively. Both THg and TAs were found to be distributed throughout Rwamagasa village. PMID:24923470

  2. Mercury and plants in contaminated soils. 2: Environmental and physiological factors governing mercury flux to the atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Leonard, T.L.; Gustin, M.S.; Fernandez, G.C.J.; Taylor, G.E. Jr.

    1998-10-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of physiological and environmental factors in governing the flux of elemental mercury from plants to the atmosphere. Five species (Lepidium latifolium, Artemisia douglasiana, Caulanthus sp., Fragaria vesca, and Eucalyptus globulus) with different ecological and physiological attributes and growing in soils with high levels of mercury contamination were examined. Studies were conducted in a whole-plant, gas-exchange chamber providing precise control of environmental conditions, and mercury flux was estimated using the mass balance approach. Mercury flux increased linearly as a function of temperature within the range of 20 to 40 C, and the mean temperature coefficient (Q{sub 10}) was 2.04. The temperature dependence of mercury flux was attributed to changes in the contaminant`s vapor pressure in the leaf interior. Mercury flux from foliage increased linearly as a function of irradiance within the range of 500 to 1,500 {micro}mol m/s, and the light enhancement of mercury flux was within a factor of 2.0 to 2.5 for all species. Even though the leaf-to-atmosphere diffusive path for mercury vapor from foliage is similar to that of water vapor, stomatal conductance played a secondary role in governing mercury flux. In a quantitative comparison with other studies in both laboratory and field settings, a strong linear relationship is evident between mercury vapor flux and the natural logarithm of soil mercury concentration, and this relationship may have predictive value in developing regional- and continental-scale mercury budgets. The most critical factors governing mercury flux from plants are mercury concentration in the soil, leaf area index, temperature, and irradiance.

  3. Mercury in mercury(II)-spiked soils is highly susceptible to plant bioaccumulation.

    PubMed

    Hlodák, Michal; Urík, Martin; Matúš, Peter; Kořenková, Lucia

    2016-01-01

    Heavy metal phytotoxicity assessments usually use soluble metal compounds in spiked soils to evaluate metal bioaccumulation, growth inhibition and adverse effects on physiological parameters. However, exampling mercury phytotoxicity for barley (Hordeum vulgare) this paper highlights unsuitability of this experimental approach. Mercury(II) in spiked soils is extremely bioavailable, and there experimentally determined bioaccumulation is significantly higher compared to reported mercury bioaccumulation efficiency from soils collected from mercury-polluted areas. Our results indicate this is not affected by soil sorption capacity, thus soil ageing and formation of more stable mercuric complexes with soil fractions is necessary for reasonable metal phytotoxicity assessments. PMID:26247328

  4. Mercury

    MedlinePlus

    Mercury is an element that is found in air, water and soil. It has several forms. Metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white, odorless liquid. If ... with other elements to form powders or crystals. Mercury is in many products. Metallic mercury is used ...

  5. Mercury in soil gas and air--A potential tool in mineral exploration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCarthy, Joseph Howard; Vaughn, W.W.; Learned, R.E.; Meuschke, J.L.

    1969-01-01

    The mercury content in soil gas and in the atmosphere was measured in several mining districts to test the possibility that the mercury content in the atmosphere is higher over ore deposits than over barren ground. At Cortez, Nev., the distribution of anorhalous amounts of mercury in the air collected at ground level (soil gas) correlates well with the distribution of gold-bearing rocks that are covered by as much as 100 feet of gravel. The mercury content in the atmosphere collected at an altitude of 200 feet by an aircraft was 20 times background over a mercury posit and 10 times background over two porphyry copper deposits. Measurement of mercury in soil gas and air may prove to be a valuable exploration tool.

  6. Thermal-treated soil for mercury removal: Soil and phytotoxicity tests

    SciTech Connect

    Roh, Y.; Edwards, N.T.; Lee, S.Y.; Stiles, C.A.; Armes, S.; Foss, J.E.

    2000-04-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of soils and sediments is one of many environmental problems at the Oak Ridge Reservation, Oak Ridge, TN. Mercury-contaminated soil from the Lower East Fork Poplar Creek (LEFPC) at the Oak Ridge Reservation was treated thermally to reduce Hg concentration to a below target level (20 mg kg{sup {minus}1}) as a pilot scale thermal treatment demonstration. As a part of performance evaluation, the soil characteristics and plant growth response of the untreated and treated soil were examined. The soil treated at 350 C retained most of its original soil properties, but the soil treated at 600 C exhibited considerable changes in mineralogical composition and physicochemical characteristics. Growth and physiological response of the three plant species radish (Raphanus sativus L.), fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), and oat (Avena sativa L.) indicated adverse effects of the thermal treatment. The addition of N fertilizer had beneficial effects in the 350 C treated soil, but had little beneficial effect in the 600 C treated soil. Some changes of soil characteristics induced by thermal treatment cannot be avoided. Soil characteristics and phytotoxicity test results strongly suggest that changes occurring following the 350 C treatment do not limit the use of the treated soil to refill the excavated site for full-scale remediation. The only problem with the 350 C treatment is that small amounts of Hg compounds (<15 mg kg{sup {minus}1}) remain in the soil and a processing cost of $45/Mg.

  7. Mercury transportation in soil via using gypsum from flue gas desulfurization unit in coal-fired power plant.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kelin; Orndorff, William; Cao, Yan; Pan, Weiping

    2013-09-01

    The mercury flux in soils was investigated, which were amended by gypsums from flue gas desulphurization (FGD) units of coal-fired power plants. Studies have been carried out in confined greenhouses using FGD gypsum treated soils. Major research focus is uptakes of mercury by plants, and emission of mercury into the atmosphere under varying application rates of FGD gypsum, simulating rainfall irrigations, soils, and plants types. Higher FGD gypsum application rates generally led to higher mercury concentrations in the soils, the increased mercury emissions into the atmosphere, and the increased mercury contents in plants (especially in roots and leaves). Soil properties and plant species can play important roles in mercury transports. Some plants, such as tall fescue, were able to prevent mercury from atmospheric emission and infiltration in the soil. Mercury concentration in the stem of plants was found to be increased and then leveled off upon increasing FGD gypsum application. However, mercury in roots and leaves was generally increased upon increasing FGD gypsum application rates. Some mercury was likely absorbed by leaves of plants from emitted mercury in the atmosphere. PMID:24520729

  8. Mercury

    MedlinePlus

    ... mainly by microscopic organisms in the water and soil. More mercury in the environment can increase the ... from manufacturing plants. It enters the water or soil from natural deposits, disposal of wastes, and volcanic ...

  9. Effects of the soil microbial community on mobile proportions and speciation of mercury (Hg) in contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Száková, Jiřina; Havlíčková, Jitka; Šípková, Adéla; Gabriel, Jiří; Švec, Karel; Baldrian, Petr; Sysalová, Jiřina; Coufalík, Pavel; Červenka, Rostislav; Zvěřina, Ondřej; Komárek, Josef; Tlustoš, Pavel

    2016-03-20

    The precise characterization of the behavior of individual microorganisms in the presence of increased mercury contents in soil is necessary for better elucidation of the fate of mercury in the soil environment. In our investigation, resistant bacterial strains isolated from two mercury contaminated soils, represented by Paenibacillus alginolyticus, Burkholderia glathei, Burkholderia sp., and Pseudomonas sp., were used. Two differently contaminated soils (0.5 and 7 mg kg(-1) total mercury) were chosen. Preliminary soil analysis showed the presence of methylmercury and phenylmercury with the higher soil mercury level. Modified rhizobox experiments were performed to assess the ability of mercury accumulating strains to deplete the mobile and mobilizable mercury portions in the soil by modification; microbial agar cultures were used rather than the plant root zone. A sequential extraction procedure was performed to release the following mercury fractions: water soluble, extracted in acidic conditions, bound to humic substances, elemental, and bound to complexes, HgS and residual. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and a single-purpose atomic absorption spectrometer (AMA-254) were applied for mercury determination in the samples and extracts. Gas chromatography coupled to atomic fluorescence spectrometry (GC-AFS) was used for the determination of organomercury compounds. The analysis of the microbial community at the end of the experiment showed a 42% abundance of Paenibacillus sp. followed by Acetivibrio sp., Brevibacillus sp., Cohnella sp., Lysinibacillus sp., and Clostridium sp. not exceeding 2% abundance. The results suggest importance of Paenibacillus sp. in Hg transformation processes. This genus should be tested for potential bioremediation use in further research. PMID:26761522

  10. Accumulation of mercury in selected plant species grown in soils contaminated with different mercury compounds

    SciTech Connect

    Su, Yi; Han, Fengxiang; Shiyab, Safwan; Chen, Jian; Monts, David L.

    2007-07-01

    The objective of our research is to screen and search for suitable plant species for phyto-remediation of mercury-contaminated soil. Currently our effort is specifically focused on mercury removal from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites, where mercury contamination is a major concern. In order to cost effectively implement mercury remediation efforts, it is necessary now to obtain an improved understanding of biological means of removing mercury and mercury compounds.. Phyto-remediation is a technology that uses various plants to degrade, extract, contain, or immobilize contaminants from soil and water. In particular, phyto-extraction is the uptake of contaminants by plant roots and translocation within the plants to shoots or leaves. Contaminants are generally removed by harvesting the plants. We have investigated phyto-extraction of mercury from contaminated soil by using some of the known metal-accumulating plants since no natural plant species with mercury hyper-accumulating properties has yet been identified. Different natural plant species have been studied for mercury uptake, accumulation, toxicity and overall mercury removal efficiency. Various mercury compounds, such as HgS, HgCl{sub 2}, and Hg(NO{sub 3}){sub 2}, were used as contaminant sources. Different types of soil were examined and chosen for phyto-remediation experiments. We have applied microscopy and diffuse reflectance spectrometry as well as conventional analytical chemistry to monitor the phyto-remediation processes of mercury uptake, translocation and accumulation, and the physiological impact of mercury contaminants on selected plant species. Our results indicate that certain plant species, such as beard grass (Polypogon monospeliensis), accumulated a very limited amount of mercury in the shoots (<65 mg/kg), even though root mercury accumulation is significant (maximum 2298 mg/kg). Consequently, this plant species may not be suitable for mercury phyto-remediation. Other plant species, such as Indian mustard (Brassica juncea), a well-studied metal accumulator, exhibited severe chlorosis symptoms during some experiments. Among all the plant species studied, Chinese brake fern (Pteris vittata) accumulated significant amount of mercury in both roots and shoots and hence may be considered as a potential candidate for mercury phyto-extraction. During one experiment, Chinese brake ferns accumulated 540 mg/kg and 1469 mg/kg in shoots after 18 days of growing in soils treated with 500 parts-per-million (ppm) and 1000 ppm HgCl{sub 2} powder, respectively; no visual stress symptoms were observed. We also studied mercury phyto-remediation using aged soils that contained HgS, HgCl{sub 2}, or Hg(NO{sub 3}){sub 2}. We have found that up to hundreds of ppm mercury can be accumulated in the roots of Indian mustard plants grown with soil contaminated by mercury sulfide; HgS is assumed to be the most stable and also the predominant mercury form in flood plain soils. We have also started to investigate different mercury uptake mechanisms, such as root uptake of soil contaminant and foliar mercury accumulation from ambient air. We have observed mercury translocation from roots to shoot for Chinese fern and two Indian mustard varieties. (authors)

  11. Potential anthropogenic mobilisation of mercury and arsenic from soils on mineralised rocks, Northland, New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Craw, D

    2005-02-01

    Eroded roots of hot spring systems in Northland, New Zealand consist of mineralised rocks containing sulfide minerals. Marcasite and cinnabar are the dominant sulfides with subordinate pyrite. Deep weathering and leached soil formation has occurred in a warm temperate to subtropical climate with up to 3 m/year rainfall. Decomposition of the iron sulfides in natural and anthropogenic rock exposures yields acid rock drainage with pH typically between 2 and 4, and locally down to pH 1. Soils and weathered rocks developed on basement greywacke have negligible acid neutralisation capacity. Natural rainforest soils have pH between 4 and 5 on unmineralised greywacke, and pH is as low as 3.5 in soils on mineralised rocks. Roads with aggregate made from mineralised rocks have pH near 3, and quarries from which the rock was extracted can have pH down to 1. Mineralised rocks are enriched in arsenic and mercury, both of which are environmentally available as solid solution impurities in iron sulfides and phosphate minerals. Base metals (Cu, Pb, Zn) are present at low levels in soils, at or below typical basement rock background. Decomposition of the iron sulfides releases the solid solution arsenic and mercury into the acid rock drainage solutions. Phosphate minerals release their impurities only under strongly acid conditions (pH<1). Arsenic and mercury are adsorbed on to iron oxyhydroxides in soils, concentrated in the C horizon, with up to 4000 ppm arsenic and 100 ppm mercury. Waters emanating from acid rock drainage areas have arsenic and mercury below drinking water limits. Leaching experiments and theoretical predictions indicate that both arsenic and mercury are least mobile in acid soils, at pH of c. 3-4. This optimum pH range for fixation of arsenic and mercury on iron oxyhydroxides in soils is similar to natural pH at the field site of this study. However, neutralisation of acid soils developed on mineralised rocks is likely to decrease adsorption and enhance mobility of arsenic and mercury. Hence, development of farmland by clearing forest and adding agricultural lime may mobilise arsenic and mercury from underlying soils on mineralised rocks. In addition, arsenic and mercury release into runoff water will be enhanced where sediment is washed off mineralised road aggregate (pH 3) on to farm land (pH>6). The naturally acid forest soils, or even lower pH of natural acid rock drainage, are the most desirable environmental conditions to restrict dissolution of arsenic and mercury from soils. This approach is only valid where mineralised soils have low base metal concentrations. PMID:15644268

  12. Engineering tobacco to remove mercury from polluted soil.

    PubMed

    Chang, S; Wei, F; Yang, Y; Wang, A; Jin, Z; Li, J; He, Y; Shu, H

    2015-04-01

    Tobacco is an ideal plant for modification to remove mercury from soil. Although several transgenic tobacco strains have been developed, they either release elemental mercury directly into the air or are only capable of accumulating small quantities of mercury. In this study, we constructed two transgenic tobacco lines: Ntk-7 (a tobacco plant transformed with merT-merP-merB1-merB2-ppk) and Ntp-36 (tobacco transformed with merT-merP-merB1-merB2-pcs1). The genes merT, merP, merB1, and merB2 were obtained from the well-known mercury-resistant bacterium Pseudomonas K-62. Ppk is a gene that encodes polyphosphate kinase, a key enzyme for synthesizing polyphosphate in Enterobacter aerogenes. Pcs1 is a tobacco gene that encodes phytochelatin synthase, which is the key enzyme for phytochelatin synthesis. The genes were linked with LP4/2A, a sequence that encodes a well-known linker peptide. The results demonstrate that all foreign genes can be abundantly expressed. The mercury resistance of Ntk-7 and Ntp-36 was much higher than that of the wild type whether tested with organic mercury or with mercuric ions. The transformed plants can accumulate significantly more mercury than the wild type, and Ntp-36 can accumulate more mercury from soil than Ntk-7. In mercury-polluted soil, the mercury content in Ntp-36's root can reach up to 251 μg/g. This is the first report to indicate that engineered tobacco can not only accumulate mercury from soil but also retain this mercury within the plant. Ntp-36 has good prospects for application in bioremediation for mercury pollution. PMID:25690353

  13. Mercury mobility and bioavailability in soil from contaminated area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boszke, Leonard; Kowalski, Artur; Astel, Aleksander; Barański, Andrzej; Gworek, Barbara; Siepak, Jerzy

    2008-09-01

    The mobility and bioavailability of mercury in the soil from the area near a plant using elemental mercury for manufacturing thermometers, areometers, glass energy switches and other articles made of technical glass has been evaluated. Mercury has been determined by sequential extraction method and with additional thermo desorption stage to determine elemental mercury. The procedure of sequential extraction involves five subsequent stages performed with the solutions of chloroform, deionized water, 0.5 M HCl, 0.2 M NaOH and aqua regia. The mean concentration of total mercury in soil was 147 ± 107 μg g-1 dry mass (range 62-393), and the fractionation revealed that mercury was mainly bound to sulfides 56 ± 8% (range 45-66), one of the most biounavailable and immobile species of mercury in the environment. The fractions that brought lower contribution to the total mercury content were semi-mobile humic matter 22 ± 9% (range 11-34) and elemental mercury 17 ± 5% (range 8-23). The contributions brought by the highly mobile and toxic organomercury compounds were still lower 2.3 ± 2.7% (range 0.01-6.5). The lowest contributions brought the acid-soluble mercury 1.5 ± 1.3% (range 0.1-3.5) and water-soluble mercury 1.0 ± 0.3% (range 0.6-1.7). The surface layer of soil (0-20 cm) was characterized by higher mercury concentrations than that of the subsurface soil (60-80 cm), but the fractional contributions were comparable. The comparison of mercury fractionation results obtained in this study for highly polluted soils with results of fractionation of uncontaminated or moderately contaminated samples of soil and sediments had not shown significant statistical differences; however, in the last samples elemental mercury is usually present at very low concentrations. On the basis of obtained correlation coefficients it seems that elemental mercury soils from “Areometer” plant are contaminated; the main transformation is its vaporization to atmosphere and oxidation to divalent mercury, probably mainly mediated by organic matter, and next bound to humic matter and sulfides.

  14. In situ remediation technologies for mercury-contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    He, Feng; Gao, Jie; Pierce, Eric; Strong, P J; Wang, Hailong; Liang, Liyuan

    2015-06-01

    Mercury from anthropogenic activities is a pollutant that poses significant risks to humans and the environment. In soils, mercury remediation can be technically challenging and costly, depending on the subsurface mercury distribution, the types of mercury species, and the regulatory requirements. This paper introduces the chemistry of mercury and its implications for in situ mercury remediation, which is followed by a detailed discussion of several in situ Hg remediation technologies in terms of applicability, cost, advantages, and disadvantages. The effect of Hg speciation on remediation performance, as well as Hg transformation during different remediation processes, was detailed. Thermal desorption, electrokinetic, and soil flushing/washing treatments are removal technologies that mobilize and capture insoluble Hg species, while containment, solidification/stabilization, and vitrification immobilize Hg by converting it to less soluble forms. Two emerging technologies, phytoremediation and nanotechnology, are also discussed in this review. PMID:25850737

  15. Pilot Survey of Levels of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins (Pcdds), Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans (Pcdfs), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) and Mercury in Rural Soils of the U.S.

    EPA Science Inventory

    soil_thumb.jpg" align="right" vspace = "5" hspace="5" Alt = "Cover of the Pilot Survey Soil Report"> EPA has released a final report entitled, Pilot Survey of Levels of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxins, Polychl...

  16. Human and ecological remediation goals for soil mercury at East Fork Poplar Creek, Oak Ridge, TN

    SciTech Connect

    Zafran, F.A.; Cornaby, B.W.; Hadden, C.T.

    1995-12-31

    Mercury, used in the past production of enriched lithium by the Department of Energy, is the principal chemical of concern in the 14-mile floodplain of East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC). SAIC has developed risk-based remediation goal options (RGOS) for mercury in EFPC soils to protect the most sensitive human receptors. The existing chronic oral RfD for mercury is based on exposure of laboratory species to mercuric chloride. However, speciation and leaching/availability studies (conducted by EPA EMSL and Oak Ridge National Laboratory) indicated less soluble and less toxic mercury species, principally mercuric sulfide, with measurable quantities of metallic mercury also present, predominate in EFPC floodplain soils. SAIC derived human health RGOs using deterministic and probabilistic methods and incorporated the probability density function for bioavailability of mercury species from leaching/availability data generated by ORNL. Monte Carlo simulation was used in uncertainty analysis and supported the derivation of a protective, but realistic risk-based remediation goal of 400 mg mercury/kg soil. For ecological risk assessment, RGOs were based on risks through food chains from contaminants in soil. The authors describe a terrestrial food-chain model of contaminant transfer to primary producers, first-order consumers, mid-level predators, and top-level predators. The model uses published toxicity data, site-specific contaminant concentrations, and bioaccumulation factors calculated from measured body burdens of floodplain organisms to compute RGOs for various combinations of exposure parameters. Model calculations show that under reasonably conservative conditions, mid-level predators have the highest exposures relative to dietary limits and, therefore, require the lowest soil-mercury RGOs. Mercury concentrations of {approximately}500 mg/kg are protective of the receptor populations exposed through food chains at this site.

  17. The role of natural purified humic acids in modifying mercury accessibility in water and soil

    SciTech Connect

    Cattani, I.; Zhang, H.; Beone, G.M.; Del Re, A.A.M.; Boccelli, R.; Trevisan, M.

    2009-03-15

    We investigated the influence of different humic acids (HAs, extracted from lignite, compost, and forest soil) on mercury mobility and availability both in a model solution and in soil samples from a mercury-polluted region. The technique of diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT), which is capable of measuring: (i) free metal in solution: (ii) dissociated metal complexes previously mobilized by HA; (iii) mobilized metal-HA complexes that liberate metals by dissociation or by exchange reaction between the metal-HA complexes and the chelating groups on the resin-gel, was used in solutions and soils. The DGT measurements in solution, together with ultrafiltration, allowed estimation of the lability of Hg-HA complexes. Ultrafiltration results were also compared with predictions made by the windermere humic-aqueous model (WHAM). According to both these different approaches, Hg{sup 2+} resulted nearly 100% complexed by HAs, whereas results from ultrafiltration showed that 32 to 72% of the CH{sub 4}Hg{sup +} was bound to the HAs, with higher values for compost and lower values for forest and Aldrich HA. The DGT-measured mercury in soils was below 0.20 {mu}g L{sup -1}, irrespective of the extent of the contamination. Addition of HA increased the concentration of DGT-measured mercury in soil solution up to 100-fold in the contaminated soil and up to 30-fold in the control soil. The level of the increase also depended on the HA. The smallest increase (about 10 times) was found for lignite HA in both control and contaminated soils. The addition of forest HA gave the largest increases in DGT-measured mercury, in particular for the contaminated soil. Overall, the results demonstrated that DGT can be used for estimating the lability of mercury complexes in solution and for verifying enhanced mercury mobility when HA is added to contaminated soils.

  18. Mercury release from deforested soils triggered by base cation enrichment.

    PubMed

    Farella, N; Lucotte, M; Davidson, R; Daigle, S

    2006-09-01

    The Brazilian Amazon has experienced considerable colonization in the last few decades. Family agriculture based on slash-and-burn enables millions of people to live in that region. However, the poor nutrient content of most Amazonian soils requires cation-rich ashes from the burning of the vegetation biomass for cultivation to be successful, which leads to forest ecosystem degradation, soil erosion and mercury contamination. While recent studies have suggested that mercury present in soils was transferred towards rivers upon deforestation, little is known about the dynamics between agricultural land-use and mercury leaching. In this context, the present study proposes an explanation that illustrates how agricultural land-use triggers mercury loss from soils. This explanation lies in the competition between base cations and mercury in soils which are characterized by a low adsorption capacity. Since these soils are naturally very poor in base cations, the burning of the forest biomass suddenly brings high quantities of base cations to soils, destabilizing the previous equilibrium amongst cations. Base cation enrichment triggers mobility in soil cations, rapidly dislocating mercury atoms. This conclusion comes from principal component analyses illustrating that agricultural land-use was associated with base cation enrichment and mercury depletion. The overall conclusions highlight a pernicious cycle: while soil nutrient enrichment actually occurs through biomass burning, although on a temporary basis, there is a loss in Hg content, which is leached to rivers, entering the aquatic chain, and posing a potential health threat to local populations. Data presented here reflects three decades of deforestation activities, but little is known about the long-term impact of such a disequilibrium. These findings may have repercussions on our understanding of the complex dynamics of deforestation and agriculture worldwide. PMID:16781764

  19. Impact of gold mining associated with mercury contamination in soil, biota sediments and tailings in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Odumo, Benjamin Okang'; Carbonell, Gregoria; Angeyo, Hudson Kalambuka; Patel, Jayanti Purshottam; Torrijos, Manuel; Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio

    2014-11-01

    This work considered the environmental impact of artisanal mining gold activity in the Migori-Transmara area (Kenya). From artisanal gold mining, mercury is released to the environment, thus contributing to degradation of soil and water bodies. High mercury contents have been quantified in soil (140 μg kg(-1)), sediment (430 μg kg(-1)) and tailings (8,900 μg kg(-1)), as expected. The results reveal that the mechanism for transporting mercury to the terrestrial ecosystem is associated with wet and dry depositions. Lichens and mosses, used as bioindicators of pollution, are related to the proximity to mining areas. The further the distance from mining areas, the lower the mercury levels. This study also provides risk maps to evaluate potential negative repercussions. We conclude that the Migori-Transmara region can be considered a strongly polluted area with high mercury contents. The technology used to extract gold throughout amalgamation processes causes a high degree of mercury pollution around this gold mining area. Thus, alternative gold extraction methods should be considered to reduce mercury levels that can be released to the environment. PMID:24943890

  20. Mercury Inhibits Soil Enzyme Activity in a Lower Concentration than the Guideline Value.

    PubMed

    Mahbub, Khandaker Rayhan; Krishnan, Kannan; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Naidu, Ravi

    2016-01-01

    Three soil types - neutral, alkaline and acidic were experimentally contaminated with nine different concentrations of inorganic mercury (0, 5, 10, 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300mg/kg) to derive effective concentrations of mercury that exert toxicity on soil quality. Bioavailability of mercury in terms of water solubility was lower in acidic soil with higher organic carbon. Dehydrogenase enzyme activity and nitrification rate were chosen as indicators to assess soil quality. Inorganic mercury significantly inhibited (p<0.001) microbial activities in the soils. The critical mercury contents (EC10) were found to be less than the available safe limits for inorganic mercury which demonstrated inadequacy of existing guideline values. PMID:26438177

  1. Mercury uptake by Silene vulgaris grown on contaminated spiked soils.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Sanz, Araceli; Millán, Rocío; Sierra, M José; Alarcón, Remedios; García, Pilar; Gil-Díaz, Mar; Vazquez, Saúl; Lobo, M Carmen

    2012-03-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic pollutant with expensive clean up, because of its accumulative and persistent character in the biota. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effectiveness of Silene vulgaris, facultative metallophyte which have populations on both non-contaminated and metalliferous soils, to uptake Hg from artificially polluted soils. A pot experiment was carried out in a rain shelter for a full growth period. Two soils (C pH = 8.55 O.M. 0.63% and A pH = 7.07 O.M. 0.16%) were used, previously contaminated with Hg as HgCl(2) (0.6 and 5.5 mg Hg kg(-1) soil). Plants grew healthy and showed good appearance throughout the study without significantly decreasing biomass production. Mercury uptake by plants increased with the mercury concentration found in both soils. Differences were statistically significant between high dosage and untreated soil. The fact that S. vulgaris retains more mercury in root than in shoot and also, the well known effectiveness of these plants in the recovering of contaminated soils makes S. vulgaris a good candidate to phytostabilization technologies. PMID:20708330

  2. Vapor phase elemental sulfur amendment for sequestering mercury in contaminated soil

    DOEpatents

    Looney, Brian B.; Denham, Miles E.; Jackson, Dennis G.

    2014-07-08

    The process of treating elemental mercury within the soil is provided by introducing into the soil a heated vapor phase of elemental sulfur. As the vapor phase of elemental sulfur cools, sulfur is precipitated within the soil and then reacts with any elemental mercury thereby producing a reaction product that is less hazardous than elemental mercury.

  3. Natural mercury isotope variation in coal deposits and organic soils

    SciTech Connect

    Abir, Biswas; Joel D. Blum; Bridget A. Bergquist; Gerald J. Keeler; Zhouqing Xie

    2008-11-15

    There is a need to distinguish among sources of Hg to the atmosphere in order to more fully understand global Hg pollution. In this study we investigate whether coal deposits within the United States, China, and Russia-Kazakhstan, which are three of the five greatest coal-producing regions, have diagnostic Hg isotopic fingerprints that can be used to discriminate among Hg sources. We also investigate the Hg isotopic composition of modern organic soil horizons developed in areas distant from point sources of Hg in North America. Mercury stored in coal deposits displays a wide range of both mass dependent fractionation and mass independent fractionation. {delta}{sup 202}Hg varies in coals by 3{per_thousand} and {Delta}{sup 201}Hg varies by 0.9{per_thousand}. Combining these two Hg isotope signals results in what may be a unique isotopic 'fingerprint' for many coal deposits. Mass independent fractionation of mercury has been demonstrated to occur during photochemical reactions of mercury. This suggests that Hg found in most coal deposits was subjected to photochemical reduction near the Earth's surface prior to deposition. The similarity in MDF and MIF of modern organic soils and coals from North America suggests that Hg deposition from coal may have imprinted an isotopic signature on soils. This research offers a new tool for characterizing mercury inputs from natural and anthropogenic sources to the atmosphere and provides new insights into the geochemistry of mercury in coal and soils. 35 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  4. Effects of metal-soil contact time on the extraction of mercury from soils.

    PubMed

    Ma, Lan; Zhong, Huan; Wu, Yong-Gui

    2015-03-01

    To investigate the mercury aging process in soils, soil samples were spiked with inorganic mercury (Hg(II)) or methylated mercury (MeHg) and incubated for 2, 7, 14 or 28 days in the laboratory. Potential availability of mercury, assessed by bovine serum albumin (BSA) or calcium chloride (CaCl2) extraction, decreased by 2-19 times for Hg(II) or 2-6 times for MeHg, when the contact time increased from 2 to 28 days. Decreased Hg(II) extraction could be explained by Hg(II) geochemical fractionation, i.e., Hg(II) migrated from more mobile fractions (water soluble and stomach acid soluble fractions) to refractory ones (organo-complexed, strongly complexed and residual fractions) over time, resulting in more stable association of Hg(II) with soils. In addition, decrease of mercury extraction was more evident in soils with lower organic content in most treatments, suggesting that organic matter may potentially play an important role in mercury aging process. In view of the significant decreased Hg(II) or MeHg extraction with prolonged contact time, mercury aging process should be taken into account when assessing risk of mercury in contaminated soils. PMID:25613855

  5. Mercury in waters, soils, and sediments of the New Jersey Coastal Plain: A comparison of regional distribution and mobility with the mercury contamination at the William J. Hughes Technical Center, Atlantic County, New Jersey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barringer, Julia L.; Szabo, Zoltan; Reilly, Pamela A.

    2012-01-01

    Mercury in soils, surface water, and groundwater at the William J. Hughes Technical Center , Atlantic County, New Jersey, has been found at levels that exceed established background concentrations in Coastal Plain waters, and, in some cases, New Jersey State standards for mercury in various media. As of 2012, it is not known whether this mercury is part of regional mercury contamination or whether it is related to former military activities. Regionally, groundwater supplying about 700 domestic wells in the New Jersey Coastal Plain is contaminated with mercury that appears to be derived from anthropogenic inputs, such as agricultural pesticide use and atmospheric deposition. High levels of mercury occasionally are found in Coastal Plain soils, but disturbance during residential development on former agricultural land is thought to have mobilized any mercury applied during farming, a hypothesis borne out by experiments leaching mercury from soils. In the unsewered residential areas with mercury-contaminated groundwater, septic-system effluent is believed to create reducing conditions in which mercury sorbed to subsoils is mobilized to groundwater. In comparing the levels of mercury found in soils, sediments, streamwater, and groundwater at the William J. Hughes Technical Center site with those found regionally, mercury concentrations in groundwater in the region are, in some cases, substantially higher than those found in groundwater at the William J. Hughes Technical Center site. Nevertheless, concentrations of mercury in streamwater at the site are, in some instances, higher than most found regionally. The mercury contents in soils and sediment at the William J. Hughes Technical Center site are substantially higher than those found to date (2012) in the region, indicating that a source other than regional sources may be present at the site.

  6. Feather growth influences blood mercury level of young songbirds.

    PubMed

    Condon, Anne M; Cristol, Daniel A

    2009-02-01

    Dynamics of mercury in feathers and blood of free-living songbirds is poorly understood. Nestling eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) living along the mercury-contaminated South River (Virginia, USA) had blood mercury levels an order of magnitude lower than their parents (nestling: 0.09 +/- 0.06 mg/kg [mean +/- standard deviation], n = 156; adult: 1.21 +/- 0.57 mg/kg, n = 86). To test whether this low blood mercury was the result of mercury sequestration in rapidly growing feathers, we repeatedly sampled free-living juveniles throughout the period of feather growth and molt. Mean blood mercury concentrations increased to 0.52 +/- 0.36 mg/kg (n = 44) after the completion of feather growth. Some individuals had reached adult blood mercury levels within three months of leaving the nest, but levels dropped to 0.20 +/- 0.09 mg/kg (n = 11) once the autumn molt had begun. Most studies of mercury contamination in juvenile birds have focused on recently hatched young with thousands of rapidly growing feathers. However, the highest risk period for mercury intoxication in young birds may be during the vulnerable period after fledging, when feathers no longer serve as a buffer against dietary mercury. We found that nestling blood mercury levels were not indicative of the extent of contamination because a large portion of the ingested mercury ended up in feathers. The present study demonstrates unequivocally that in songbirds blood mercury level is influenced strongly by the growth and molt of feathers. PMID:18937528

  7. Bioavailability of mercury in East Fork Poplar Creek soils

    SciTech Connect

    Barnett, M.O.; Turner, R.R.

    1995-05-01

    The initial risk assessment for the East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) floodplain in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a superfund site heavily contaminated with mercury, was based upon a reference dose for mercuric chloride, a soluble mercury compound not expected to be present in the floodplain, which is frequently saturated with water. Previous investigations had suggested mercury in the EFPC floodplain was less soluble and therefore less bioavailable than mercuric chloride, possibly making the results of the risk assessment unduly conservative. A bioavailability study, designed to measure the amount of mercury available for absorption in a child`s digestive tract, the most critical risk endpoint and pathway, was performed on twenty soils from the EFPC floodplain. The average percentage of mercury released during the study for the twenty soils was 5.3%, compared to 100% of the compound mercuric chloride subjected to the same conditions. Alteration of the procedure to test additional conditions possible during soil digestion did not appreciably alter the results. Therefore, use of a reference dose for mercuric chloride in the EFPC risk assessment without inclusion of a corresponding bioavailability factor may be unduly conservative.

  8. Sources of mercury in groundwater and soils of west Gijón (Asturias, NW Spain).

    PubMed

    González-Fernández, B; Menéndez-Casares, E; Meléndez-Asensio, Mónica; Fernández-Menéndez, Susana; Ramos-Muñiz, F; Cruz-Hernández, P; González-Quirós, A

    2014-05-15

    This work aimed to determine the cause of the presence of high concentrations of mercury in several springs that exhibit a low concentration of metals in the bedrocks of their recharge areas in Gijón, NW Spain and the extent of this contamination. On the basis of geological mapping, different lithological substrata were analysed at the regional scale with the objective of establishing the base level of mercury in natural soils. The mercury content was simultaneously analysed in several water samples, and the following parameters were also determined: major anions and cations, As, Pb, δ(34)S, and δ(18)OSO4. The soils of the recharge area of the springs exhibited Hg concentrations that were higher than the base level established for sandstone at the regional level, and four of the total number of springs analysed exhibited Hg concentrations higher than 1 μg/l. In addition, the sulphate concentration exceeded the values that this type of aquifer shows in other parts of the region. A comparison between the regionally geochemical background of soils and mercury concentration in springs and soils of the study area did not exhibit a direct relationship, suggesting an anthropogenic and timely origin (most likely from industrial emissions) for this metal. The δ(34)S and δ(18)OSO4 values of dissolved sulphate from the springs with a higher Hg concentration also indicate an anthropogenic origin. PMID:24602906

  9. Atmospheric deposition of mercury in Atlantic Forest and ecological risk to soil fauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cristhy Buch, Andressa; Cabral Teixeira, Daniel; Fernandes Correia, Maria Elizabeth; Vieira Silva-Filho, Emmanoel

    2014-05-01

    The increasing levels of mercury (Hg) found in the atmosphere nowadays has a great contribution from anthropogenic sources and has been a great concern in the past two decades in industrialized countries. Brazil is the seventh country with the highest rate of mercury in the atmosphere. Certainly, the petroleum refineries have significant contribution, seen that 100 million m3 of crude oil are annually processed. These refineries contribute with low generation of solid waste; however, a large fraction of Hg can be emitted to the atmosphere. There are sixteen refineries in Brazil, three of them located in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The Hg is a toxic and hazardous trace element, naturally found in the earth crust. The major input of Hg to ecosystems is through atmospheric deposition (wet and dry), being transported in the atmosphere over large distances. The forest biomes are of great importance in the atmosphere/soil cycling of elemental Hg through foliar uptake and subsequent transfer to the soil through litterfall, which play an important role as Hg sink. The Atlantic Forest of Brazil is the greater contributor of fauna and flora biodiversity in the world and, according to recent studies, this biome has the highest concentrations of mercury in litter in the world, as well as in China, at Subtropical Forest. Ecotoxicological assessments can predict the potential ecological risk of Hg toxicity in the soil can lead to impact the soil fauna and indirectly other trophic levels of the food chain within one or more ecosystems. This study aims to determine mercury levels that represent risks to diversity and functioning of soil fauna in tropical forest soils. The study is conducted in two forest areas inserted into conservation units of Rio de Janeiro state. One area is located next to an important petroleum refinery in activity since fifty-two years ago, whereas the other one is located next to other refinery under construction (beginning activities in 2015), which will be the largest refinery of Brazil and, consequently, with less anthropogenic influences for the moment. Ecological risk assessments are conducted together with ecotoxicological tests in natural and artificial tropical soils, using exotic and native species of the soil fauna, naturally present in the area of study, in order to determine the risk of mercury in soil and litter in tropical forest. Previous results confirm higher concentrations of mercury in litter and soil of the forest area closest to the operating refinery. The presence of Hg seems to select the size of the organisms as well as the abundance and diversity of the soil fauna that remain in tropical forest.

  10. Stability and bioavailability of mercury sulfide in Oak Ridge Soils

    SciTech Connect

    Han, F.; Shiyab, S.; Su, Y.; Monts, D.L.; Waggoner, C.A.; Matta, F.B.

    2007-07-01

    During the 1950's and 1960's, a large amount of elemental mercury escaped confinement and is still present in the buildings and grounds of the U.S. Department of Energy's Y-12 National Security Facility and in the Y-12 Watershed in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. Because of the adverse effects of elemental mercury and mercury compounds upon human health, the Oak Ridge Site is engaged in an on-going effort to monitor and remediate the area. In order to more cost effectively implement those extensive remediation efforts, it is necessary now to obtain an improved understanding of the role that mercury and mercury compounds play in the Oak Ridge ecosystem. Specifically, the long-term bioavailability, stability, and mobility of mercury species in contaminated terrestrial and aquatic environments of the Oak Ridge ecosystem under a range of biogeochemical conditions are not well understood. Mercury can be expected to be present in various forms. These species can be transformed from one form into another thus bioavailability, toxicity, and mobility can change as a function of the biogeochemical conditions. The kinetics of these transformations is currently unknown. We have conducted pilot scale experiments to study the bioavailability of mercury sulfide (HgS) in Oak Ridge soils. The effects of plants and incubation time on chemical stability and bioavailability of HgS under simulated conditions of the Oak Ridge ecosystem have been examined, as has the dynamics of the dissolution of HgS by various extractants. The results show that HgS in contaminated Oak Ridge soils was still to some extent bioavailable to plants. (authors)

  11. Mercury exposure in French Guiana: Levels and determinants

    SciTech Connect

    Cordier, S.; Mandereau, L.; Grasmick, C.; Paquier-Passelaigue, M.; Weber, J.P.; Jouan, M.

    1998-07-01

    Mercury is used widely for gold extraction in French Guiana and throughout the entire Amazon basin. To evaluate contamination among the general population, the authors chose individuals who attended 13 health centers and maternity hospitals dispersed geographically across the territory and served Guiana`s different populations. Five hundred individuals (109 pregnant women, 255 other adults, and 136 children) who received care at one of the centers were selected randomly for this study. Each individual answered a questionnaire and provided a hair sample. The authors determined mercury in hair with atomic absorption spectrometry. The following mean levels of mercury were observed: 1.6 {micro}g/g among pregnant women; 3.4 {micro}g/g among other adults; and 2.5 {micro}g/g among children. Diet factors contributed the most to mercury levels, especially consumption of freshwater fish and livers from game. Other factors, including age, dental amalgams, use of skin-lightening cosmetics, and residence near a gold-mining community, did not contribute significantly to mercury levels. Overall, 12% of the samples contained mercury levels in excess of 10 {micro}g/g, but in some Amerindian communities up to 79% of the children had hair mercury levels that exceeded 10 {micro}g/g. The results of this study indicated that (a) diet played a predominant role in total mercury burden, and (b) in some communities, mercury contamination exceeded safe levels.

  12. Bioremediation potential of a highly mercury resistant bacterial strain Sphingobium SA2 isolated from contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Mahbub, Khandaker Rayhan; Krishnan, Kannan; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Naidu, Ravi

    2016-02-01

    A mercury resistant bacterial strain, SA2, was isolated from soil contaminated with mercury. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of this isolate showed 99% sequence similarity to the genera Sphingobium and Sphingomonas of α-proteobacteria group. However, the isolate formed a distinct phyletic line with the genus Sphingobium suggesting the strain belongs to Sphingobium sp. Toxicity studies indicated resistance to high levels of mercury with estimated EC50 values 4.5 mg L(-1) and 44.15 mg L(-1) and MIC values 5.1 mg L(-1) and 48.48 mg L(-1) in minimal and rich media, respectively. The strain SA2 was able to volatilize mercury by producing mercuric reductase enzyme which makes it potential candidate for remediating mercury. ICP-QQQ-MS analysis of Hg supplemented culture solutions confirmed that almost 79% mercury in the culture suspension was volatilized in 6 h. A very small amount of mercury was observed to accumulate in cell pellets which was also evident according to ESEM-EDX analysis. The mercuric reductase gene merA was amplified and sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequence demonstrated sequence homology with α-proteobacteria and Ascomycota group. PMID:26378869

  13. Remediation of Mercury Contaminated Soils at the Miramas Site - 12243

    SciTech Connect

    Potier, G.; Chambon, F.

    2012-07-01

    Beneficial 'new' use of the Miramas Site is the remediation objective for a former light isotope manufacturing facility. Remediation operations will remove contaminated soils and materials and deconstruct facilities. The remediation objective is faced with project challenges and regulatory requirements that dictate/influence the outcome. The operation consists of the remediation of approximately 100,000 cubic meters of soil and the decommissioning of facilities. The types and ranges of waste are the result of historical processing activities (chemical facilities, pyrotechnic components storage, mining component treatment and light isotope manufacturing activities). Mercury is the primary component of the waste, but metals and organic compounds are also possible waste components. A thermal desorption process is used to remove Mercury from the polluted soil while a biological treatment is considered to the organic nitrate compound removal. A focus is done on the technologies used to remediate the Mercury contaminated soil. After few months of operation, the first results confirm that the technology choices were relevant and the soil remediation project is a success. The first successful month of operation at an industrial scale demonstrate that the Thermal Desorption is an efficient and relevant process to remediate large quantity of mercury contaminated soils. The project is on cost and the mercury removal should be end by 2014. The scrubbing is a good way to limit the volume of material to be treated with the Thermal Desorption Unit. The biological treatment is a promising process for the organic nitrate compound removal and testing at a pilot scale will be done in 2012. (authors)

  14. Bench-scale studies with mercury contaminated SRS soil

    SciTech Connect

    Cicero, C.A.

    1996-05-08

    The Savannah River Technology Center (SRTC) has been charactered by the Department of Enregy (DOE) - Office of Technology Development (OTD) to investigate vitrification technology for the treatment of Low Level Mixed Wastes (LLMW). In fiscal year 1995, LLW streams containing mercury and organics were targeted. This report will present the results of studies with mercury contaminated waste. In order to successfully apply vitrification technology to LLMW, the types and quantities of glass forming additives necessary for producing homogeneous glasses from the wastes had to be determined, and the treatment for the mercury portion had to also be determined. The selected additives had to ensure that a durable and leach resistant waste form was produced, while the mercury treatment had to ensure that hazardous amounts of mercury were not released into the environment.

  15. Incorporation of Decomposed Crop Straw Affects Potential Phytoavailability of Mercury in a Mining-Contaminated Farming Soil.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Huike; Zhong, Huan; Fu, Fangjing; Zeng, Zhen

    2015-08-01

    Recently, incorporation of crop straw into soils is being largely encouraged worldwide. To explore the possible influence of incorporation of decomposed crop straw on the speciation (i.e., inorganic mercury/IHg, and methylmercury/MMHg) and phytoavailability of mercury, mercury-contaminated farming soil was amended with different amounts (i.e., low, medium or high) of straw organic fertilizer (SF, mainly consisting of decomposed rice straw) or humus (HU) and incubated for a month. Potential phytoavailability of IHg, assessed by CaCl2 extraction, was significantly lower in soils amended with low/medium SF, possibly due to the immobilization effect of SF-organic matter on IHg. In contrast, phytoavailability of IHg was significantly higher in soils incorporated with high HU, possibly explained by the leaching effect of dissolved HU on soil-bound IHg. For MMHg, incorporation of medium/high HU significantly increased MMHg phytoavailability, while SF addition had little effect. Interestingly, MMHg levels in SF/HU amended soils were generally lower than that in soil receiving no amendment, probably because complexation of IHg with SF/HU organics decreased IHg availability to methylation microorganisms. Overall, current results suggested that incorporation of decomposed crop straw may have multiple effects on mercury biogeochemistry in soils, which should be considered when applying SF into mercury-contaminated farming soils. PMID:25855528

  16. Impact of Wildfire on Levels of Mercury in Forested Watershed Systems - Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodruff, Laurel G.; Sandheinrich, Mark B.; Brigham, Mark E.; Cannon, William F.

    2009-01-01

    Atmospheric deposition of mercury to remote lakes in mid-continental and eastern North America has increased approximately threefold since the mid-1800s (Swain and others, 1992; Fitzgerald and others, 1998; Engstrom and others, 2007). As a result, concerns for human and wildlife health related to mercury contamination have become widespread. Despite an apparent recent decline in atmospheric deposition of mercury in many areas of the Upper Midwest (Engstrom and Swain, 1997; Engstrom and others, 2007), lakes in which fish contain levels of mercury deemed unacceptable for human consumption and possibly unacceptable for fish-consuming wildlife are being detected with increasing frequency. In northern Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park (VNP) (fig. 1) protects a series of southern boreal lakes and wetlands situated on bedrock of the Precambrian Canadian Shield. Mercury contamination has become a significant resource issue within VNP as high concentrations of mercury in loons, bald eagle eaglets, grebes, northern pike, and other species of wildlife and fish have been found. The two most mercury-contaminated lakes in Minnesota, measured as methylmercury in northern pike (Esox lucius), are in VNP. Recent multidisciplinary U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research demonstrated that the bulk of the mercury in lake waters, soils, and fish in VNP results from atmospheric deposition (Wiener and others, 2006). The study by Wiener and others (2006) showed that the spatial distribution of mercury in watershed soils, lake waters, and age-1 yellow perch (Perca flavescens) within the Park was highly variable. The majority of factors correlated for this earlier study suggested that mercury concentrations in lake waters and age-1 yellow perch reflected the influence of ecosystem processes that affected within-lake microbial production and abundance of methylmercury (Wiener and others, 2006), while the distribution of mercury in watershed soils seemed to be partially dependent on forest disturbance, especially the historic forest fire pattern (Woodruff and Cannon, 2002). Forest fire has an essential role in the forest ecosystems of VNP (Heinselman, 1996). Because resource and land managers need to integrate both natural wildfire and prescribed fire in management plans, the potential influence of fire on an element as sensitive to the environment as mercury becomes a critical part of their decisionmaking. A number of recent studies have shown that while fire does have a significant impact on mercury at the landscape level, the observed effects of fire on aquatic environments are highly variable and unpredictable (Caldwell and others, 2000; Garcia and Carrigan, 2000; Kelly and others, 2006; Nelson and others, 2007). Caldwell and others (2000) described an increase in methylmercury in reservoir sediments resulting from mobilization and transport of charred vegetative matter following a fire in New Mexico. Krabbenhoft and Fink (2000) attributed increases in total mercury concentrations in young-of-the-year fish in the Florida Everglades to release of mercury resulting from peat oxidation following fires. A fivefold increase in whole-body mercury accumulation by rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) following a fire in Alberta, Canada, apparently resulted from increased nutrient concentrations that enhanced productivity and restructured the food web of a lake within the fire's burn footprint (Kelly and others, 2006). For this study, we determined the short-term effects of forest fire on mercury concentrations in terrestrial and aquatic environments in VNP by comparing and contrasting mercury concentrations in forest soils, lake waters, and age-1 yellow perch for a burned watershed and an adjacent lake, with similar samples from watersheds and lakes with no fire activity (control watersheds and lakes). The concentration of total mercury in whole, 1-year-old yellow perch serves as a good biological indicator for monitoring trends in methylmercury conce

  17. Mercury in terrestrial biomass and soils and factors determining atmospheric mercury sequestration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obrist, D.; Johnson, D. W.; Lindberg, S.; Luo, Y.

    2008-12-01

    Terrestrial carbon (C) pools play an important role in uptake, deposition, sequestration, and emission of atmospheric mercury (Hg). The objective of this study is to assess atmospheric Hg sequestration associated with vegetation and soil C pools in forest ecosystems. As part of an ongoing EPA STAR project, we are systematically evaluating Hg pools and fluxes associated with terrestrial C pools in all major ecosystem compartments (i.e., leaves, branches, bole, litter, soils) across selected US forest ecosystems. Results from the first five sites located in the remote western United States show that the dominant above-ground pool of mercury is associated with surface litter with smaller pools associated with leaves and branches. Mass concentrations greatly increase in the following order: green leaves, dry leaves, initial litter, partially decomposed litter, humus. Based on detailed comparison of stochiometric relationships (e.g., Hg/C and Hg/N ratios) we conclude that these concentration increases are dominated by additional atmospheric deposition retained in the decomposing plant material while exposed to the environment rather than by organic C losses during decomposition. The large majority of total ecosystem mercury, up to 98 percent, however, is sequestered belowground in the soils. Soil Hg accumulation across all sites is greatly determined by the availability of organic matter in these systems, with soil C and soil N explaining more than 90 percent of the variability in observed soil Hg stocks. Our results suggest that the availability of soil organic matter is the main determinant for retention of atmospheric inputs in soils and hence in terrestrial ecosystems. Ecosystem structure and soil organic accumulation hence determine the resilience of Hg in terrestrial ecosystems with important implication for the stability and runoff of atmospheric Hg deposition to surrounding waterbodies.

  18. Chronic atrophic gastritis in association with hair mercury level.

    PubMed

    Xue, Zeyun; Xue, Huiping; Jiang, Jianlan; Lin, Bing; Zeng, Si; Huang, Xiaoyun; An, Jianfu

    2014-11-01

    The objective of this study was to explore hair mercury level in association with chronic atrophic gastritis, a precancerous stage of gastric cancer (GC), and thus provide a brand new angle of view on the timely intervention of precancerous stage of GC. We recruited 149 healthy volunteers as controls and 152 patients suffering from chronic gastritis as cases. The controls denied upper gastrointestinal discomforts, and the cases were diagnosed as chronic superficial gastritis (n=68) or chronic atrophic gastritis (n=84). We utilized Mercury Automated Analyzer (NIC MA-3000) to detect hair mercury level of both healthy controls and cases of chronic gastritis. The statistic of measurement data was expressed as mean ± standard deviation, which was analyzed using Levene variance equality test and t test. Pearson correlation analysis was employed to determine associated factors affecting hair mercury levels, and multiple stepwise regression analysis was performed to deduce regression equations. Statistical significance is considered if p value is less than 0.05. The overall hair mercury level was 0.908949 ± 0.8844490 ng/g [mean ± standard deviation (SD)] in gastritis cases and 0.460198 ± 0.2712187 ng/g (mean±SD) in healthy controls; the former level was significantly higher than the latter one (p=0.000<0.01). The hair mercury level in chronic atrophic gastritis subgroup was 1.155220 ± 0.9470246 ng/g (mean ± SD) and that in chronic superficial gastritis subgroup was 0.604732 ± 0.6942509 ng/g (mean ± SD); the former level was significantly higher than the latter level (p<0.01). The hair mercury level in chronic superficial gastritis cases was significantly higher than that in healthy controls (p<0.05). The hair mercury level in chronic atrophic gastritis cases was significantly higher than that in healthy controls (p<0.01). Stratified analysis indicated that the hair mercury level in healthy controls with eating seafood was significantly higher than that in healthy controls without eating seafood (p<0.01) and that the hair mercury level in chronic atrophic gastritis cases was significantly higher than that in chronic superficial gastritis cases (p<0.01). Pearson correlation analysis indicated that eating seafood was most correlated with hair mercury level and positively correlated in the healthy controls and that the severity of gastritis was most correlated with hair mercury level and positively correlated in the gastritis cases. Multiple stepwise regression analysis indicated that the regression equation of hair mercury level in controls could be expressed as 0.262 multiplied the value of eating seafood plus 0.434, the model that was statistically significant (p<0.01). Multiple stepwise regression analysis also indicated that the regression equation of hair mercury level in gastritis cases could be expressed as 0.305 multiplied the severity of gastritis, the model that was also statistically significant (p<0.01). The graphs of regression standardized residual for both controls and cases conformed to normal distribution. The main positively correlated factor affecting the hair mercury level is eating seafood in healthy people whereas the predominant positively correlated factor affecting the hair mercury level is the severity of gastritis in chronic gastritis patients. That is to say, the severity of chronic gastritis is positively correlated with the level of hair mercury. The incessantly increased level of hair mercury possibly reflects the development of gastritis from normal stomach to superficial gastritis and to atrophic gastritis. The detection of hair mercury is potentially a means to predict the severity of chronic gastritis and possibly to insinuate the environmental mercury threat to human health in terms of gastritis or even carcinogenesis. PMID:25119602

  19. Phyto extraction and accumulation of mercury in selected plant species grown in soil contaminated with different mercury compounds

    SciTech Connect

    Su, Y.; Han, F.; Shiyab, S.; Monts, D.L.

    2007-07-01

    The objective of our research is to screen and search for suitable plant species for phyto-remediation of mercury-contaminated soil. Currently our effort is specifically focused on mercury removal from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge Site, where mercury contamination is a major concern in the Y-12 Watershed area. In order to cost effectively implement those remediation efforts currently planned for FY09, it is necessary now to obtain an improved understanding of biological means of removing mercury and mercury compounds from the Oak Ridge ecosystem. Phyto-remediation is a technology that uses various plants to degrade, extract, contain, or immobilize contaminants from soil and water. In particular, phyto-extraction is the uptake of contaminants by plant roots and translocation within the plants to shoots or leaves. Contaminants are generally removed by harvesting the plants. We have investigated phyto-extraction of mercury from contaminated soil by using some of the known metal accumulating wild plants since no natural plant species with mercury hyper-accumulating properties has yet been identified. Different natural plant species have been studied for mercury uptake, accumulation, toxicity and overall mercury removal efficiency. Various mercury compounds, such as HgS, HgCl{sub 2} and Hg(NO{sub 3}){sub 2}, were used as contaminant sources. Different types of soil were examined and chosen for phyto-remediation experiments. We have applied microscopy and diffuse reflectance spectrometry as well as conventional analytical chemistry to monitor the phyto-remediation processes of mercury uptake, translocation and accumulation; and the physiological impact of mercury contaminants on selected plant species. Our results indicate that certain plant species, such as beard grass (Polypogon monospeliensis), accumulated a very limited amount of mercury in the shoots (<65 mg/kg), even though root mercury accumulation is significant (maximum 2298 mg/kg). Consequently, this plant species may not be suitable for mercury phyto-remediation. Other plant species, such as Indian mustard (Brassica juncea), a well-studied metal accumulator, exhibited severe chlorosis symptoms during some experiments. Among all the plant species studied, Chinese brake fern (Pteris vittata) accumulated significant amount of mercury in both roots and shoots and hence may be considered as a potential candidate for mercury phyto-extraction. During one experiment, brake ferns accumulated 540 mg/kg and 1469 mg/kg in shoots after 18 days of growing in soils treated with 500 ppm and 1000 ppm HgCl{sub 2} powder, respectively; no visual stress symptoms were observed. We also studied mercury phyto-remediation using aged soils that contaminated HgS, HgCl{sub 2}, and Hg(NO{sub 3}){sub 2}. We have found that up to hundreds of ppm mercury can be accumulated in the roots of Indian mustard plants grown with soil contaminated by mercury sulfide; HgS is assumed to be the most stable and also the predominant mercury form in Oak Ridge flood plain soils. We have also started to investigate different mercury uptake mechanisms, such as root uptake of soil contaminant and foliar mercury accumulation from ambient air. (authors)

  20. Distribution and fractionation of mercury in the soils of a unique tropical agricultural wetland ecosystem, southwest coast of India.

    PubMed

    Navya, C; Gopikrishna, V G; Arunbabu, V; Mohan, Mahesh

    2015-12-01

    Mercury biogeochemistry is highly complex in the aquatic ecosystems and it is very difficult to predict. The speciation of mercury is the primary factor controlling its behavior, movement, and fate in these systems. The fluctuating water levels in wetlands could play a major role in the mercury transformations and transport. Hence, the agricultural wetlands may have a significant influence on the global mercury cycling. Kuttanad agricultural wetland ecosystem is a unique one as it is lying below the sea level and most of the time it is inundated with water. To understand the mobility and bioavailability of Hg in the soils of this agricultural wetland ecosystem, the present study analyzed the total mercury content as well as the different fractions of mercury. Mercury was detected using cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrophotometer. The total mercury content varied from 0.002 to 0.683 mg/kg, and most of the samples are having concentrations below the background value. The percentage of mercury found in the initial three fractions F1, F2, and F3 are more available and it may enhance the methylation potential of the Kuttanad agroecosystem. PMID:26566642

  1. Mercury contamination in agricultural soils from abandoned metal mines classified by geology and mineralization.

    PubMed

    Kim, Han Sik; Jung, Myung Chae

    2012-01-01

    This survey aimed to compare mercury concentrations in soils related to geology and mineralization types of mines. A total of 16,386 surface soils (0~15 cm in depth) were taken from agricultural lands near 343 abandoned mines (within 2 km from each mine) and analyzed for Hg by AAS with a hydride-generation device. To meaningfully compare mercury levels in soils with geology and mineralization types, three subclassification criteria were adapted: (1) five mineralization types, (2) four valuable ore mineral types, and (3) four parent rock types. The average concentration of Hg in all soils was 0.204 mg kg(-1) with a range of 0.002-24.07 mg kg(-1). Based on the mineralization types, average Hg concentrations (mg kg(-1)) in the soils decreased in the order of pegmatite (0.250) > hydrothermal vein (0.208) > hydrothermal replacement (0.166) > skarn (0.121) > sedimentary deposits (0.045). In terms of the valuable ore mineral types, the concentrations decreased in the order of Au-Ag-base metal mines ≈ base metal mines > Au-Ag mines > Sn-W-Mo-Fe-Mn mines. For parent rock types, similar concentrations were found in the soils derived from sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks followed by heterogeneous rocks with igneous and metamorphic processes. Furthermore, farmland soils contained relatively higher Hg levels than paddy soils. Therefore, it can be concluded that soils in Au, Ag, and base metal mines derived from a hydrothermal vein type of metamorphic rocks and pegmatite deposits contained relatively higher concentrations of mercury in the surface environment. PMID:21814815

  2. Sources and remediation techniques for mercury contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jingying; Bravo, Andrea Garcia; Lagerkvist, Anders; Bertilsson, Stefan; Sjöblom, Rolf; Kumpiene, Jurate

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) in soils has increased by a factor of 3 to 10 in recent times mainly due to combustion of fossil fuels combined with long-range atmospheric transport processes. Other sources as chlor-alkali plants, gold mining and cement production can also be significant, at least locally. This paper summarizes the natural and anthropogenic sources that have contributed to the increase of Hg concentration in soil and reviews major remediation techniques and their applications to control soil Hg contamination. The focus is on soil washing, stabilisation/solidification, thermal treatment and biological techniques; but also the factors that influence Hg mobilisation in soil and therefore are crucial for evaluating and optimizing remediation techniques are discussed. Further research on bioremediation is encouraged and future study should focus on the implementation of different remediation techniques under field conditions. PMID:25454219

  3. Volatilization and recovery of mercury from mercury-polluted soils and wastewaters using mercury-resistant Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans strains SUG 2-2 and MON-1.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Fumiaki; Sugio, Tsuyoshi

    2006-01-01

    Iron-oxidizing bacterium, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, is one of the most important bacteria for the bioleaching of copper and gold ores. In order to use the mercury reducing activity of A. ferrooxidans for the bioremediation of mercury, mercury-resistant A. ferrooxidans strains SUG 2-2 and MON-1 were screened among 150 strains of iron-oxidizing bacteria isolated from natural environments. It was found that strains SUG 2-2 and MON-1 have a novel ferrous iron-dependent mercury volatilization activity as well as an NADPH-dependent mercury reductase activity. Strain MON-1 has an organomercurial lyase-like activity and grew most rapidly in an iron medium with 0.1 microM p-chloromercuribenzoic acid among 11 A. ferrooxidans strains tested. Nearly 100% of the total mercury in mercury-polluted soil or mercury wastewater was volatilized and recovered by incubating SUG 2-2 or MON-1 cells in 20 ml of an acidified water (pH 2.5) with ferrous iron, suggesting that these mercury-resistant strains can be used for the bioremediation of inorganic and organic mercurial compounds. We show for the first time that MON-1 cells immobilized in polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) resins could efficiently volatilize mercury from 2 L of a synthetic mercury-polluted wastewater (pH 2.5) containing 40 microM Hg(2+) and ferrous iron. The MON-1-immobilized PVA resins were used repeatedly. PMID:17273146

  4. Environmental Emission of Mercury During Gold Mining by Amalgamation Process and its Impact on Soils of Gympie, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhindsa, H. S.; Battle, A. R.; Prytz, S.

    - The aims of this study were to estimate the total amount of mercury released to the environment during 60 years of gold mining (1867-1926) at Gympie, Queensland, Australia and to measure the mercury levels in soil samples surrounding the mining activity. We estimated that 1902 tonnes of mercury was released to the environment and about 1236 tonnes of which was released to the air. The mean mercury in the soil samples in the vicinity of the Scottish battery varied from 1.07 to 99.26 ?g g-1 as compared to 0.075 ?g g-1 as background mercury concentrations. The maximum mercury concentration measured in sediments of the Langton Gully was 6.12 ?g g-1. These results show that large amount of mercury was used in this area during gold mining. Since mining is active in the area and Langton Gully flows into Mary River, we therefore, recommend that mercury concentration in air and fish should be monitored.

  5. Mercury levels in high-end consumers of fish.

    PubMed Central

    Hightower, Jane M; Moore, Dan

    2003-01-01

    Consumption of food containing mercury has been identified as a health risk. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the National Academy of Sciences recommend keeping the whole blood mercury level < 5.0 microg/L or the hair level < 1.0 microg/g. This corresponds to a reference dose (RfD) of 0.1 microg/kg body weight per day. All patients in a 1-year period (n = 720) who came for an office visit in a private internal medicine practice in San Francisco, California, were evaluated for mercury excess using the current RfD. One hundred twenty-three patients were tested (93 females, 30 males). Of these, data were statistically analyzed for 89 subjects. Mercury levels ranged from 2.0 to 89.5 microg/L for the 89 subjects. The mean for 66 women was 15 microg/L [standard deviation (SD) = 15], and for 23 men was 13 microg/L (SD = 5); 89% had levels exceeding the RfD. Subjects consumed 30 different forms or types of fish. Swordfish had the highest correlation with mercury level. Sixty-seven patients with serial blood levels over time after stopping fish showed a decline in mercury levels; reduction was significant (p < 0.0001). A substantial fraction of patients had diets high in fish consumption; of these, a high proportion had blood mercury levels exceeding the maximum level recommended by the U.S. EPA and National Academy of Sciences. The mean level for women in this survey was 10 times that of mercury levels found in a recent population survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some children were > 40 times the national mean. PMID:12676623

  6. Mercury Reduction and Methyl Mercury Degradation by the Soil Bacterium Xanthobacter autotrophicus Py2

    PubMed Central

    Petrus, Amanda K.; Rutner, Colin; Liu, Songnian; Wang, Yingjiao

    2015-01-01

    Two previously uncharacterized potential broad-spectrum mercury (Hg) resistance operons (mer) are present on the chromosome of the soil Alphaproteobacteria Xanthobacter autotrophicus Py2. These operons, mer1 and mer2, contain two features which are commonly found in mer operons in the genomes of soil and marine Alphaproteobacteria, but are not present in previously characterized mer operons: a gene for the mercuric reductase (MerA) that encodes an alkylmercury lyase domain typical of those found on the MerB protein, and the presence of an additional gene, which we are calling merK, with homology to glutathione reductase. Here, we demonstrate that Py2 is resistant to 0.2 μM inorganic mercury [Hg(II)] and 0.05 μM methylmercury (MeHg). Py2 is capable of converting MeHg and Hg(II) to elemental mercury [Hg(0)], and reduction of Hg(II) is induced by incubation in sub toxic concentrations of Hg(II). Transcription of the merA genes increased with Hg(II) treatment, and in both operons merK resides on the same polycistronic mRNA as merA. We propose the use of Py2 as a model system for studying the contribution of mer to Hg mobility in soil and marine ecosystems. PMID:26341208

  7. Mercury

    MedlinePlus

    ... Twitter Google+ Pinterest Contact Us Mercury in Your Environment Learn about Mercury Basic information How people are exposed to mercury Health effects ToxFAQs on mercury and metallic mercury (ATSDR.gov) ...

  8. The mercury levels in crustaceans and cephalopods from Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Nurul Izzah; Noh, Mohd Fairulnizal Mohd; Mahiyuddin, Wan Rozita Wan; Jaafar, Hamdan; Ishak, Ismail; Azmi, Wan Nurul Farah Wan; Veloo, Yuvaneswary; Mokhtar, Fazlin Anis

    2015-09-01

    This study is to determine total mercury in edible tissues of eight species of cephalopods and 12 species of crustaceans purchased from 11 identified major fish landing ports and wet markets throughout Peninsular Malaysia. The concentration of mercury was measured by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) technique using the Perkin Elmer Flow Injection Mercury System (FIMS-400). In general, the mercury levels were low with concentrations in cephalopods ranging from 0.099 to 2.715 mg/kg dry weight (or 0.0184-0.505 mg/kg wet weight) and in crustaceans ranging from 0.057 to 1.359 mg/kg dry weight (or 0.0111-0.265 mg/kg wet weight). The mercury levels showed no significant differences (P > 0.05) between species for both cephalopods and crustaceans. There was no significant correlation between mercury concentrations and the body size of individual for both groups as well. Comparisons with mercury levels obtained found from other previous studies and/or species noted that they were of the same magnitude or relatively low compared to various locations reported worldwide. PMID:25916470

  9. Mercury

    SciTech Connect

    Vilas, F.; Chapman, C.R.; Matthews, M.S.

    1988-01-01

    Papers are presented on future observations of and missions to Mercury, the photometry and polarimetry of Mercury, the surface composition of Mercury from reflectance spectrophotometry, the Goldstone radar observations of Mercury, the radar observations of Mercury, the stratigraphy and geologic history of Mercury, the geomorphology of impact craters on Mercury, and the cratering record on Mercury and the origin of impacting objects. Consideration is also given to the tectonics of Mercury, the tectonic history of Mercury, Mercury's thermal history and the generation of its magnetic field, the rotational dynamics of Mercury and the state of its core, Mercury's magnetic field and interior, the magnetosphere of Mercury, and the Mercury atmosphere. Other papers are on the present bounds on the bulk composition of Mercury and the implications for planetary formation processes, the building stones of the planets, the origin and composition of Mercury, the formation of Mercury from planetesimals, and theoretical considerations on the strange density of Mercury.

  10. Mercury Exposure Levels in Children with Dental Amalgam Fillings

    PubMed Central

    Miriam Varkey, Indu; Shetty, Rajmohan; Hegde, Amitha

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT% Objectives: Mercury combined with other metals to form solid amalgams has long been used in reconstructive dentistry but its use has been controversial since at least the middle of the 19th century. The exposure and body burden of mercury reviews have consistently stated that there is a deficiency of adequate epidemiological studies addressing this issue. Fish and dental amalgam are two major sources of human exposure to organic (MeHg) and inorganic Hg respectively. Materials and methods: A total of 150 subjects aged between 9 and 14 years were divided into two groups of 75 subjects each depending on their diet, i.e. seafood or nonseafood consuming. Each category was subdivided into three groups based on number of restorations. Scalp hair and urine samples were collected at baseline and 3 months later to assess the organic and inorganic levels of mercury respectively by atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Results: The mean values of urinary mercury (inorganic mercury) in the group of children with restorations were 1.5915 μg/l as compared to 0.0130 μg/l in the groups with no amalgam restorations (p < 0.001) (Wilcoxon sign rank test and paired t-test). The hair mercury levels (organic mercury) varied signi-ficantly between the fsh-eating group and nonfsh-eating group, the average values being 1.03 μg/l and 0.84 μg/l respectively (p < 0.001) (Mann-Whitney U-test and paired t-test). Conclusion and significance: The notion about the mercury being released from the amalgam restorations as a sole exposure source needs to be put to a rest, as environmental factors collectively overpower the exposure levels from restorations alone. How to cite this article: Varkey IM, Shetty R, Hegde A. Mercury Exposure Levels in Children with Dental Amalgam Fillings. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2014;7(3):180-185. PMID:25709298

  11. Hair mercury levels in Amazonian populations: spatial distribution and trends

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Mercury is present in the Amazonian aquatic environments from both natural and anthropogenic sources. As a consequence, many riverside populations are exposed to methylmercury, a highly toxic organic form of mercury, because of their intense fish consumption. Many studies have analysed this exposure from different approaches since the early nineties. This review aims to systematize the information in spatial distribution, comparing hair mercury levels by studied population and Amazonian river basin, looking for exposure trends. Methods The reviewed papers were selected from scientific databases and online libraries. We included studies with a direct measure of hair mercury concentrations in a sample size larger than 10 people, without considering the objectives, approach of the study or mercury speciation. The results are presented in tables and maps by river basin, displaying hair mercury levels and specifying the studied population and health impact, if any. Results The majority of the studies have been carried out in communities from the central Amazonian regions, particularly on the Tapajós River basin. The results seem quite variable; hair mercury means range from 1.1 to 34.2 μg/g. Most studies did not show any significant difference in hair mercury levels by gender or age. Overall, authors emphasized fish consumption frequency as the main risk factor of exposure. The most studied adverse health effect is by far the neurological performance, especially motricity. However, it is not possible to conclude on the relation between hair mercury levels and health impact in the Amazonian situation because of the relatively small number of studies. Conclusions Hair mercury levels in the Amazonian regions seem to be very heterogenic, depending on several factors. There is no obvious spatial trend and there are many areas that have never been studied. Taking into account the low mercury levels currently handled as acceptable, the majority of the Amazonian populations can be considered exposed to methylmercury contamination. The situation for many of these traditional communities is very complex because of their high dependence on fish nutrients. It remains difficult to conclude on the Public Health implication of mercury exposure in this context. PMID:20025776

  12. Mercury in the surface soil and cassava, Manihot esculenta (flesh, leaves and peel) near goldmines at Bogoso and Prestea, Ghana.

    PubMed

    Adjorlolo-Gasokpoh, A; Golow, A A; Kambo-Dorsa, J

    2012-12-01

    Mercury amalgamation is used indiscriminately in the recovery of gold by small-scale native gem winners in Ghana. Mercury is released into the environment in the form of wastewater, tailing and vapor from the roasting of amalgam to separate gold. The study looked at the levels of total mercury concentration in surface soil and cassava crop from farms located within the vicinities of Bogoso and Prestea Goldmines. The surface soil total mercury concentrations ranged between 125.29 and 352.52 ?g/kg whiles cassava had between 66.60 and 195.47 ?g/kg. The results showed proportionately more deposits at higher distances in 15-30 cm soil zone and less deposits at higher distances on leaves with relatively high uptake of the metal occurred at higher distances from the mines into the peels. These results suggest serious mercury pollution to the surface soil and the cassava crop but the speciation exercise showed that mercury is not in the free state, rather bound to hydroxides and organic compounds as complexes. PMID:23052587

  13. A screening-level mercury deposition model for wetland ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Fink, L.E.

    1995-12-31

    A highly aggregated, three-compartment, carbon cycling model was constructed for a screening-level simulation of net carbon, phosphorus, and mercury deposition in the Everglades Nutrient Removal Project, a 3,742-acre constructed wetland in South Florida. The model was initialized using ENR or Everglades values for model variables. The model was calibrated to calculate biomass turnover, decomposition, and release rates that reproduced the observed apparent phosphorus settling rate constant and the observed organic and inorganic carbon and total phosphorus concentrations in surface sediments. The mercury deposition rate was calculated by partitioning water column mercuric ion onto settling organic and inorganic carbon particles using site-specific or literature values for partition coefficients. From the annual mass balance budget for total mercury calculated with site-specific or literature values, the phosphorus-calibrated model reproduced the observed total mercury concentrations in surface sediments from a typical Everglades marsh within screening-level tolerances.

  14. Fluxes of new and old mercury from mercury amendments to Puerto Rico soil columns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanley, J. B.; Lodge, D. J.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Olson, M. L.; McDowell, W. H.

    2008-12-01

    Puerto Rico receives high loading of mercury (Hg) in wet deposition. We hypothesized that high-organic soils with white-rot decomposition would retain more of this mercury than low-organic soils with brown-rot decomposition. In order to test this hypothesis, four paired intact soil cores (15-cm diameter, 20-cm depth) were extracted in acrylic tubes from a hillslope in the low-elevation Tabonuco forest within the Luquillo Experimental Forest in northeastern Puerto Rico. One core of each pair was taken from an organic-rich microsite (above a debris dam) with white rot, and the other was taken from an adjacent bare-soil area (below the debris dam) with brown rot. The soil cores were amended with 384 ng of 202Hg (8 applications of 48 ng, twice per week for 4 weeks, April - May, 2006). Total water added was equivalent to 271 mm rainfall (close to the 4-week average) but Hg loading was about ten times the average loading. Ambient rainfall was excluded. Leachate passed through a funnel to a collection bottle and was composited for each core. Despite rapid throughput of the amendment solution, about 90% of the spike (new) Hg was retained in the soil columns. Our hypothesis was rejected in that there was no difference in retention in the white-rot (89.1 /- 0.8%) and brown-rot (91.5 +/- 2.8%) columns. Moreover, the white-rot soils leached 34% more native (old) Hg than the brown-rot soils. The greater leaching of native Hg is consistent with the higher DOC concentration in the white rot soil leachate (4.1 +/- 1.7 mg/L) compared to the brown-rot soil leachate (1.7 +/- 0.6 mg/L). The amount of native (old) Hg leached from the columns was roughly similar to the amount of spike (new) Hg that passed through the columns. We surmise that the greater DOC mobilized from the white- rot soils complexed and transported greater amounts of Hg from the large pool of native Hg in the soil. The relative amounts of spike Hg throughput and native Hg mobilization are consistent with other recent results from Hg isotope application to an entire hillside.

  15. Potential bioremediation of mercury-contaminated substrate using filamentous fungi isolated from forest soil.

    PubMed

    Kurniati, Evi; Arfarita, Novi; Imai, Tsuyoshi; Higuchi, Takaya; Kanno, Ariyo; Yamamoto, Koichi; Sekine, Masahiko

    2014-06-01

    The use of filamentous fungi in bioremediation of heavy metal contamination has been developed recently. This research aims to observe the capability of filamentous fungi isolated from forest soil for bioremediation of mercury contamination in a substrate. Six fungal strains were selected based on their capability to grow in 25 mg/L Hg(2+)-contaminated potato dextrose agar plates. Fungal strain KRP1 showed the highest ratio of growth diameter, 0.831, thus was chosen for further observation. Identification based on colony and cell morphology carried out by 18S rRNA analysis gave a 98% match to Aspergillus flavus strain KRP1. The fungal characteristics in mercury(II) contamination such as range of optimum pH, optimum temperature and tolerance level were 5.5-7 and 25-35°C and 100 mg/L respectively. The concentration of mercury in the media affected fungal growth during lag phases. The capability of the fungal strain to remove the mercury(II) contaminant was evaluated in 100 mL sterile 10 mg/L Hg(2+)-contaminated potato dextrose broth media in 250 mL Erlenmeyer flasks inoculated with 10(8) spore/mL fungal spore suspension and incubation at 30°C for 7 days. The mercury(II) utilization was observed for flasks shaken in a 130 r/min orbital shaker (shaken) and non-shaken flasks (static) treatments. Flasks containing contaminated media with no fungal spores were also provided as control. All treatments were done in triplicate. The strain was able to remove 97.50% and 98.73% mercury from shaken and static systems respectively. A. flavus strain KRP1 seems to have potential use in bioremediation of aqueous substrates containing mercury(II) through a biosorption mechanism. PMID:25079829

  16. Mercury Exposure May Suppress Baseline Corticosterone Levels in Juvenile Birds.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herring, Garth; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.

    2012-01-01

    Mercury exposure has been associated with a wide variety of negative reproductive responses in birds, however few studies have examined the potential for chick impairment via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis regulates corticosterone levels during periods of stress. We examined the relationship between baseline fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations and mercury concentrations in down feathers of recently hatched (Sterna forsteri) chicks in San Francisco Bay, California. Baseline fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations were negatively correlated with mercury concentrations in blood of older chicks (decreasing by 81% across the range of observed mercury concentrations) while accounting for positive correlations between corticosterone concentrations and number of fledgling chicks within the colony and chick age. In recently hatched chicks, baseline fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations were weakly negatively correlated with mercury concentrations in down feathers (decreasing by 45% across the range of observed mercury concentrations) while accounting for stronger positive correlations between corticosterone concentrations and colony nest abundance and date. These results indicate that chronic mercury exposure may suppress baseline corticosterone concentrations in tern chicks and suggests that a juvenile bird's ability to respond to stress may be reduced via the downregulation of the HPA axis.

  17. Mercury exposure may suppress baseline corticosterone levels in juvenile birds.

    PubMed

    Herring, Garth; Ackerman, Joshua T; Herzog, Mark P

    2012-06-01

    Mercury exposure has been associated with a wide variety of negative reproductive responses in birds, however few studies have examined the potential for chick impairment via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis regulates corticosterone levels during periods of stress. We examined the relationship between baseline fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations and mercury concentrations in down feathers of recently hatched (<3 days) and blood of older (15-37 days) Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) chicks in San Francisco Bay, California. Baseline fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations were negatively correlated with mercury concentrations in blood of older chicks (decreasing by 81% across the range of observed mercury concentrations) while accounting for positive correlations between corticosterone concentrations and number of fledgling chicks within the colony and chick age. In recently hatched chicks, baseline fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations were weakly negatively correlated with mercury concentrations in down feathers (decreasing by 45% across the range of observed mercury concentrations) while accounting for stronger positive correlations between corticosterone concentrations and colony nest abundance and date. These results indicate that chronic mercury exposure may suppress baseline corticosterone concentrations in tern chicks and suggests that a juvenile bird's ability to respond to stress may be reduced via the downregulation of the HPA axis. PMID:22578153

  18. Comparison of Adsorbed Mercury Screening Method With Cold-Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry for Determination of Mercury in Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Easterling, Donald F.; Hovanitz, Edward S.; Street, Kenneth W.

    2000-01-01

    A field screening method for the determination of elemental mercury in environmental soil samples involves the thermal desorption of the mercury from the sample onto gold and then the thermal desorption from the gold to a gold-film mercury vapor analyzer. This field screening method contains a large number of conditions that could be optimized for the various types of soils encountered. In this study, the conditions were optimized for the determination of mercury in silty clay materials, and the results were comparable to the cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometric method of determination. This paper discusses the benefits and disadvantages of employing the field screening method and provides the sequence of conditions that must be optimized to employ this method of determination on other soil types.

  19. Mercury in vegetation and soils at abandoned mercury mines in southwestern Alaska, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bailey, E.A.; Gray, J.E.; Theodorakos, P.M.

    2002-01-01

    We chemically analysed vegetation (willow and alder) and soil samples collected at three abandoned mercury (Hg) mines and at background sites in southwestern Alaska and compared Hg concentrations, speciation and distribution. Total Hg and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were higher in vegetation and soil samples from all the mine sites compared to samples from the background sites, but there was no correlation between total-Hg concentrations in vegetation and total-Hg concentrations in soil or between total-Hg and MeHg concentrations. However, the percent MeHg of the total Hg was higher in samples from the background sites compared to samples from the mine sites and is higher in vegetation samples than in corresponding soil samples. The percent MeHg is an order of magnitude higher in the willow samples than in corresponding alder or soil samples. The percent of divalent Hg [Hg(II)] is highest in soil samples from the retort and background areas. The higher percent MeHg in vegetation and soil in samples from background sites may be explained by the higher proportions of reactive Hg species, such as Hg(II), at these sites compared to the surface mined and tailings areas where most of the Hg is in the elemental and cinnabar (HgS) forms. Dissolved gaseous Hg species are more readily accumulated in vegetation and are more readily methylated than solid phases like HgS and liquid Hg.

  20. Mercury

    MedlinePlus

    ... of the lungs Medicine to remove mercury and heavy metals from the body INORGANIC MERCURY For inorganic mercury ... Baum CR. Mercury: Heavy metals and inorganic agents. In: Shannon MW, ... Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and ...

  1. MERCURY IN THE ENVIRONMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mercury is released from a variety of sources and exhibits a complicated chemistry. According to the Mercury Study Report to Congress, mercury fluxes and budgets in water, soil, and other media have increased by a factor of two to five over pre-industrial levels. The primary expo...

  2. Mercury removal from contaminated soil by thermal treatment with FeCl₃ at reduced temperature.

    PubMed

    Ma, Fujun; Zhang, Qian; Xu, Duanping; Hou, Deyi; Li, Fasheng; Gu, Qingbao

    2014-12-01

    Thermal treatment has been used to remediate mercury-contaminated soils; however, existing thermal technologies use high temperatures (e.g., 600-800°C) and require high energy costs. Moreover, the treated soil is unfavorable for agricultural reuse. To address these issues, the present study developed a method for the thermal treatment of mercury-contaminated soils at a reduced temperature (400°C) by adding FeCl3. A FeCl3/Hg molar ratio of 100:1 in the soil was adopted as the optimum dosage of FeCl3 required to achieve maximum reduction of mercury. The mercury concentration in soils was successfully reduced to 0.8 mg kg(-)(1) when treated at 400°C for 60 min and the treated soil retained most of its original soil properties. FeCl3 addition during thermal treatment not only accelerated the volatilization of mercury in the easily removed fraction but also reduced the volatilization temperature of mercury in the hardly removed fraction. The adsorbable organic halogens and PCDD/Fs formed during thermal treatment with FeCl3 would not affect the soil reuse in agriculture. The thermal decontamination method reduces energy costs and leads to agricultural soil reuse, thus providing a greener and more sustainable remediation method for treating mercury-contaminated soil in future engineering applications. PMID:25180482

  3. Soil and biomass mercury emissions during a prescribed fire in the Amazonian rain forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melendez-Perez, Jose J.; Fostier, Anne H.; Carvalho, João A.; Windmöller, Claudia C.; Santos, José C.; Carpi, Anthony

    2014-10-01

    Mercury stored in forests can be volatilized to the atmosphere during fires. Many factors influence this process such as mercury concentration, vegetation loading and the soil temperature reached during the fire. We quantified mercury emissions from biomass and soil during a prescribed fire in Brazil using the difference in mercury burden in vegetation and soil before and after burning, and data were critically compared with those previously obtained in a similar experiment in another part of the Amazonia. The calculated mercury emission factor was 4.1 ± 1.4 g Hg ha-1, with the main part (78%) originating from litterfall and O-horizon, and only 14% associated with live biomass. When considering the fuel burned loading, the emission factor ranged from 40 to 53 μg Hg kg-1. Data were also obtained on soil temperature profile and on Hg speciation in soil in an effort to relate these parameters to Hg emissions.

  4. Mercury dispersion in soils of an abandoned lead-zinc-silver mine, San Quintín (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esbrí, José Maria; Martín-Crespo, T.; Gómez-Ortiz, D.; Monescillo, C. I.; Lorenzo, S.; Higueras, P.

    2010-05-01

    The mine considered on this work, namely San Quintín, is a filonian field with hydrothermal ores exploited during almost fifty years (1887-1934), producing 550.000Tm of galena, 550Tm of silver and 5.000 of sphalerite. Some rewashing works of tailings muds was achieved in recent times (1973-1985), including flotation tests of cinnabar ore from Almadén mines. The main problems remaining on the site are an active acid mine drainage (with pH ~ 2) and heavy metal dispersion on soils including gaseous mercury emissions. We present here results of a survey including soils sampling with mercury analysis and other pedological parameters, as well as determinations of mercury inmission in the atmosphere, using a common sampling grid. Analysis of soils samples has been carried out using an atomic absorption spectrometer AMA254, while air determinations were made by the same technique, using a Lumex RA-915+. The maps have been obtained by means of SURFER 8 software, as well as by ArcGIS software, and puts forward dispersion of mercury from cinnabar ore dump (108 ?g×g-1) to nearby soils (0.3 ?g×g-1 at 700 m of distance). The dispersion of mercury vapor exceed WHO level for chronic exposure (200 ng×m-3) in a small area (250 meters from cinnabar dump).

  5. Egg mercury levels decline with the laying sequence in charadriiformes

    SciTech Connect

    Becker, P.H. )

    1992-05-01

    Whereas pollutants do not differ in concentration among eggs of one clutch in some bird species, in gulls, terns and grebes several organochlorines show intraclutch variation: Concentrations increase with the laying sequence. Heavy metals, however, are not so intensively studied with respect to intraclutch variation. In contrast to lead and cadmium, mercury is accumulated in great quantities in eggs. Variation in mercury levels between the eggs of one clutch were low compared to interclutch variability in the White-tailed Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) and the Peregrine (Falco peregrinus). In gulls, however, intraclutch variation was significant and characterized by higher mercury levels in the first than in subsequently laid eggs, which is the opposite to the trend in organochlorine levels. In this paper, the author reports on investigations of intraclutch variation in mercury levels in three Charadriiform-species, Herring Gull, Common Tern and Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus). The results confirm those previously reported in gulls and point to the importance of the egg in reducing the females' mercury burden. 23 refs, 2 tabs.

  6. Spatial and temporal variations of mercury levels in Okefenokee invertebrates: southeast Georgia.

    PubMed

    George, Bagie M; Batzer, Darold

    2008-03-01

    Accumulation of mercury in wetland ecosystems has raised concerns about impacts on wetland food webs. This study measured concentrations of mercury in invertebrates of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, focusing on levels in amphipods, odonates, and crayfish. We collected and analyzed total mercury levels in these invertebrates from 32 sampling stations across commonly occurring sub-habitats. Sampling was conducted in December, May, and August over a two-year period. The highest levels of mercury were detected in amphipods, with total mercury levels often in excess of 20 ppm. Bioaccumulation pathways of mercury in invertebrates of the Okefenokee are probably complex; despite being larger and higher in the food chain, levels in odonates and crayfish were much lower than in amphipods. Mercury levels in invertebrates varied temporally with the highest levels detected in May. There was a lack of spatial variation in mercury levels which is consistent with aerial deposition of mercury. PMID:17931760

  7. Mercury levels of marine fish commonly consumed in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Nurul Izzah; Noh, Mohd Fairulnizal Mohd; Mahiyuddin, Wan Rozita Wan; Jaafar, Hamdan; Ishak, Ismail; Azmi, Wan Nurul Farah Wan; Veloo, Yuvaneswary; Hairi, Mohd Hairulhisam

    2015-03-01

    This study was conducted to determine the concentration of total mercury in the edible portion of 46 species of marine fish (n = 297) collected from selected major fish landing ports and wholesale markets throughout Peninsular Malaysia. Samples were collected in June to December 2009. Prior to analysis, the fish samples were processed which consisted of drying at 65 °C until a constant weight was attained; then, it was grounded and digested by a microwave digestion system. The analytical determination was carried out by using a mercury analysis system. Total mercury concentration among fish species was examined. The results showed that mercury concentrations were found significantly higher (p < 0.001) in demersal fish (the range was from 0.173 to 2.537 mg/kg in dried weight) compared to pelagic fish (which ranged from 0.055 to 2.137 mg/kg in dried weight). The mercury concentrations were also higher in carnivorous fish especially in the species with more predatory feeding habits. Besides, the family group of Latidae (0.537 ± 0.267 mg/kg in dried weight), Dasyatidae (0.492 ± 0.740 mg/kg in dried weight), and Lutjanidae (0.465 ± 0.566 mg/kg in dried weight) showed significantly (p < 0.001) higher mercury levels compared to other groups. Fish collected from Port Klang (0.563 ± 0.509 mg/kg in dry weight), Kuala Besar (0.521 ± 0.415 mg/kg in dry weight), and Pandan (0.380 ± 0.481 mg/kg in dry weight) were significantly higher (p = 0.014) in mercury concentrations when compared to fish from other sampling locations. Total mercury levels were significantly higher (p < 0.002) in bigger fish (body length >20 cm) and were positively related with fish size (length and weight) in all fish samples. Despite the results, the level of mercury in marine fish did not exceed the permitted levels of Malaysian and JECFA guideline values at 0.5 mg/kg methylmercury in fish. PMID:25256581

  8. Maternal Fish Consumption, Mercury Levels, and Risk of Preterm Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Fei; Holzman, Claudia; Rahbar, Mohammad Hossein; Trosko, Kay; Fischer, Lawrence

    2007-01-01

    Background Pregnant women receive mixed messages about fish consumption in pregnancy because unsaturated fatty acids and protein in fish are thought to be beneficial, but contaminants such as methylmercury may pose a hazard. Methods In the Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Health (POUCH) study, women were enrolled in the 15th to 27th week of pregnancy from 52 prenatal clinics in five Michigan communities. At enrollment, information was gathered on amount and category of fish consumed during the current pregnancy, and a hair sample was obtained. A segment of hair closest to the scalp, approximating exposure during pregnancy, was assessed for total mercury levels (70–90% methylmercury) in 1,024 POUCH cohort women. Results Mercury levels ranged from 0.01 to 2.50 μg/g (mean = 0.29 μg/g; median = 0.23 μg/g). Total fish consumption and consumption of canned fish, bought fish, and sport-caught fish were positively associated with mercury levels in hair. The greatest fish source for mercury exposure appeared to be canned fish. Compared with women delivering at term, women who delivered before 35 weeks’ gestation were more likely to have hair mercury levels at or above the 90th percentile (≥ 0.55 μg/g), even after adjusting for maternal characteristics and fish consumption (adjusted odds ratio = 3.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.3–6.7). Conclusion This is the first large, community-based study to examine risk of very preterm birth in relation to mercury levels among women with low to moderate exposure. Additional studies are needed to see whether these findings will be replicated in other settings. PMID:17366817

  9. Immediate and long-term fire effects on total mercury in forests soils of northeastern Minnesota.

    PubMed

    Woodruff, Laurel G; Cannon, William F

    2010-07-15

    Within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota, soils were collected from 116 sites in areas of primarily virgin forest with fire-origin stand years (year of last recognizable stand-killing wildfire) that range from the 1759 to 1976. Median concentrations for total mercury in soils for this span of 217 years range from 0.28 +/- 0.088 ppm (1759) to 0.09 +/- 0.047 ppm (1976) for A-horizon soils and from 0.23 +/- 0.062 ppm (1759) to 0.09 +/- 0.018 ppm (1976) for O-horizon soils. A separate study of soils collected from 30 sites within an area that burned in a 2004 wildfire at Voyageurs National Park, northern Minnesota, suggested that high soil burn severity resulted in significant mercury loss from both organic and mineral soils. Integrated data from these two studies and additional regional soil data demonstrate that older forests have progressively higher mercury concentrations in O-horizon soils (r(2) = 0.423) and A-horizon soils (r(2) = 0.456). These results support the hypotheses that an important factor for mercury concentrations in forest soils is time since stand-replacing fire and that high soil burn severity has the potential to reduce the concentration of mercury in burned soils for tens to hundreds of years. PMID:20553021

  10. Vertical variations in the concentration of mercury in soils around Sakurajima Volcano, Southern Kyushu, Japan.

    PubMed

    Tomiyasu, Takashi; Okada, Morimichi; Imura, Ryusuke; Sakamoto, Hayao

    2003-03-20

    In an effort to estimate the influence of mercury emitted from Sakurajima Volcano, Southern Kyushu, Japan, on the accumulation of mercury in soil, the vertical distribution of total mercury in soils was investigated together with organic matter content and grain size. The soils were sampled at a thickness of 1 cm from the surface to depth of 1 m at five locations on Sakurajima and two control locations, i.e. Takatoge approximately 11 km southeast and Suzuyama 22 km southwest of the volcano. The concentration in soils increased with the distance from the volcano and was 6.5+/-1.9 ngg(-1) (n=335), 29.0+/-15.6 ngg(-1) (n=100) and 229+/-105 ngg(-1) (n=103) for Sakurajima, Takatoge and Suzuyama, respectively. The concentration of mercury correlated with the amount of organic matter, but not with grain size distribution. The sedimentation rate for Sakurajima, Takatoge and Suzuyama was estimated from geological data to be approximately 1.3, 0.083 and 0.0048 cmyear(-1), respectively. The relatively fast sedimentation of Sakurajima soil was caused by the frequent precipitation of volcanic ash. The annual deposition of mercury estimated for Sakurajima, Takatoge and Suzuyama from the mercury concentration, sedimentation rate and soil density was 9 x 10(4), 3 x 10(4) and 2 x 10(4) ngm(-2)year(-1), respectively. Although the soil of Sakurajima had the lowest concentration among the three sites, it received the largest amount of mercury. PMID:12663186

  11. Removal of trace-level mercury from surface water

    SciTech Connect

    Klasson, K.T.; Bostick, D.T.; Taylor, P.A.; Farr, L.L.

    1999-07-01

    The removal of mercury from slipstreams of water from a creek and from a wastewater treatment plant has been studied in the field. Two types of column studies were performed with different mercury sorbents. A short-term study that yielded information about the kinetic behavior of different sorbents in a column configuration and a long-term study that is under they way were used to obtain information about long-term performance and treatment capacity. The results indicate that sorbents containing thiol functional groups gave the best performance in both the short- and long-term studies. The results also indicate that water pretreatment may be an effective option to ensure that the mercury is free and oxidized. This approach may be a necessity when target levels of ng/L are desired.

  12. Characterization of soil fauna under the influence of mercury atmospheric deposition in Atlantic Forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Buch, Andressa Cristhy; Correia, Maria Elizabeth Fernandes; Teixeira, Daniel Cabral; Silva-Filho, Emmanoel Vieira

    2015-06-01

    The increasing levels of mercury (Hg) found in the atmosphere arising from anthropogenic sources, have been the object of great concern in the past two decades in industrialized countries. Brazil is the seventh country with the highest rate of mercury in the atmosphere. The major input of Hg to ecosystems is through atmospheric deposition (wet and dry), being transported in the atmosphere over large distances. The forest biomes are of strong importance in the atmosphere/soil cycling of elemental Hg through foliar uptake and subsequent transference to the soil through litter, playing an important role as sink of this element. Soil microarthropods are keys to understanding the soil ecosystem, and for such purpose were characterized by the soil fauna of two Units of Forest Conservation of the state of the Rio de Janeiro, inwhich one of the areas suffer quite interference from petrochemicals and industrial anthropogenic activities and other area almost exempts of these perturbations. The results showed that soil and litter of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil tend to stock high mercury concentrations, which could affect the abundance and richness of soil fauna, endangering its biodiversity and thereby the functioning of ecosystems. PMID:26040748

  13. Mercury and plants in contaminated soils. 1: Uptake, partitioning, and emission to the atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Leonard, T.L.; Gustin, M.S.; Fernandez, G.C.J.; Taylor, G.E. Jr.

    1998-10-01

    The uptake, distribution, and subsequent emission of mercury to the atmosphere were investigated in five plant species (Lepidium latifolium [L.], Artemisia douglasiana [Bess in Hook], Caulanthus sp. [S. Watson], Fragaria vesca [L.], and Eucalyptus globulus [Labill]) with different ecological and physiological attributes. Transfer coefficients for mercury in the soil-plant system were calculated. Plant-to-atmosphere emissions of mercury were determined using a controlled environment gas-exchange system and ranged from 10 to 93 mg/m{sup 2}/h in the light; emissions in the dark were an order of magnitude less. Transfer coefficients for mercury within the soil-plant system increased acropetally (root-to-leaf axis) by orders of magnitude. Estimated mercury emissions from plants in the Carson River Drainage Basin of Nevada over the growing season (0.5 mg/m{sup 2}) add to the previously reported soil mercury emissions (8.5 mg/m{sup 2}), resulting in total landscape emissions of 9 mg/m{sup 2}. For L. latifolium, 70% of the mercury taken up by the roots during the growing season was emitted to the atmosphere. For every one molecule of mercury retained in foliage of L. latifolium, 12 molecules of mercury were emitted. Within this arid ecosystem, mercury emissions are a dominant pathway of the mercury cycle. Plants function as conduits for the interfacial transport of mercury from the geosphere to the atmosphere, and this role is undervalued in models of the behavior of mercury in terrestrial exosystems and in the atmosphere on a global scale.

  14. Atmospheric mercury inputs in montane soils increase with elevation: evidence from mercury isotope signatures

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hua; Yin, Run-sheng; Feng, Xin-bin; Sommar, Jonas; Anderson, Christopher W. N.; Sapkota, Atindra; Fu, Xue-wu; Larssen, Thorjørn

    2013-01-01

    The influence of topography on the biogeochemical cycle of mercury (Hg) has received relatively little attention. Here, we report the measurement of Hg species and their corresponding isotope composition in soil sampled along an elevational gradient transect on Mt. Leigong in subtropical southwestern China. The data are used to explain orography-related effects on the fate and behaviour of Hg species in montane environments. The total- and methyl-Hg concentrations in topsoil samples show a positive correlation with elevation. However, a negative elevation dependence was observed in the mass-dependent fractionation (MDF) and mass-independent fractionation (MIF) signatures of Hg isotopes. Both a MIF (Δ199Hg) binary mixing approach and the traditional inert element method indicate that the content of Hg derived from the atmosphere distinctly increases with altitude. PMID:24270081

  15. Estimating historical atmospheric mercury concentrations from silver mining and their legacies in present-day surface soil in Potosí, Bolivia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagan, Nicole; Robins, Nicholas; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Halabi, Susan; Morris, Mark; Woodall, George; Zhang, Tong; Bacon, Allan; Richter, Daniel De B.; Vandenberg, John

    2011-12-01

    Detailed Spanish records of mercury use and silver production during the colonial period in Potosí, Bolivia were evaluated to estimate atmospheric emissions of mercury from silver smelting. Mercury was used in the silver production process in Potosí and nearly 32,000 metric tons of mercury were released to the environment. AERMOD was used in combination with the estimated emissions to approximate historical air concentrations of mercury from colonial mining operations during 1715, a year of relatively low silver production. Source characteristics were selected from archival documents, colonial maps and images of silver smelters in Potosí and a base case of input parameters was selected. Input parameters were varied to understand the sensitivity of the model to each parameter. Modeled maximum 1-h concentrations were most sensitive to stack height and diameter, whereas an index of community exposure was relatively insensitive to uncertainty in input parameters. Modeled 1-h and long-term concentrations were compared to inhalation reference values for elemental mercury vapor. Estimated 1-h maximum concentrations within 500 m of the silver smelters consistently exceeded present-day occupational inhalation reference values. Additionally, the entire community was estimated to have been exposed to levels of mercury vapor that exceed present-day acute inhalation reference values for the general public. Estimated long-term maximum concentrations of mercury were predicted to substantially exceed the EPA Reference Concentration for areas within 600 m of the silver smelters. A concentration gradient predicted by AERMOD was used to select soil sampling locations along transects in Potosí. Total mercury in soils ranged from 0.105 to 155 mg kg-1, among the highest levels reported for surface soils in the scientific literature. The correlation between estimated air concentrations and measured soil concentrations will guide future research to determine the extent to which the current community of Potosí and vicinity is at risk of adverse health effects from historical mercury contamination.

  16. Mercury Source Zone Identification using Soil Vapor Sampling and Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, David B; Miller, Carrie L; Lester, Brian P; Lowe, Kenneth Alan; Southworth, George R; Bogle, Mary Anna; Liang, Liyuan; Pierce, Eric M

    2014-01-01

    Development and demonstration of reliable measurement techniqes that can detect and help quantify the nature and extent of elemental mercury (Hg(0)) in the subsurface are needed to reduce certainties in the decision making process and increase the effectiveness of remedial actions. We conducted field tests at the Y-12 National Security Complex (NSC) in Oak Ridge, TN, to determine if sampling and analysis of Hg(0) vapors in the shallow subsurface (<0.3 m depth) can be used to as an indicator of the location and extent of Hg(0) releases in the subsurface. We constructed a rigid PVC pushprobe assembly, which was driven into the ground. Soil gas samples were collected through a sealed inner tube of the assembly and analyzed immediately in the field with a Lumex and/or Jerome Hg(0) analyzer. Time-series sampling showed that Hg vapor concentrations were fairly stable over time suggesting that the vapor phase Hg(0) was not being depleted and that sampling results were not dependent on the soil gas purge volume. Hg(0) vapor data collected at over 200 pushprobe locations at 3 different release sites correlated well to areas of known Hg(0) contamination. Vertical profiling of Hg(0) vapor concentrations conducted at 2 locations provided information on the vertical distribution of Hg(0) contamination in the subsurface. We concluded from our studies that soil gas sampling and analysis can be conducted rapidly and inexpensively at a large scale to help identify areas contaminated with Hg(0).

  17. Determination of total mercury in nuts at ultratrace level.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Maria José; Paim, Ana Paula S; Pimentel, Maria Fernanda; Cervera, M Luisa; de la Guardia, Miguel

    2014-08-01

    Total mercury, at μg kg(-1) level, was determined in different types of nuts (cashew nut, Brazil nuts, almond, pistachio, peanut, walnut) using a direct mercury analyser after previous sample defatting and by cold vapour atomic fluorescence spectrometry. There is not enough sensitivity in the second approach to determine Hg in previously digested samples due to the strong matrix effect. Mercury levels in 25 edible nut samples from Brazil and Spain were found in the range from 0.6 to 2.7μg kg(-1) by using the pyrolysis of sample after the extraction of the nut fat. The accuracy of the proposed method was confirmed by analysing certified reference materials of Coal Fly Ash-NIST SRM 1633b, Fucus-IAEA 140 and three unpolished Rice Flour NIES-10. The observed results were in good agreement with the certified values. The recoveries of different amounts of mercury added to nut samples ranged from 94 to 101%. RSD values corresponding to three measurements varied between 2.0 and 14% and the limit of detection and quantification of the method were 0.08 and 0.3μg kg(-1), respectively. PMID:25064238

  18. A small dose of ethanol increases the exhalation of mercury in low-level-exposed humans.

    PubMed

    Sällsten, G; Kreku, S; Unosson, H

    2000-05-26

    Inorganic mercury is mainly eliminated by urinary and fecal excretion, but it is also eliminated by exhalation and sweat. There are only a few reports on exhalation of mercury in humans. In volunteers with short-term mercury exposure, an increased exhalation of mercury was found after alcohol intake. The aim of this study was to determine mercury in end-exhaled air and the influence of ethanol on mercury exhalation in subjects with long-term mercury exposure from diet, amalgam fillings, or the work environment. Fourteen subjects, with different grades of mercury exposure, were given 0.2 g ethanol/kg body weight. Measurements of mercury in end-exhaled air were performed before and after alcohol intake. Mercury in end-exhaled air could be detected in all subjects. In 10 individuals without amalgam fillings the mercury concentration was 3 to 12 pg/L. A marked increase, in general about fivefold, in mercury concentrations in end-exhaled air was seen in all subjects 30 min after intake of alcohol, regardless of the level of mercury exposure. Higher ethanol doses resulted in higher mercury levels in end-exhaled air and longer time periods before a return to background levels. An increase was seen even after an ethanol dose of only 0.1 g ethanol/kg body weight (about 0.08 L wine). The decrease in exhaled mercury at higher alcohol doses followed approximately zero-order kinetics and probably reflects the elimination of ethanol in tissues. In conclusion, low levels of mercury can be detected in end-exhaled air also in individuals without amalgam fillings. About a fivefold increase was seen 30 min after alcohol intake, and the relative increase seemed to be independent of the body burden of mercury. Exhalation of mercury represents only a small percentage of the total elimination of mercury. PMID:10872631

  19. [Correlation of fat content and dioxins, total mercury and methyl mercury levels in tuna].

    PubMed

    Kawakami, Hiroyuki; Amakura, Yoshiaki; Tsutsumi, Tomoaki; Sasaki, Kumiko; Iketsu, Ayumi; Inasaki, Mizue; Kubota, Emi; Toyoda, Masatake

    2010-01-01

    In this study, we analyzed the concentrations of mercury and dioxins in tuna with various fat contents (akami; the leaner meat, Chutoro; the belly area of the tuna along the side of the fish between the akami and the otoro. Otoro; the fattiest portion of the tuna) in wild and farmed bluefin tuna and farmed southern bluefin tuna. In the three kinds of tuna, average dioxins concentrations in Akami, chutoro and otoro were 1.7, 4.7 and 9.6 pg TEQ/g, respectively. The dioxins concentration in all three regions of tuna was in direct proportion to the fat content. In the farmed bluefin tuna, the dioxins concentration was almost the same as that of the wild tuna, but differed from that of the farmed southern bluefin tuna. Average total mercury concentration based on wet weight in akami was 0.42 µg/g, being higher than the values of 0.36 µg/g of chutoro and 0.31 µg/g of otoro, and in inverse proportion to the fat content. In all three regions, the total mercury concentration of the wild bluefin tuna was equal to that of the farmed tuna. The total mercury concentration in the latter was two to three times higher than that of the farmed southern bluefin tuna. If the Japanese intake is one fin of tuna (80 g) a day, the daily intake levels of dioxins and methyl mercury can be estimated as 0.48-37 pg TEQ/kg bw and 0.21-0.90 µg/kg bw, respectively. PMID:21071911

  20. Mercury levels in pristine and gold mining impacted aquatic ecosystems of Suriname, South America.

    PubMed

    Ouboter, Paul E; Landburg, Gwendolyn A; Quik, Jan H M; Mol, Jan H A; van der Lugt, Frank

    2012-12-01

    Mercury levels in sediment and predatory fish were measured for 53 localities in Suriname. The average mercury level in bottom sediment surpassed the Canadian standard for sediment in most localities, except the coastal plains. Of the predatory fish, 41 % had a mercury level above the European Union standard for human consumption of 0.5 μg g(-1). Highest mercury levels were found in fish from the Brokopondo Reservoir and from the Upper Coppename River. High levels of mercury in fish in pristine areas are explained by atmospheric transportation of mercury with the northeastern trade winds followed by wet deposition. Contrary to gold mining areas, where mercury is bound to drifting sediments, in "pristine" areas the mercury is freely available for bio-accumulation and uptake. Impacts on piscivorous reptiles, birds, and mammals are unknown, but likely to be negative. PMID:22669686

  1. Mercury emission and dispersion models from soils contaminated by cinnabar mining and metallurgy.

    PubMed

    Llanos, Willians; Kocman, David; Higueras, Pablo; Horvat, Milena

    2011-12-01

    The laboratory flux measurement system (LFMS) and dispersion models were used to investigate the kinetics of mercury emission flux (MEF) from contaminated soils. Representative soil samples with respect to total Hg concentration (26-9770 μg g(-1)) surrounding a decommissioned mercury-mining area (Las Cuevas Mine), and a former mercury smelter (Cerco Metalúrgico de Almadenejos), in the Almadén mercury mining district (South Central Spain), were collected. Altogether, 14 samples were analyzed to determine the variation in mercury emission flux (MEF) versus distance from the sources, regulating two major environmental parameters comprising soil temperature and solar radiation. In addition, the fraction of the water-soluble mercury in these samples was determined in order to assess how MEF from soil is related to the mercury in the aqueous soil phase. Measured MEFs ranged from less than 140 to over 10,000 ng m(-2) h(-1), with the highest emissions from contaminated soils adjacent to point sources. A significant decrease of MEF was then observed with increasing distance from these sites. Strong positive effects of both temperature and solar radiation on MEF was observed. Moreover, MEF was found to occur more easily in soils with higher proportions of soluble mercury compared to soils where cinnabar prevails. Based on the calculated Hg emission rates and with the support of geographical information system (GIS) tools and ISC AERMOD software, dispersion models for atmospheric mercury were implemented. In this way, the gaseous mercury plume generated by the soil-originated emissions at different seasons was modeled. Modeling efforts revealed that much higher emissions and larger mercury plumes are generated in dry and warm periods (summer), while the plume is smaller and associated with lower concentrations of atmospheric mercury during colder periods with higher wind activity (fall). Based on the calculated emissions and the model implementation, yearly emissions from the "Cerco Metalúrgico de Almadenejos" decommissioned metallurgical precinct were estimated at 16.4 kg Hg y(-1), with significant differences between seasons. PMID:22037967

  2. Accumulation of mercury in rice grain and cabbage grown on representative Chinese soils*

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chun-fa; Wu, Cheng-xian; Rafiq, Muhammad T.; Aziz, Rukhsanda; Hou, Dan-di; Ding, Zhe-li; Lin, Zi-wen; Lou, Lin-jun; Feng, Yuan-yuan; Li, Ting-qiang; Yang, Xiao-e

    2013-01-01

    A pot culture experiment was carried out to investigate the accumulation properties of mercury (Hg) in rice grain and cabbage grown in seven soil types (Udic Ferrisols, Mollisol, Periudic Argosols, Latosol, Ustic Cambosols, Calcaric Regosols, and Stagnic Anthrosols) spiked with different concentrations of Hg (CK, 0.25, 0.50, 1.00, 2.00, and 4.00 mg/kg). The results of this study showed that Hg accumulation of plants was significantly affected by soil types. Hg concentration in both rice grain and cabbage increased with soil Hg concentrations, but this increase differed among the seven soils. The stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that pH, Mn(II), particle size distribution, and cation exchange capacity have a close relationship with Hg accumulation in plants, which suggested that physicochemical characteristics of soils can affect the Hg accumulation in rice grain and cabbage. Critical Hg concentrations in seven soils were identified for rice grain and cabbage based on the maximum safe level for daily intake of Hg, dietary habits of the population, and Hg accumulation in plants grown in different soil types. Soil Hg limits for rice grain in Udic Ferrisols, Mollisol, Periudic Argosols, Latosol, Ustic Cambosols, Calcaric Regosols, and Stagnic Anthrosols were 1.10, 2.00, 2.60, 2.78, 1.53, 0.63, and 2.17 mg/kg, respectively, and critical soil Hg levels for cabbage are 0.27, 1.35, 1.80, 1.70, 0.69, 1.68, and 2.60 mg/kg, respectively. PMID:24302714

  3. Levels of mercury and pathological changes in patients with organomercury poisoning

    PubMed Central

    Al-Saleem, T.

    1976-01-01

    Autopsies were carried out on 4 adults who died during the outbreak of mercury poisoning in Iraq and on 4 infants who were exposed to organomercury in utero. Mercury levels in tissues and in some body fluids were determined. The high levels of mercury in the central nervous system and the marked neuronal degeneration are noted. PMID:1086172

  4. Factors influencing total mercury levels among Lebanese dentists.

    PubMed

    Harakeh, Steve; Sabra, Nada; Kassak, Kassem; Doughan, Bassel

    2002-10-01

    The aim of the current study is to examine the various factors, which contribute to high levels of mercury (Hg) in the hair of Lebanese dentists. The survey, which was carried out on ninety-nine dentists in the greater Beirut area, included a structured questionnaire designed to provide information about the parameters that influenced their occupational exposure to Hg. These included: precautionary measures, dental fillings, work habits and lifestyle of the tested dentists. The study showed that two of the four investigated precautionary measures had a significant effect on Hg level. The results revealed that, at the 95% confidence levels, Hg concentration in hair was significantly lower among the dentists who always used gloves and masks. Multiple regression analysis showed that the use of masks (P = 0.055) had significant effects on mercury accumulation in hair. In addition, dentists who saw more than eight patients per day had marginally higher mercury levels in their hair than those who did not. Since it was shown that precautionary measures could limit exposure to Hg concentration, then the use of protective measures needs to be emphasized. PMID:12389787

  5. Citric acid facilitated thermal treatment: An innovative method for the remediation of mercury contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Ma, Fujun; Peng, Changsheng; Hou, Deyi; Wu, Bin; Zhang, Qian; Li, Fasheng; Gu, Qingbao

    2015-12-30

    Thermal treatment is a promising technology for the remediation of mercury contaminated soils, but it often requires high energy input at heating temperatures above 600C, and the treated soil is not suitable for agricultural reuse. The present study developed a novel method for the thermal treatment of mercury contaminated soils with the facilitation of citric acid (CA). A CA/Hg molar ratio of 15 was adopted as the optimum dosage. The mercury concentration in soils was successfully reduced from 134 mg/kg to 1.1mg/kg when treated at 400C for 60 min and the treated soil retained most of its original soil physiochemical properties. During the treatment process, CA was found to provide an acidic environment which enhanced the volatilization of mercury. This method is expected to reduce energy input by 35% comparing to the traditional thermal treatment method, and lead to agricultural soil reuse, thus providing a greener and more sustainable remediation method for treating mercury contaminated soil in future engineering applications. PMID:26253234

  6. Green waste compost as an amendment during induced phytoextraction of mercury-contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Smolinska, Beata

    2015-03-01

    Phytoextraction of mercury-contaminated soils is a new strategy that consists of using the higher plants to make the soil contaminant nontoxic. The main problem that occurs during the process is the low solubility and bioavailability of mercury in soil. Therefore, some soil amendments can be used to increase the efficiency of the Hg phytoextraction process. The aim of the investigation was to use the commercial compost from municipal green wastes to increase the efficiency of phytoextraction of mercury-contaminated soil by Lepidium sativum L. plants and determine the leaching of Hg after compost amendment. The result of the study showed that Hg can be accumulated by L. sativum L. The application of compost increased both the accumulation by whole plant and translocation of Hg to shoots. Compost did not affect the plant biomass and its biometric parameters. Application of compost to the soil decreased the leaching of mercury in both acidic and neutral solutions regardless of growing medium composition and time of analysis. Due to Hg accumulation and translocation as well as its potential leaching in acidic and neutral solution, compost can be recommended as a soil amendment during the phytoextraction of mercury-contaminated soil. PMID:25245260

  7. Sulfur Polymer Stabilization/Solidification Treatability Study of Mercury Contaminated Soil from the Y-12 Site

    SciTech Connect

    Kalb P.; Milian, L.; Yim, S. P.

    2012-11-30

    As a result of past operations, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12 Plant) has extensive mercury-contamination in building structures, soils, storm sewer sediments, and stream sediments, which are a source of pollution to the local ecosystem. Because of mercury’s toxicity and potential impacts on human health and the environment, DOE continues to investigate and implement projects to support the remediation of the Y-12 site.URS and #9122;CH2M Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR) under its prime contract with DOE has cleanup responsibilities on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation and is investigating potential mercury-contaminated soil treatment technologies through an agreement with Babcock and Wilcox (B and W) Y-12, the Y-12 operating contractor to DOE. As part of its investigations, UCOR has subcontracted with Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) to conduct laboratory-scale studies evaluating the applicability of the Sulfur Polymer Stabilization/Solidification (SPSS) process using surrogate and actual mixed waste Y-12 soils containing mercury (Hg) at 135, 2,000, and 10,000 ppm.SPSS uses a thermoplastic sulfur binder to convert Hg to stable mercury sulfide (HgS) and solidifies the chemically stable product in a monolithic solid final waste form to reduce dispersion and permeability. Formulations containing 40 – 60 dry wt% Y-12 soil were fabricated and samples were prepared in triplicate for Environmental Protection Agency Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) testing by an independent laboratory. Those containing 50 and 60 wt% soil easily met the study criteria for maximum allowable Hg concentrations (47 and 1 ppb, respectively compared with the TCLP limit of 200 ppb Hg). The lowest waste loading of 40 wt% yielded TCLP Hg concentrations slightly higher (240 ppb) than the allowable limit. Since the Y-12 soil tended to form clumps, the improved leaching at higher waste loadings was probably due to reduction in particle size from friction of the soil mixing, which creates more surface area for chemical conversion. This was corroborated by the fact that the same waste loading pre-treated by ball milling to reduce particle size prior to SPSS processing yielded TCLP concentrations almost 30 times lower, and at 8.5 ppb Hg was well below EPA limits. Pre-treatment by ball milling also allowed a reduction in the time required for stabilization, thus potentially reducing total process times by 30%.Additional performance testing was conducted including measurement of compressive strength to confirm mechanical integrity and immersion testing to determine the potential impacts of storage or disposal under saturated conditions. For both surrogate and actual Y-12 treated soils, waste form compressive strengths ranged between 2,300 and 6,500 psi, indicating very strong mechanical integrity (a minimum of greater than 40 times greater than the NRC guidance for low-level radioactive waste). In general, compressive strength increases with waste loading as the soil acts as an aggregate in the sulfur concrete waste forms. No statistically significant loss in strength was recorded for the 30 and 40 wt% surrogate waste samples and only a minor reduction in strength was measured for the 43 wt% waste forms. The 30 wt% Y-12 soil did not show a significant loss in strength but the 50 wt% samples were severely degraded in immersion due to swelling of the clay soil. The impact on Hg leaching, if any, was not determined.

  8. Simultaneous determination of mercury and organic carbon in sediment and soils using a direct mercury analyzer based on thermal decomposition-atomic absorption spectrophotometry.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jingjing; Chakravarty, Pragya; Davidson, Gregg R; Wren, Daniel G; Locke, Martin A; Zhou, Ying; Brown, Garry; Cizdziel, James V

    2015-04-29

    The purpose of this work was to study the feasibility of using a direct mercury analyzer (DMA) to simultaneously determine mercury (Hg) and organic matter content in sediment and soils. Organic carbon was estimated by re-weighing the sample boats post analysis to obtain loss-on-ignition (LOI) data. The DMA-LOI results were statistically similar (p<0.05) to the conventional muffle furnace approach. A regression equation was developed to convert DMA-LOI data to total organic carbon (TOC), which varied between 0.2% and 13.0%. Thus, mercury analyzers based on combustion can provide accurate estimates of organic carbon content in non-calcareous sediment and soils; however, weight gain from moisture (post-analysis), measurement uncertainty, and sample representativeness should all be taken into account. Sediment cores from seasonal wetland and open water areas from six oxbow lakes in the Mississippi River alluvial flood plain were analyzed. Wetland sediments generally had higher levels of Hg than open water areas owing to a greater fraction of fine particles and higher levels of organic matter. Annual loading of Hg in open water areas was estimated at 4.3, 13.4, 19.2, 20.7, 129, and 135 ng cm(-2) yr(-1) for Beasley, Roundaway, Hampton, Washington, Wolf and Sky Lakes, respectively. Generally, the interval with the highest Hg flux was dated to the 1960s and 1970s. PMID:25847156

  9. Effects of intensive fishing on the structure of zooplankton communities and mercury levels.

    PubMed

    Masson, Stéphane; Tremblay, Alain

    2003-03-20

    Following the impoundment of hydroelectric reservoirs, a small fraction of the mercury (Hg) in the flooded soils is transformed and released into the ecosystem. This causes an increase in the mercury level in the food chain, particularly in piscivorous fish, and represents a potential risk for human health. In 1998, Hydro-Québec carried out an intensive fishing campaign to examine the feasibility of using intensive fishing as a mitigation tool. The goal of this particular part of the project was to evaluate the impact of intensive fishing on the zooplanktonic communities' structure and mercury levels. Specifically, the effects of intensive fishing on: (1) total biomass and zooplankton size structure (>500, 200-500, 100-200 and 53-100 microm); (2) species composition; and (3) total mercury and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in zooplankton of different size fractions were studied. Although important decreases were observed in total zooplankton biomass or its size structure, it cannot be related to the intensive fishing. The results, however, show major changes in the dominance of macrozooplanktonic species in fished lakes as opposed to reference lakes. Similarly, in contrast to the reference lakes, mercury and MeHg concentrations in the four size fractions of the zooplanktonic communities changed from 1998 to 2000 in the fished lakes. The MeHg concentration increased from approximately 20 to 200 ng/gdw from the 53 to 500 microm mesh size fraction, showing a biomagnification in the food chain. The canonical correspondence analysis showed that lakes dominated by Holopedium gibberum presented higher concentrations of Hg and MeHg than lakes dominated by Daphnia spp. PMID:12663198

  10. Mercury in vegetation and organic soil at an upland boreal forest site in Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedli, H. R.; Radke, L. F.; Payne, N. J.; McRae, D. J.; Lynham, T. J.; Blake, T. W.

    2007-03-01

    We studied an upland boreal forest plot located in the Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada, to measure the total mercury content in vegetation and organic soil with a view to assessing the potential for mercury release during forest fires. The study area consists of two stands of vegetation regrown after fires 39 and 130 years ago, with different carbon and mercury stocks in vegetation and organic soil. The mercury concentrations in ng g-1 (dry weight) were measured for moss (90-110), leaves (8), needles (10), bark (16-38), lichen (30-227), bole wood (2) and for organic soil layers (120-300). The combined mercury stock increased from 1.01 ± 0.28 to 3.45 ± 0.87 mg m-2 for the two stand ages; 93-97% of the mercury resided in the organic soil to the mineral layer. The mercury input to the ecosystem is from wet and dry deposition and is trapped in the organic soil layers as indicated by the high organic soil mercury concentrations and low mercury concentration in the underlying mineral layer. Extrapolation from the data measured for the two subplots to all boreal forests suggests a massive mercury stock in boreal forests (15,000 to 44,000 t). This is a low estimate because boreal lowlands have still higher mercury densities. Not all of the organic soil mercury was acquired since the last burns; some predates the more recent fires. The mercury being predominantly located in the organic soil makes fire severity the most important parameter for mercury release. The anticipated accelerated warming in northern latitudes would increase severity, frequency and burn area of future fires and result in large pulses of mercury to the atmosphere and further stress to the environment.

  11. Phytoremediation of mercury in pristine and crude oil contaminated soils: Contributions of rhizobacteria and their host plants to mercury removal.

    PubMed

    Sorkhoh, N A; Ali, N; Al-Awadhi, H; Dashti, N; Al-Mailem, D M; Eliyas, M; Radwan, S S

    2010-11-01

    The rhizospheric soils of three tested legume crops: broad beans (Vicia faba), beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and pea (Pisum sativum), and two nonlegume crops: cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and tomato, (Lycopersicon esculentum) contained considerable numbers (the magnitude of 10(5)g(-1) soil) of bacteria with the combined potential for hydrocarbon-utilization and mercury-resistance. Sequencing of the 16S rRNA coding genes of rhizobacteria associated with broad beans revealed that they were affiliated to Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter aerogenes, Exiquobacterium aurantiacum, Pseudomonas veronii, Micrococcus luteus, Brevibacillus brevis, Arthrobacter sp. and Flavobacterium psychrophilum. These rhizobacteria were also diazotrophic, i.e. capable of N(2) fixation, which makes them self-sufficient regarding their nitrogen nutrition and thus suitable remediation agents in nitrogen-poor soils, such as the oily desert soil. The crude oil attenuation potential of the individual rhizobacteria was inhibited by HgCl(2), but about 50% or more of this potential was still maintained in the presence of up to 40 mgl(-1) HgCl(2). Rhizobacteria-free plants removed amounts of mercury from the surrounding media almost equivalent to those removed by the rhizospheric bacterial consortia in the absence of the plants. It was concluded that both the collector plants and their rhizospheric bacterial consortia contributed equivalently to mercury removal from soil. PMID:20833430

  12. Methyl Mercury Production In Tropical Hydromorphic Soils: Impact Of Gold Mining.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guedron, S.; Charlet, L.; Harris, J.; Grimaldi, M.; Cossa, D.

    2007-12-01

    Artisanal alluvial gold mining is important in many tropical developing countries and several million people are involved worldwide. The dominant use of mercury for gold amalgamation in this activity leads to mercury accumulation in soils, to sediment contamination and to methyl mercury (MMHg) bioaccumulation along the food chain. In this presentation we will present recent data on methyl mercury production in hydromorphic soils and tailing ponds from a former gold mining area located in French Guiana (South America). Comparison of specific fluxes between a pristine sub watershed and the contaminated watershed shows that former mining activities lead to a large enhancement of dissolved and particulate MMHg emissions at least by a factor of 4 and 6, respectively. MMHg production was identified in sediments from tailing ponds and in surrounding hydromorphic soils. Moreover, interstitial soil water and tailing pond water profiles sampled in an experimental tailing pond demonstrate the presence of a large MMHg production in the suboxic areas. Both tailing ponds and hydromorphic soils present geochemical conditions that are favorable to bacterial mercury methylation (high soil Hg content, high aqueous ferric iron and dissolved organic carbon concentrations). Although sulfate-reducing bacteria have been described as being the principal mercury methylating bacteria, the positive correlation between dissolved MMHg and ferrous iron concentrations argue for a significant role of iron-reducing bacteria. Identifications by sequencing fragments of 16S rRNA from total soil DNA support these interpretations. This study demonstrates that current and past artisanal gold mining in the tropics lead to methyl mercury production in contaminated areas. As artisanal activities are increasing with increasing gold prices, the bio- magnification of methyl mercury in fish presents an increasing threat to local populations whose diet relies on fish consumption.

  13. Strong positive associations between seafood, vegetables, and alcohol with blood mercury and urinary arsenic levels in the Korean adult population.

    PubMed

    Park, Sunmin; Lee, Byung-Kook

    2013-01-01

    Blood mercury and urinary arsenic levels are more than fivefold greater in the Korean population compared with those of the United States. This may be related to the foods people consumed. Therefore, we examined the associations between food categories and mercury and arsenic exposure in the Korean adult population. Data regarding nutritional, biochemical, and health-related parameters were obtained from a cross-sectional study, the 2008-2009 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (3,404 men and women age ≥ 20 years). The log-transformed blood mercury and urinary arsenic levels were regressed against the frequency tertiles of each food group after covariate adjustment for sex, age, residence area, education level, smoking status, and drinking status using food-frequency data. Blood mercury levels in the high consumption groups compared to the low consumption groups were elevated by about 20 percents with salted fish, shellfish, whitefish, bluefish, and alcohol, and by about 9-14 percents with seaweeds, green vegetables, fruits and tea, whereas rice did not affect blood mercury levels. Urinary arsenic levels were markedly increased with consumption of rice, bluefish, salted fish, shellfish, whitefish, and seaweed, whereas they were moderately increased with consumption of grains, green and white vegetables, fruits, coffee, and alcohol. The remaining food categories tended to lower these levels only minimally. In conclusion, the typical Asian diet, which is high in rice, salted fish, shellfish, vegetables, alcoholic beverages, and tea, may be associated with greater blood mercury and urinary arsenic levels. This study suggests that mercury and arsenic contents should be monitored and controlled in soil and water used for agriculture to decrease health risks from heavy-metal contamination. PMID:23011092

  14. Quantifying the effects of soil temperature, moisture and sterilization on elemental mercury formation in boreal soils.

    PubMed

    Pannu, Ravinder; Siciliano, Steven D; O'Driscoll, Nelson J

    2014-10-01

    Soils are a source of elemental mercury (Hg(0)) to the atmosphere, however the effects of soil temperature and moisture on Hg(0) formation is not well defined. This research quantifies the effect of varying soil temperature (278-303 K), moisture (15-80% water filled pore space (WFPS)) and sterilization on the kinetics of Hg(0) formation in forested soils of Nova Scotia, Canada. Both, the logarithm of cumulative mass of Hg(0) formed in soils and the reduction rate constants (k values) increased with temperature and moisture respectively. Sterilizing soils significantly (p < 0.05, n = 10) decreased the percent of total Hg reduced to Hg(0). We describe the fundamentals of Hg(0) formation in soils and our results highlight two key processes: (i) a fast abiotic process that peaks at 45% WFPS and depletes a small pool of Hg(0) and; (ii) a slower, rate limiting biotic process that generates a large pool of reducible Hg(II). PMID:25016467

  15. Effect of root metabolism on the post-depositional mobilization of mercury in salt marsh soils

    SciTech Connect

    Marins, R.V. |; Lacerda, L.D.; Goncalves, G.O.; Paiva, E.C. de

    1997-05-01

    Salt marsh soils are an efficient sink for trace metals associated with particulate material in tidal waters and have been proposed as monitors for trace metal contamination in coastal areas, on the basis that vertical profiles provide a record of loading rates. However, the complex nature of the biogeochemical processes occurring in these soils, may prevent this use, since post-depositional mobilization of some trace metals may occur, resulting in their release to pore water, vertical movement through the soil column and exchange with overlying waters. This paper presents and compares the vertical profiles of mercury in soil cores taken under a Spartina altermilflora marsh and in adjacent mod flats without plant cover to characterize the role played by this plant on the post-depositional movement of mercury through the soil and on the possibility of using such profiles as indicators of mercury loading rates in coastal areas. 19 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  16. REMOVAL OF MERCURY FROM CONTAMINATED SOILS AT THE PAVLODAR CHEMICAL PLANT.

    SciTech Connect

    KHRAPUNOV, V. YE.; ISAKOVA, R.A.; LEVINTOV, B.L.; KALB, P.D.; KAMBEROV, I.M.; TREBUKHOV, A.

    2004-09-25

    Soils beneath and adjacent to the Pavlodar Chemical Plant in Kazakhstan have been contaminated with elemental mercury as a result of chlor alkali processing using mercury cathode cell technology. The work described in this paper was conducted in preparation for a demonstration of a technology to remove the mercury from the contaminated soils using a vacuum assisted thermal distillation process. The process can operate at temperatures from 250-500 C and pressures of 0.13kPa-1.33kPa. Following vaporization, the mercury vapor is cooled, condensed and concentrated back to liquid elemental mercury. It will then be treated using the Sulfur Polymer Stabilization/Solidification process developed at Brookhaven National Laboratory as described in a companion paper at this conference. The overall project objectives include chemical and physical characterization of the contaminated soils, study of the influence of the soil's physical-chemical and hydro dynamical characteristics on process parameters, and laboratory testing to optimize the mercury sublimation rate when heating in vacuum. Based on these laboratory and pilot-scale data, a full-scale production process will be designed for testing. This paper describes the soil characterization. This work is being sponsored by the International Science and Technology Center.

  17. Glutathione level after long-term occupational elemental mercury exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Kobal, Alfred Bogomir Prezelj, Marija; Horvat, Milena; Krsnik, Mladen; Gibicar, Darija; Osredkar, Josko

    2008-05-15

    Many in vitro and in vivo studies have elucidated the interaction of inorganic mercury (Hg) and glutathione. However, human studies are limited. In this study, we investigated the potential effects of remote long-term intermittent occupational elemental Hg vapour (Hg{sup o}) exposure on erythrocyte glutathione levels and some antioxidative enzyme activities in ex-mercury miners in the period after exposure. The study included 49 ex-mercury miners divided into subgroups of 28 still active, Hg{sup o}-not-exposed miners and 21 elderly retired miners, and 41 controls, age-matched to the miners subgroup. The control workers were taken from 'mercury-free works'. Reduced glutathione (GSH) and oxidized disulphide glutathione (GSSG) concentrations in haemolysed erythrocytes were determined by capillary electrophoresis, while total glutathione (total GSH) and the GSH/GSSG ratio were calculated from the determined values. Catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione reductase (GR) activities in erythrocytes were measured using commercially available reagent kits, while urine Hg (U-Hg) concentrations were determined by cold vapour atomic absorption (CVAAS). No correlation of present U-Hg levels, GSH, GSSG, and antioxidative enzymes with remote occupational biological exposure indices were found. The mean CAT activity in miners and retired miners was significantly higher (p<0.05) than in the controls. No differences in mean GPx activity among the three groups were found, whereas the mean GR activity was significantly higher (p<0.05) in miners than in retired miners. The mean concentrations of GSH (mmol/g Hb) in miners (13.03{+-}3.71) were significantly higher (p<0.05) than in the control group (11.68{+-}2.66). No differences in mean total GSH, GSSG levels, and GSH/GSSG ratio between miners and controls were found. A positive correlation between GSSG and present U-Hg excretion (r=0.41, p=0.001) in the whole group of ex-mercury miners was observed. The significantly lower GSH level (p<0.05) determined in the group of retired miners (9.64{+-}1.45) seems to be age-related (r=-0.39, p=0.001). Thus, the moderate but significantly increased GSH level, GR and CAT activity in erythrocytes in the subgroup of miners observed in the period after exposure to Hg{sup o} could be an inductive and additive response to maintain the balance between GSH and antioxidative enzymes in interaction with the Hg body burden accumulated during remote occupational exposure, which does not represent a severely increased oxidative stress.

  18. Mercury levels in common (Actitis hypoleucos) and green (Tringa ochropus) sandpipers from west-central Iran.

    PubMed

    Malekian, Mansoureh; Hosseinpour-Mohamadabadi, Zahra

    2015-05-01

    Mercury concentrations were examined in the liver, kidneys, and tail and breast feathers of common and green sandpipers from Zayanderud Dam in west-central Iran. The aim was to provide indirect information about habitat contamination. Tail feathers of both species had higher mercury levels compared to other tissues. Moreover, tissues of common sandpipers had significantly higher mercury concentrations compared to tissues of green sandpipers. Male specimens of both species had higher values of mercury compared to females. The pattern of larger body size-higher mercury body burden was not completely true in the current study. Smaller and shorter common sandpipers had higher mercury concentrations compared to taller and heavier green sandpipers. At the intraspecific level, body weight was positively correlated with mercury concentrations in tissues of common sandpipers. Based on the data presented here, it appears that these sandpipers, especially common sandpipers, are at potential risk from the toxic effects of mercury. PMID:25851218

  19. [Effects of cadmium and mercury combined pollution on soil urease and acid phosphatase activities].

    PubMed

    Yu, Shou-na; Liao, Min; Huang, Chang-yong

    2008-08-01

    With incubation test, the effects of cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg) combined pollution on the urease and acid phosphatase activities in marine sediment silty loam soil (S1) and yellowish red soil (S2) were studied. The results indicated that during the whole incubation period, Cd and Hg, whether singly or combined together, had significant inhibitory effects on the urease and phosphatase activities in the two test soils, and the effects increased with their increasing concentration (except for Cd < or =1 mg x kg(-1)). Compared with that under Cd or Hg pollution, the net change rates of soil urease and acid phosphatase activities under the same level Cd and Hg combined pollution were higher than 0, suggesting the synergistic effects of these two heavy metals on the inhibition of soil urease and acid phosphatase activities. In all treatments, the activities of urease and acid phosphatase were higher in S2 than in S1, possibly due to the higher contents of organic matter and clay particle in S2. PMID:18975767

  20. Selenium modulates mercury uptake and distribution in rice (Oryza sativa L.), in correlation with mercury species and exposure level.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jiating; Li, Yufeng; Li, Yunyun; Gao, Yuxi; Li, Bai; Hu, Yi; Zhao, Yuliang; Chai, Zhifang

    2014-10-01

    Rice cultured in Hg- and/or Se-contaminated fields is an important food source of human Hg/Se intake. There are elevated Hg and Se levels in the soil of the Wanshan District, Guizhou Province. Here we attempted to explore how a Hg antagonist, Se, modulates the absorption and accumulation of inorganic mercury (IHg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in rice. The effects of Se on the content and transportation of Hg in hydroponic and soil cultured rice plants were examined. The results show that IHg mainly accumulated in the rice roots, but some also accumulated in the rice grain. In comparison to IHg, MeHg can be concentrated in the rice grain, and the proportion of MeHg in the rice grain may account for above 40% of the total Hg. Se can protect against Hg phytotoxicity in rice and inhibit IHg accumulation in rice tissues, but was not remarkable for MeHg at a low dosage exposure level in this study. These discrepancies imply mechanistic differences between IHg and MeHg absorption and accumulation in rice. This study illustrates that Se plays an important role in modulating Hg uptake, transportation and accumulation in rice. Therefore, Se is considered to be a naturally existing element that effectively reduces Hg accumulation in rice, which may have significant implications for food safety. PMID:25142173

  1. Comparison of laser induced breakdown spectroscopy and spark induced breakdown spectroscopy for determination of mercury in soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srungaram, Pavan K.; Ayyalasomayajula, Krishna K.; Yu-Yueh, Fang; Singh, Jagdish P.

    2013-09-01

    Mercury is a toxic element found throughout the environment. Elevated concentrations of mercury in soils are quite hazardous to plants growing in these soils and also the runoff of soils to nearby water bodies contaminates the water, endangering the flora and fauna of that region. This makes continuous monitoring of mercury very essential. This work compares two potential spectroscopic methods (laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and spark induced breakdown spectroscopy (SIBS)) at their optimum experimental conditions for mercury monitoring. For LIBS, pellets were prepared from soil samples of known concentration for generating a calibration curve while for SIBS, soil samples of known concentration were used in the powder form. The limits of detection (LODs) of Hg in soil were calculated from the Hg calibration curves. The LOD for mercury in soil calculated using LIBS and SIBS is 483 ppm and 20 ppm, respectively. The detection range for LIBS and SIBS is discussed.

  2. Monitoring of arsenic, boron and mercury by lichen and soil analysis in the Mt. Amiata geothermal area (central Italy)

    SciTech Connect

    Loppi, S.

    1997-12-31

    Epiphytic lichens and top-soils from the Mt. Amiata geothermal field (central Italy) were analyzed for their As, B and Hg content. Three areas were selected: (1) Abbadia S. Salvatore, where a large Hg mine with smelting and roasting plant was located; (2) Piancastagnaio, where there are geothermal power plants; (3) a remote site far from mines and geothermal power plants. The results showed that the geothermal power plants do not represent a macroscopic source of arsenic and boron contamination in the area. As far as mercury is concerned, at the Hg mining area of Abbadia S. Salvatore concentrations were extremely high both in soil and epiphytic lichens, and the anomalous content in these organisms was due to the uptake of elemental mercury originating from soil degassing. At the geothermal area of Piancastagnaio, soil mercury was not different from that in the control area, but Hg in lichens was almost twice the control levels, suggesting that the gaseous emissions from the geothermal power plants are an important source of air contamination.

  3. Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCoy, T. J.; Nittler, L. R.

    Mercury has always held the distinction of being the terrestrial planet most unlike the others. On 18 March 2011, after three successful flybys of Mercury, the MESSENGER spacecraft entered orbit around Mercury. Essential to the payload of MESSENGER are three instruments designed to measure the geochemistry of the surface - an x-ray spectrometer, a gamma-ray spectrometer, and a neutron spectrometer. Together, the data returned by these three instruments - coupled with insights about planetary structure gained from tracking the spacecraft, spectral data measured in orbit, and a new and complete view of the geology of the surface - have begun to revolutionize the people's understanding of Mercury. In this chapter, the authors first review the pre-MESSENGER views of Mercury, followed by the first results from the MESSENGER mission. The authors then discuss the implications of these first results in constraining the origin of Mercury, followed by looking forward to future work.

  4. Hg contents in soils and olive-tree (Olea Europea, L.) leaves from an area affected by elemental mercury pollution (Jódar, SE Spain).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Berdonces, Miguel Angel; María Esbrí, José; Amorós, José Angel; Lorenzo, Saturnino; Fernández-Calderón, Sergio; Higueras, Pablo; Perez-de-los-Reyes, Caridad

    2014-05-01

    Data from soil and olive tree leaves around a decommissioned chlor-alkali plant are presented in this communication. The factory was active in the period 1977-1991, producing during these years a heavily pollution of Guadalquivir River and hydrargyrism in more than local 45 workers. It is located at 7 km South of Jódar, a locality with some 12,120 inhabitants. Mercury usage was general in this type of plants, but at present it is being replaced by other types of technologies, due to the risks of mercury usage in personal and environment. A soil geochemistry survey was carried out in the area, along with the analysis of olive-tree leaves (in the plots with this culture) from the same area. 73 soil samples were taken at two different depths (0-15 cm and 15-30 cm), together with 41 olive tree samples. Mercury content of geologic and biologic samples was determined by means of Atomic Absorption Spectrometry with Zeeman Effect, using a Lumex RA-915+ device with the RP-91C pyrolysis attachment. Air surveys were carried our using a RA-915M Lumex portable analytical device. Soil mercury contents were higher in topsoil than in the deeper soil samples, indicating that incorporation of mercury was due to dry and wet deposition of mercury vapors emitted from the plant. Average content in topsoil is 564.5 ng g-1. Hg contents in olive-tree leaves were in the range 46 - 453 ng g-1, with an average of 160.6 ng g-1. This level is slightly lower than tolerable level for agronomic crops established by Kabata-Pendias (2001) in 200 ng g-1. We have also compared soil and leaf contents for each sampling site, finding a positive and significant correlation (R=0.49), indicating that Hg contents in the leaves are linked to Hg contents in the soils. BAC (Bioaccumulation Absorption Coefficient, calculated as ratio between soil and leaf concentration) is 0.28 (consistent with world references, BAC = 0.7), considered "medium" in comparison with other mineral elements. Main conclusions of this research work are the following: i) The Jódar decommissioned chlor-alkali plant is still a mercury source 20 years after its cease of activities without any reclamation measures; ii) The activity of the plant has produced an important dissemination of mercury in the surrounding environment; and iii) The corresponding pollution levels, in particular in soils, may suppose a risk to the main crops of the area (olive trees present significant accumulation of Hg in leaf).

  5. Mercury flux from naturally enriched bare soils during simulated cold weather cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walters, Nicholas E.; Glassford, Shannon M.; Van Heyst, Bill J.

    2016-03-01

    Elemental mercury flux released from terrestrial surfaces is a critical area of research due to mercury's potent toxicity and persistency on a global scale. However, there is significant uncertainty surrounding mercury flux in colder environments. The objective of this research was to investigate and identify the potential mechanisms responsible for the release of elemental mercury flux from bare soils in cold weather temperature cycling under simulated laboratory conditions. Seasonal cycling scenarios, including freeze-thaw and sub-zero, were utilized to simulate Fall, Winter, and Spring. The results for both freeze-thaw and sub-zero cycles indicated that there are separate and distinct mechanisms present that promote elemental mercury flux at temperatures below 0°C. During the freeze-thaw cycles, the amount of flux released was linked to the amount of energy leaving and entering the system, respectively. During the sub-zero cycles, flux spikes were produced by the thin surface layer of soil and corresponded to air temperature minimums rather than soil temperature minimums. This rapid drop in temperature was speculated to force mercury from the ice structure, due to further freezing of the liquid water content, increasing the mercury concentration within the remaining water and creating a pathway that encourages volatilization to the atmosphere. This was not observed in the thin layer clean soil trials. Additionally, as the soil water content approached a field capacity of approximately 20%, the flux pattern was suppressed during freeze-thaw cycles, as the number of available interstitial pore spaces decreased. However, this pattern was not observed during sub-zero cycling, as the largest response was triggered with the highest water content.

  6. Environmental contamination and risk assessment of mercury from a historic mercury mine located in southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Li, Yonghua

    2013-02-01

    A field survey of mercury pollution in environmental media and human hair samples obtained from residents living in the area surrounding the Chatian mercury mine (CMM) of southwestern China was conducted to evaluate the health risks of mercury to local residents. The results showed that mine waste, and tailings in particular, contained high levels of mercury and that the maximum mercury concentration was 88.50 μg g(-1). Elevated mercury levels were also found in local surface water, paddy soil, and paddy grain, which may cause severe health problems. The mercury concentration of hair samples from the inhabitants of the CMM exceeded 1.0 μg g(-1), which is the limit recommended by the US EPA. Mercury concentrations in paddy soil were positively correlated with mercury concentrations in paddy roots, stalks, and paddy grains, which suggested that paddy soil was the major source of mercury in paddy plant tissue. The average daily dose (ADD) of mercury for local adults and preschool children via oral exposure reached 0.241 and 0.624 μg kg(-1) body weight per day, respectively, which is approaching or exceeds the provisional tolerable daily intake. Among the three oral exposure routes, the greatest contributor to the ADD of mercury was the ingestion of rice grain. Open-stacked mine tailings have resulted in heavy mercury contamination in the surrounding soil, and the depth of appreciable soil mercury concentrations exceeded 100 cm. PMID:22722913

  7. Total and methyl mercury levels in wild mammals from the PreCambrian Shield area of south central Ontario, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Wren, C.; MacCrimmon, H.; Frank, R.; Suda, P.

    1980-07-01

    It has been established that elevated mercury levels in fish occur in areas remote from recognized point sources of mercury contamination. It may be expected, therefore, that mercury levels may also be accumulated through natural processes in wild mammals inhabiting those areas. A process for demethylating organic mercury to less toxic inorganic mercury has been suggested in some marine mammals exposed to high mercury levls. It is possible that similar demethylating process exists in terrestial mammals which are exposed to elevated levels of mercury in their diet. Natural mercury levels in fish have been reported in the PreCambrian Shield of the Muskoka District. The present paper compares total and methyl mercury levels occurring in various organs of wilder beaver, raccoon and otter representing herbivorous, omnivorous and carnivorous life styles, collected from the same general area where substantial mercury levels are known to occur in fish.

  8. USEPA'S RESEARCH PROGRAM ON REMEDIATION AND CONTAINMENT OF ARSENIC AND MERCURY IN SOILS, INDUSTRIAL WASTES, AND GROUNDWATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the U.S. and around the world, mercury and arsenic contaminated soils, industrial wastes, and groundwater are difficult to effectively and cheaply remediate and contain. Mercury is a serious health concern and has been identified as a contaminant in the air, soil, sediment, su...

  9. The sorption characteristics of mercury as affected by organic matter content and/or soil properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Šípková, Adéla; Šillerová, Hana; Száková, Jiřina

    2014-05-01

    The determination and description of the mercury sorption extend on soil is significant for potential environmental toxic effects. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of mercury sorption at different soil samples and vermicomposts. Mercury interactions with soil organic matter were studied using three soils with different physical-chemical properties - fluvisol, cambisol, and chernozem. Moreover, three different vermicomposts based on various bio-waste materials with high organic matter content were prepared in special fermentors. First was a digestate, second was represented by a mixture of bio-waste from housing estate and woodchips, and third was a garden bio-waste. In the case of vermicompost, the fractionation of organic matter was executed primarily using the resin SuperliteTM DAX-8. Therefore, the representation of individual fractions (humic acid, fulvic acid, hydrophilic compounds, and hydrophobic neutral organic matter) was known. The kinetics of mercury sorption onto materials of interest was studied by static sorption experiments. Samples were exposed to the solution with known Hg concentration of 12 mg kg-1 for the time from 10 minutes to 24 hours. Mercury content in the solutions was measured by the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Based on this data, the optimum conditions for following sorption experiments were chosen. Subsequently, the batch sorption tests for all soil types and vermicomposts were performed in solution containing variable mercury concentrations between 1 and 12 mg kg-1. Equilibrium concentration values measured in the solution after sorption and calculated mercury content per kilogram of the soil or the vermi-compost were plotted. Two basic models of sorption isotherm - Langmuir and Freundlich, were used for the evaluation of the mercury sorption properties. The results showed that the best sorption properties from studied soil were identified in chernozem with highest cation exchange capacity. The highest amount of mercury was adsorbed by the vermicompost from garden bio-waste. This vermicompost contained the most humic acids and the least amount of other fractions of organic matter. Acknowledgements: Financial support for these investigations was provided by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic; Project No. 503/12/0682 and Czech University of Life Science Prague; Project No. 21140/1313/3130.

  10. Effects of rice residue incorporation on the speciation, potential bioavailability and risk of mercury in a contaminated paddy soil.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Huike; Zhong, Huan; Evans, Douglas; Hintelmann, Holger

    2015-08-15

    To reduce air pollution, straw return instead of burning is being strongly encouraged in China, including some mercury polluted areas. Nevertheless, the possible influences of straw return on methylation, bioavailability and exposure risk of mercury were relatively unknown. In this study, different amounts of rice straw or root were added into a mercury contaminated soil. Potential bioavailability of soil-bound mercury to crops/deposit-feeders was assessed by quantifying extraction rates of mercury (%) by calcium chloride (CaCl2)/bovine serum albumin (BSA). Extraction rates of inorganic mercury (IHg) or methylmercury (MMHg) decreased significantly in rice residue amended soils, possibly due to the strong binding of mercury with organic matter in root/straw. Meanwhile, MMHg concentrations increased by 2-8 times in amended soils. Such increases were attributed to enhanced microbial activities and/or formation of Hg-S-DOM complexes after rice residue incorporation and decomposition. Consequently, potential exposure risk of IHg (quantified as concentration of potentially bioavailable mercury in soil) decreased significantly while that of MMHg increased up to 4 times. To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating that rice residue incorporation could significantly affect biogeochemistry of both IHg and MMHg in soils, which should be considered in straw incorporation activities in mercury polluted areas. PMID:25827269

  11. Spatial variability of mercury emissions from soils in a southeastern US urban environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabriel, Mark C.; Williamson, Derek G.; Brooks, Steve; Zhang, Hong; Lindberg, Steve

    2005-10-01

    We quantified gaseous mercury (Hg0) fluxes over soil surfaces in an urban setting during the winters of 2003 and 2004 across the metropolitan area of Tuscaloosa, AL. The objective was to provide a first inspection of the local spatial variability of mercury flux in an urban area. Flux sampling took place on bare, undisturbed, soil surfaces within four evenly spaced landuse areas of Tuscaloosa: industrial, commercial, residential, and mixed landuse. Median total gaseous mercury fluxes (ng/m2 h) from each site were as follows: 4.45 (residential site), 1.40 (industrial site), 2.14 (commercial site), and 0.87 (mixed landuse site). Using non-parametric statistical analyses, the residential and mixed landuse sites were found to be statistically different from the overall median flux. Landuse and soil type are the suspected factors primarily controlling the observed spatially variable fluxes. The presence of statistically different fluxes over soil surfaces on a local scale in this preliminary study warrants additional investigation, particularly during the spring and summer seasons when terrestrial mercury emission is the highest. Providing such information will help develop better estimates of mercury emission from urban areas and, ultimately, lead to more accurate and useful spatially relevant inventories.

  12. Mercury degassing from forested and open field soils in Rondnia, Western Amazon, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Marcelo D; Marins, Rozane V; Paraquetti, Heloisa H M; Bastos, Wanderley R; Lacerda, Luiz D

    2009-09-01

    A Teflon dynamic flux chamber was used to characterize Gaseous Elemental Mercury (GEM) flux from forested and open field soils in a highly changing environment in Rondnia State, western Amazon. We simultaneously analyzed meteorological parameters at the soil level relating GEM fluxes to soil temperature, air humidity, soil moisture, solar radiation, and speed and wind direction. We also examined variations of atmospheric GEM concentration. GEM fluxes during the day and night in the open field site were significantly different (17+/-14ngm(-2) h(-1) and 0.9+/-1.9ngm(-2)h(-1), for day and night, respectively), but were similar within the forest site (4.8+/-1.4ngm(-2)h(-1) and 4.4+/-1.8ngm(-2) h(-1) for day and night periods, respectively). A comparison between 24-h periods averages in the two sites showed much larger emission from the open field site. GEM fluxes at the open field site were positively correlated with soil moisture, solar irradiation and soil temperature and inversely correlated with air humidity. At the forest site GEM fluxes showed no correlation with meteorological variables. At the open field site GEM concentrations significantly correlated with GEM flux, at least during the day. At night in the open field site and during the day and night at the forest site no correlation was found between GEM fluxes and GEM concentrations in the ambient air. Higher emissions from the open field site support earlier studies showing larger Hg remobilization following forest conversion to pasture. PMID:19555993

  13. Reclamation with cyanobacteria: toxic effect of mercury contaminated waste soil on biochemical variables.

    PubMed

    Mishra, B B; Nanda, D R

    1997-01-01

    During an attempt to decrease the toxicity of industrial waste (soil) from a chloralkali factory by blue-green algae, the effect of the waste soil mixed in varying proportions with garden soil, on biochemical variables was studied. The nucleic acid, protein and free amino acid content of the algae decreased significantly with increasing time and waste soil concentration. The algae accumulated a substantial amount of mercury from the medium depending on the duration of algal growth and waste soil concentration. An increase in RNA/DNA and a decrease in the ratio of protein/RNA and protein/free amino acids was observed. PMID:9693887

  14. Volcanism and soil mercury on Mars - Consequences for terrestrial microorganisms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siegel, B. Z.; Siegel, S. M.

    1978-01-01

    An earth-Mars depletion formula proposed by Anders and Owen for volatiles is used to calculate a range of putative Hg levels for Martian volcanic soils based upon analyzed samples from Hawaii. The range is about 50-150 microgram per kg. When applied either in conventional or special media (e.g., basalt powder), these levels of Hg are effective inhibitors of the growth of earth microorganisms. Taken together with other hostile chemical and physical factors, volcanic toxicants would appear to provide a further deterrent to the accidental establishment of terrestrial microbiota on Mars.

  15. Mercury transformation and release differs with depth and time in a contaminated riparian soil during simulated flooding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poulin, Brett A.; Aiken, George R.; Nagy, Kathryn L.; Manceau, Alain; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Ryan, Joseph N.

    2016-03-01

    Riparian soils are an important environment in the transport of mercury in rivers and wetlands, but the biogeochemical factors controlling mercury dynamics under transient redox conditions in these soils are not well understood. Mercury release and transformations in the Oa and underlying A horizons of a contaminated riparian soil were characterized in microcosms and an intact soil core under saturation conditions. Pore water dynamics of total mercury (HgT), methylmercury (MeHg), and dissolved gaseous mercury (Hg0(aq)) along with selected anions, major elements, and trace metals were characterized across redox transitions during 36 d of flooding in microcosms. Next, HgT dynamics were characterized over successive flooding (17 d), drying (28 d), and flooding (36 d) periods in the intact core. The observed mercury dynamics exhibit depth and temporal variability. At the onset of flooding in microcosms (1-3 d), mercury in the Oa horizon soil, present as a combination of ionic mercury (Hg(II)) bound to thiol groups in the soil organic matter (SOM) and nanoparticulate metacinnabar (β-HgS), was mobilized with organic matter of high molecular weight. Subsequently, under anoxic conditions, pore water HgT declined coincident with sulfate (3-11 d) and the proportion of nanoparticulate β-HgS in the Oa horizon soil increased slightly. Redox oscillations in the intact Oa horizon soil exhausted the mobile mercury pool associated with organic matter. In contrast, mercury in the A horizon soil, present predominantly as nanoparticulate β-HgS, was mobilized primarily as Hg0(aq) under strongly reducing conditions (5-18 d). The concentration of Hg0(aq) under dark reducing conditions correlated positively with byproducts of dissimilatory metal reduction (∑(Fe,Mn)). Mercury dynamics in intact A horizon soil were consistent over two periods of flooding, indicating that nanoparticulate β-HgS was an accessible pool of mobile mercury over recurrent reducing conditions. The concentration of MeHg increased with flooding time in both the Oa and A horizon pore waters. Temporal changes in pore water constituents (iron, manganese, sulfate, inorganic carbon, headspace methane) all implicate microbial control of redox transitions. The mobilization of mercury in multiple forms, including HgT associated with organic matter, MeHg, and Hg0(aq), to pore waters during periodic soil flooding may contribute to mercury releases to adjacent surface waters and the recycling of the legacy mercury to the atmosphere.

  16. Effects of low dietary levels of methyl mercury on mallard reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.

    1974-01-01

    Mallard ducks were fed a control diet or a diet containing 0.5 ppm or 3 ppm mercury (as methylmercury dicyandiamide). Health of adults and reproductive success were studied. The dietary level of 3 ppm mercury had harmful effects on reproduction, although it did not appear to affect the health of the adults during the 12 months of dosage. Ducks that were fed the diet containing 0.5 ppm mercury reproduced as well as controls, and ducklings from parents fed 0.5 ppm mercury grew faster in the first week of life than did controls....The greatest harm to reproduction associated with the diet containing 3 ppm mercury was an increase in duckling mortality, but reduced egg laying and increased embryonic mortality also occurred....During the peak of egg laying, eggs laid by controls tended to be heavier than eggs laid by ducks fed either level of mercury; however, there seemed to be no eggshell thinning associated with mercury treatment. Levels of mercury reached about 1 ppm in eggs from ducks fed a dietary dosage of 0.5 ppm mercury and between 6 and 9 ppm in the eggs from ducks fed 3 ppm mercury.

  17. A Simple Approach for Measuring Emission Patterns of Vapor Phase Mercury under Temperature-Controlled Conditions from Soil

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Ki-Hyun; Yoon, Hye-On; Jung, Myung-Chae; Oh, Jong-Min; Brown, Richard J. C.

    2012-01-01

    In an effort to study the possible effects of climate change on the behavior of atmospheric mercury (Hg), we built a temperature–controlled microchamber system to measure its emission from top soils. To this end, mercury vapour emission rates were investigated in the laboratory using top soil samples collected from an urban area. The emissions of Hg, when measured as a function of soil temperature (from ambient levels up to 70°C at increments of 10°C), showed a positive correlation with rising temperature. According to the continuous analyses of the Hg vapor given off by the identical soil samples, evasion rate diminished noticeably with increasing number of repetitions. The experimental results, if examined in terms of activation energy (Ea), showed highly contrasting patterns between the single and repetitive runs. Although the results of the former exhibited Ea values smaller than the vaporization energy of Hg (i.e., <14 Kcal mol−1), those of the latter increased systematically with increasing number of repetitions. As such, it is proposed that changes in the magnitude of Ea values can be used as a highly sensitive criterion to discriminate the important role of vaporization from other diverse (biotic/abiotic) processes occurring in the soil layer. PMID:22927791

  18. A simple approach for measuring emission patterns of vapor phase mercury under temperature-controlled conditions from soil.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ki-Hyun; Yoon, Hye-On; Jung, Myung-Chae; Oh, Jong-Min; Brown, Richard J C

    2012-01-01

    In an effort to study the possible effects of climate change on the behavior of atmospheric mercury (Hg), we built a temperature-controlled microchamber system to measure its emission from top soils. To this end, mercury vapour emission rates were investigated in the laboratory using top soil samples collected from an urban area. The emissions of Hg, when measured as a function of soil temperature (from ambient levels up to 70°C at increments of 10°C), showed a positive correlation with rising temperature. According to the continuous analyses of the Hg vapor given off by the identical soil samples, evasion rate diminished noticeably with increasing number of repetitions. The experimental results, if examined in terms of activation energy (Ea), showed highly contrasting patterns between the single and repetitive runs. Although the results of the former exhibited Ea values smaller than the vaporization energy of Hg (i.e., <14 Kcal mol(-1)), those of the latter increased systematically with increasing number of repetitions. As such, it is proposed that changes in the magnitude of Ea values can be used as a highly sensitive criterion to discriminate the important role of vaporization from other diverse (biotic/abiotic) processes occurring in the soil layer. PMID:22927791

  19. [Characteristics of mercury pollution in soil and atmosphere in Songhua River upstream Jia-pi-gou gold mining area].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Gang; Wang, Ning; Wang, Yuan; Liu, Te; Ai, Jian-Chao

    2012-09-01

    In the studied area of Jia-pi-gou at the upstream area of Songhua River, algamation process has been applied as a dominant method to extract gold for more than one hundred and eighty years, resulting in severe mercury environmental pollution. The total mercury contents in the atmosphere and soil have been determined by mercury analyzer (Zeeman RA915+) and cold atomic absorption spectrophotometry (GB/T 17136-1997), respectively. To study the pollution characteristics of mercury in the soil and atmosphere, the mercury flux at the interface between the soil and the atmosphere of 4 sampling sites Lao-jin-chang, Er-dao-gou, Er-dao-cha and community of Jia-pi-gou have been determined with the method of dynamic flux chamber. Furthermore, linear regression analyses on the total mercury contents between soil and atmosphere have been carried out and the correlation coefficient of mercury exchange flux between soil and atmosphere and meteorological factors has been studied. The results are as follows: (1) The mean value of mercury content in the atmosphere is (71.08 +/- 38.22) ng x m(-3). (2) The mean value of mercury content in the soil is (0.913 1 +/- 0.040 8) mg x kg(-1); it shows remarkably positive correlation between the mercury contents in soil and in the atmosphere. (3) The mercury exchange flux between soil and atmosphere in different locations are Lao-jin-chang [(129.13 +/- 496.07) ng (m2 x h)(-1)], Er-dao-gou [(98.64 +/- 43.96) ng x (m2 x h)(-1)], Er-dao-cha [(23.17 +/- 171.23) ng x (m2 x h)(-1)], and community of Jia-pi-gou [(7.12 +/- 46.33) ng x (m2 x h)(-1)]. (4) Solar radiation is the major influential factor in the mercury exchange flux between the soil and atmosphere in Lao-jin-chang, Er-dao-cha and community of Jia-pi-gou. Solar radiation, air temperature and soil temperature jointly influence the process of the mercury exchange flux between the soil and atmosphere in Er-dao-gou. Under the disturbance of terrain, three noticeably distinctive trend features of daily change of mercury exchange flux between the soil and atmosphere have been formed. PMID:23243844

  20. Mercury in wild mushrooms and underlying soil substrate from Koszalin, North-central Poland.

    PubMed

    Falandysz, Jerzy; Jedrusiak, Aneta; Lipka, Krzysztof; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Kawano, Masahide; Gucia, Magdalena; Brzostowski, Andrzej; Dadej, Monika

    2004-01-01

    Concentrations of total mercury were determined by cold-vapour atomic absorption spectroscopy (CV-AAS) in 221 caps and 221 stalks of 15 species of wild growing higher fungi/mushrooms and 221 samples of corresponding soil substrate collected in 1997-98 in Manowo County, near the city of Koszalin in North-central Poland. Mean mercury concentrations in caps and stalks of the mushroom species examined and soils varied between 30+/-31 and 920+/-280, 17+/-11 and 560+/-220, and 10+/-9 and 170+/-110 ng/g dry matter, respectively. Cap to stalk mercury concentration quotients were from 1.0+/-0.4 in poison pax (Paxillus involutus) to 2.8+/-0.7 in slippery jack (Suillus luteus). Brown cort (Cortinarius malicorius), fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), orange-brown ringless amanita (A. fulva), red-aspen bolete (Leccinum rufum) and mutagen milk cap (Lactarius necator) contained the highest concentrations of mercury both in caps and stalks, and mean concentrations varied between 600+/-750 and 920+/-280 and 370+/-470 and 560+/-220 ng/g dry matter, respectively. An estimate of daily intake of mercury from mushroom consumption indicated that the flesh of edible species of mushrooms may not pose hazards to human health even at a maximum consumption rate of 28 g/day. However, it should be noted that mercury intake from other foods will augment the daily intake rates. Species such as the sickener (Russula emetica), Geranium-scented russula (R. fellea) and poison pax (P. involutus) did not concentrate mercury as evidenced from the bioconcentration factors (BCFs: concentrations in mushroom/concentration in soil substrate), which were less than 1. Similarly, red-hot milk cap (L. rufus), rickstone funnel cap (Clitocybe geotropa) and European cow bolete (S. bovinus) were observed to be weak accumulators of mercury. Fly agaric (A. muscaria) accumulated great concentrations of mercury with BCFs reaching 73+/-42 and 38+/-22 in caps and stalks, respectively. Mercury BCFs of between 4.0+/-2.3 and 23+/-25 (caps) and 2.6+/-1.9 and 14+/-12 (stalks) were noted for the other mushroom species. Relatively great concentrations of mercury in fly agaric (A. muscaria) were due to preferential uptake of this element by this species. PMID:14581048

  1. An evaluation of mercury levels in Louisiana fish: trends and public health issues.

    PubMed

    Katner, Adrienne; Sun, Mei-Hung; Suffet, Mel

    2010-11-01

    To characterize statewide fish tissue mercury levels in edible finfish the first comprehensive analysis of Louisiana's fish tissue mercury database was conducted. Analyses were based on fifteen years of fish tissue mercury data collected from 368 waterbodies between 1994 and 2008 (n=14,344). The overall objectives of this study were to establish baseline fish tissue mercury levels; and evaluate species-specific temporal and spatial trends in fish tissue mercury levels. Fish tissue mercury levels ranged from 0.001 ppm (the detection limit) to 5.904 ppm for king mackerel; with an overall geometric mean of 0.218 ppm. Ninety-five percent of samples had mercury levels below the FDA's action level of 1.0 ppm for methylmercury in commercial food. Forty-four percent of all samples had mercury levels above the U.S. EPA's methylmercury fish tissue criterion of 0.3 ppm for sportfish. Species of potential concern include cobia, king mackerel, blackfin tuna, greater amberjack, spotted bass, bowfin, largemouth bass and freshwater drum. There was a significant but small decline in statewide length-adjusted largemouth bass mercury levels between 1994-1999 to 2003-2008 (p<0.05). The highest fish mercury levels were observed in Pearl, Calcasieu, Mermentau, Ouachita, Pontchartrain and Sabine basins. Length-adjusted largemouth bass mercury levels were significantly higher in wetlands and rivers/streams vs. lakes; and in wetlands vs. estuaries (p<0.05). Data were analyzed from a public health perspective to make recommendations for optimizing monitoring and outreach. PMID:20855108

  2. Impacts of mercury contaminated mining waste on soil quality, crops, bivalves, and fish in the Naboc River area, Mindanao, Philippines.

    PubMed

    Appleton, J D; Weeks, J M; Calvez, J P S; Beinhoff, C

    2006-02-01

    Rice paddy fields in the Naboc area, near Monkayo on the island of Mindanao, Philippines, have been irrigated four times a year over the last decade using Naboc River water contaminated with mercury (Hg) by artisanal gold mining in the Diwalwal area. Silt containing up to at least 90 mg Hg/kg (d.w.) has been deposited in rice paddy fields during the 1990s and this has been repeatedly mixed into the rice root zone through ploughing. Hg in the rice paddy field soils averages 24 mg Hg/kg and generally exceeds the UK and Canadian soil quality thresholds for agricultural soils as well as the proposed Dutch Intervention value and the USEPA soil ingestion Soil Screening Level (SSL) for inorganic Hg. Much lower Hg concentrations (0.05-0.99 mg/kg) within the range expected for uncontaminated soils, characterise soils on which corn and bananas are cultivated, largely because these are not irrigated with Hg-contaminated water from the Naboc River. The estimated total weekly MeHg intake for a person living in the Naboc area related to the weekly consumption of 2.1 kg of rice grown on Hg-contaminated soils (15 microg MeHg) in conjunction with 1 kg of fish (220 microg MeHg) and 100 g of mussels (50 microg MeHg) from the Naboc River, would total 285 microg MeHg (equivalent to 4.75 microg/kg bw for a 60 kg adult), which is nearly three times the JECFA PTWI of 1.6 microg/kg bw. This will significantly contribute to the population mercury exposure and might explain why 38% of the local inhabitants were classified as Hg intoxicated during a mercury toxicity assessment [Drasch GS, Böse, O'Reilly S, Beinhoff C, Roider G, Maydl S. The Mt. Diwata study on the Philippines 1999-assessing mercury intoxication of the population by small scale gold mining. Sci Total Environ 2001; 267(1-3): 151-168.]. PMID:16398996

  3. Unified Science Information Model for SoilSCAPE using the Mercury Metadata Search System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devarakonda, Ranjeet; Lu, Kefa; Palanisamy, Giri; Cook, Robert; Santhana Vannan, Suresh; Moghaddam, Mahta Clewley, Dan; Silva, Agnelo; Akbar, Ruzbeh

    2013-12-01

    SoilSCAPE (Soil moisture Sensing Controller And oPtimal Estimator) introduces a new concept for a smart wireless sensor web technology for optimal measurements of surface-to-depth profiles of soil moisture using in-situ sensors. The objective is to enable a guided and adaptive sampling strategy for the in-situ sensor network to meet the measurement validation objectives of spaceborne soil moisture sensors such as the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission. This work is being carried out at the University of Michigan, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Southern California, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory we are using Mercury metadata search system [1] for building a Unified Information System for the SoilSCAPE project. This unified portal primarily comprises three key pieces: Distributed Search/Discovery; Data Collections and Integration; and Data Dissemination. Mercury, a Federally funded software for metadata harvesting, indexing, and searching would be used for this module. Soil moisture data sources identified as part of this activity such as SoilSCAPE and FLUXNET (in-situ sensors), AirMOSS (airborne retrieval), SMAP (spaceborne retrieval), and are being indexed and maintained by Mercury. Mercury would be the central repository of data sources for cal/val for soil moisture studies and would provide a mechanism to identify additional data sources. Relevant metadata from existing inventories such as ORNL DAAC, USGS Clearinghouse, ARM, NASA ECHO, GCMD etc. would be brought in to this soil-moisture data search/discovery module. The SoilSCAPE [2] metadata records will also be published in broader metadata repositories such as GCMD, data.gov. Mercury can be configured to provide a single portal to soil moisture information contained in disparate data management systems located anywhere on the Internet. Mercury is able to extract, metadata systematically from HTML pages or XML files using a variety of methods including OAI-PMH [3]. The Mercury search interface then allows users to perform simple, fielded, spatial and temporal searches across a central harmonized index of metadata. Mercury supports various metadata standards including FGDC, ISO-19115, DIF, Dublin-Core, Darwin-Core, and EML. This poster describes in detail how Mercury implements the Unified Science Information Model for Soil moisture data. References: [1]Devarakonda R., et al. Mercury: reusable metadata management, data discovery and access system. Earth Science Informatics (2010), 3(1): 87-94. [2]Devarakonda R., et al. Daymet: Single Pixel Data Extraction Tool. http://daymet.ornl.gov/singlepixel.html (2012). Last Accesses 10-01-2013 [3]Devarakonda R., et al. Data sharing and retrieval using OAI-PMH. Earth Science Informatics (2011), 4(1): 1-5.

  4. The influence of depth on mercury levels in pelagic fishes and their prey.

    PubMed

    Choy, C Anela; Popp, Brian N; Kaneko, J John; Drazen, Jeffrey C

    2009-08-18

    Mercury distribution in the oceans is controlled by complex biogeochemical cycles, resulting in retention of trace amounts of this metal in plants and animals. Inter- and intra-specific variations in mercury levels of predatory pelagic fish have been previously linked to size, age, trophic position, physical and chemical environmental parameters, and location of capture; however, considerable variation remains unexplained. In this paper, we focus on differences in ecology, depth of occurrence, and total mercury levels in 9 species of commercially important pelagic fish (Thunnus obesus, T. albacares, Katsuwonus pelamis, Xiphias gladius, Lampris guttatus, Coryphaena hippurus, Taractichthys steindachneri, Tetrapturus audax, and Lepidocybium flavobrunneum) and in numerous representatives (fishes, squids, and crustaceans) of their lower trophic level prey sampled from the central North Pacific Ocean. Results indicate that total mercury levels of predatory pelagic fishes and their prey increase with median depth of occurrence in the water column and mimic concentrations of dissolved organic mercury in seawater. Stomach content analysis results from this study and others indicate a greater occurrence of higher-mercury containing deeper-water prey organisms in the diets of the deeper-ranging predators, X. gladius, T. obesus, and L. guttatus. While present in trace amounts, dissolved organic mercury increases with depth in the water column suggesting that the mesopelagic habitat is a major entry point for mercury into marine food webs. These data suggest that a major determinant of mercury levels in oceanic predators is their depth of forage. PMID:19666614

  5. An Assessment of health risk associated with mercury in soil and sediment from East Fork Poplar Creek, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Revis, N.; Holdsworth, G.; Bingham, G.; King, A.; Elmore, J.

    1989-04-01

    This report presents results from a study conducted to determine the toxicity of Mercury in soils sediments samples. Mice were fed via diet, soils and sediment, from various locations along the East Fork Poplar creek. Tissue distribution of pollutants was determined at various intervals. The tissue level relative to toxicity was used to determine the effect of a complex matrix on the gastrointestinal absorption and tissue distribution of the pollutants (other pollutants included cadmium and selenium).

  6. Gaseous mercury fluxes from forest soils in response to forest harvesting intensity: a field manipulation experiment.

    PubMed

    Mazur, M; Mitchell, C P J; Eckley, C S; Eggert, S L; Kolka, R K; Sebestyen, S D; Swain, E B

    2014-10-15

    Forest harvesting leads to changes in soil moisture, temperature and incident solar radiation, all strong environmental drivers of soil-air mercury (Hg) fluxes. Whether different forest harvesting practices significantly alter Hg fluxes from forest soils is unknown. We conducted a field-scale experiment in a northern Minnesota deciduous forest wherein gaseous Hg emissions from the forest floor were monitored after two forest harvesting prescriptions, a traditional clear-cut and a clearcut followed by biomass harvest, and compared to an un-harvested reference plot. Gaseous Hg emissions were measured in quadruplicate at four different times between March and November 2012 using Teflon dynamic flux chambers. We also applied enriched Hg isotope tracers and separately monitored their emission in triplicate at the same times as ambient measurements. Clearcut followed by biomass harvesting increased ambient Hg emissions the most. While significant intra-site spatial variability was observed, Hg emissions from the biomass harvested plot (180 ± 170 ng m(-2)d(-1)) were significantly greater than both the traditional clearcut plot (-40 ± 60 ng m(-2)d(-1)) and the un-harvested reference plot (-180 ± 115 ng m(-2)d(-1)) during July. This difference was likely a result of enhanced Hg(2+) photoreduction due to canopy removal and less shading from downed woody debris in the biomass harvested plot. Gaseous Hg emissions from more recently deposited Hg, as presumably representative of isotope tracer measurements, were not significantly influenced by harvesting. Most of the Hg tracer applied to the forest floor became sequestered within the ground vegetation and debris, leaf litter, and soil. We observed a dramatic lessening of tracer Hg emissions to near detection levels within 6 months. As post-clearcutting residues are increasingly used as a fuel or fiber resource, our observations suggest that gaseous Hg emissions from forest soils will increase, although it is not yet clear for how long such an effect will persist. PMID:24993512

  7. Association of Dissolved Mercury with Dissolved Organic Carbon in Rivers and Streams: The Role of Watershed Soil Organic Carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoken, O.; Riscassi, A.; Scanlon, T. M.

    2014-12-01

    Surface waters are an important pathway for the transport of atmospherically deposited mercury (Hg) from terrestrial watersheds. Dissolved Hg (HgD) is thought to be more bioavailable than particulate Hg and has been found to be strongly correlated with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in numerous watersheds. The ratio of HgD to DOC is highly variable from site to site, which we hypothesize is strongly dependent on local environmental factors such as atmospheric deposition and soil organic carbon (SOC). Sixteen watersheds throughout the United States were used in this study to determine the relationship between the ratio of HgD:DOC, Hg wet deposition, and SOC. The Soil Survey Geographic database (SSURGO) and Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD) were used to determine SOC values while HgD:DOC values were obtained from previous studies. Hg wet deposition was reported by the Mercury Deposition Network. There was no correlation found between atmospheric mercury wet deposition and HgD:DOC (r2 = 0.04; p = 0.44) but SOC was able to explain about 71% of the variation in the HgD:DOC ratio (r2 = 0.71; p < 0.01). A mathematical framework was developed to explain the power-law relationship between SOC and HgD:DOC based on soil carbon pools. The framework infers that the amount of Hg adsorbed to SOC does not increase in proportion to SOC at high SOC levels and points towards a Hg supply limitation for adsorption to soils with relatively deep carbon pools. Overall, this study identifies SOC as a first-order control on the association of HgD and DOC and indicates that globally available SOC datasets can be utilized to predict Hg transport in stream systems.

  8. Mercury, cadmium and lead biogeochemistry in the soil-plant-insect system in Huludao City.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhong-Sheng; Lu, Xian-Guo; Wang, Qi-Chao; Zheng, Dong-Mei

    2009-08-01

    Mercury, cadmium, and lead concentrations of ashed plants and insects samples were investigated and compared with those of soil to reveal their biogeochemical processes along food chains in Huludao City, Liaoning Province, China. Concentration factors of each fragments of the soil-plant-the herbivorous insect-the carnivorous insect food chain were 0.18, 6.57, and 7.88 for mercury; 6.82, 2.01, and 0.48 for cadmium; 1.47, 2.24, and 0.57 for lead, respectively. On the whole, mercury was the most largely biomagnified, but cadmium and lead were not greatly accumulated in the carnivorous insects as expected when the food chain extended to the secondary consumers. Results indicated that concentration factors depended on metals and insects species of food chains. PMID:19280090

  9. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in surface soils, Pueblo, Colorado: implications for population health risk.

    PubMed

    Diawara, Moussa M; Litt, Jill S; Unis, Dave; Alfonso, Nicholas; Martinez, Leeanne; Crock, James G; Smith, David B; Carsella, James

    2006-08-01

    Decades of intensive industrial and agricultural practices as well as rapid urbanization have left communities like Pueblo, Colorado facing potential health threats from pollution of its soils, air, water and food supply. To address such concerns about environmental contamination, we conducted an urban geochemical study of the city of Pueblo to offer insights into the potential chemical hazards in soil and inform priorities for future health studies and population interventions aimed at reducing exposures to inorganic substances. The current study characterizes the environmental landscape of Pueblo in terms of heavy metals, and relates this to population distributions. Soil was sampled within the city along transects and analyzed for arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb). We also profiled Pueblo's communities in terms of their socioeconomic status and demographics. ArcGIS 9.0 was used to perform exploratory spatial data analysis and generate community profiles and prediction maps. The topsoil in Pueblo contains more As, Cd, Hg and Pb than national soil averages, although average Hg content in Pueblo was within reported baseline ranges. The highest levels of As concentrations ranged between 56.6 and 66.5 ppm. Lead concentrations exceeded 300 ppm in several of Pueblo's residential communities. Elevated levels of lead are concentrated in low-income Hispanic and African-American communities. Areas of excessively high Cd concentration exist around Pueblo, including low income and minority communities, raising additional health and environmental justice concerns. Although the distribution patterns vary by element and may reflect both industrial and non-industrial sources, the study confirms that there is environmental contamination around Pueblo and underscores the need for a comprehensive public health approach to address environmental threats in urban communities. PMID:16752202

  10. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in surface soils, Pueblo, Colorado: Implications for population health risk

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Diawara, D.M.; Litt, J.S.; Unis, D.; Alfonso, N.; Martinez, L.A.; Crock, J.G.; Smith, D.B.; Carsella, J.

    2006-01-01

    Decades of intensive industrial and agricultural practices as well as rapid urbanization have left communities like Pueblo, Colorado facing potential health threats from pollution of its soils, air, water and food supply. To address such concerns about environmental contamination, we conducted an urban geochemical study of the city of Pueblo to offer insights into the potential chemical hazards in soil and inform priorities for future health studies and population interventions aimed at reducing exposures to inorganic substances. The current study characterizes the environmental landscape of Pueblo in terms of heavy metals, and relates this to population distributions. Soil was sampled within the city along transects and analyzed for arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb). We also profiled Pueblo's communities in terms of their socioeconomic status and demographics. ArcGIS 9.0 was used to perform exploratory spatial data analysis and generate community profiles and prediction maps. The topsoil in Pueblo contains more As, Cd, Hg and Pb than national soil averages, although average Hg content in Pueblo was within reported baseline ranges. The highest levels of As concentrations ranged between 56.6 and 66.5 ppm. Lead concentrations exceeded 300 ppm in several of Pueblo's residential communities. Elevated levels of lead are concentrated in low-income Hispanic and African-American communities. Areas of excessively high Cd concentration exist around Pueblo, including low income and minority communities, raising additional health and environmental justice concerns. Although the distribution patterns vary by element and may reflect both industrial and non-industrial sources, the study confirms that there is environmental contamination around Pueblo and underscores the need for a comprehensive public health approach to address environmental threats in urban communities. ?? Springer 2006.

  11. Organic Carbon Transformation and Mercury Methylation in Tundra Soils from Barrow Alaska

    DOE Data Explorer

    Liang, L.; Wullschleger, Stan; Graham, David; Gu, B.; Yang, Ziming

    2016-04-20

    This dataset includes information on soil labile organic carbon transformation and mercury methylation for tundra soils from Barrow, Alaska. The soil cores were collected from high-centered polygon (trough) at BEO and were incubated under anaerobic laboratory conditions at both freezing and warming temperatures for up to 8 months. Soil organic carbon including reducing sugars, alcohols, and organic acids were analyzed, and CH4 and CO2 emissions were quantified. Net production of methylmercury and Fe(II)/Fe(total) ratio were also measured and provided in this dataset.

  12. Latent Effect of Soil Organic Matter Oxidation on Mercury Cycling within a Southern Boreal Ecosystem

    EPA Science Inventory

    The focus of this study is to investigate processes causing the observed spatial variation of total mercury (THg) in the soil O horizon of watersheds within the Superior National Forest (Minnesota) and to determine if results have implications toward understanding long-term chang...

  13. Soil and Sediment Properties Affecting the Transport and Accumulations of Mercury in a Flood Control Reservoir

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mercury accumulations in some fish species from Grenada Lake in north Mississippi exceed the Food and Drug Administration standards for human consumption. This large flood control reservoir serves as a sink for the Skuna and Yalobusha River watersheds whose highly erodible soils contribute to exces...

  14. Mercury speciation in soils and river sediments of the industrialised Thur river catchment (Alsace, France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Remy, S.; Prudent, P.; Hissler, C.; Probst, J. L.

    2003-05-01

    The mobility of mercury (Hg), particularly organic Hg, has been studied in the Thur river basin using an ultra-sensitive and specific analytical equipment (High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) with on-line CVAFS detection). The Thur river, sub-tributary of the Rhine river is polluted by mercury since the beginning of the 20th century because of industrial effluents from chlorine and soda industry. This study allows to determine in different environmental compartments (soils and river sediments) the total mercury contents (THg) and, for the first time in such an industrialized catchment, the methyl mercury concentrations (MeHg). The ratio between MeHg and THg concentrations is higher in the grassland soils than in the industrial and alluvial soils even if MeHg and THg contents are higher in these latters. The highest MeHg/THg ratios can be observed for lowest C/N ratios and slightly acidic soils. MeHg/THg ratio is very low in the industrial channel despite high MeHg and THg concentrations. For river sediments, MeHg/THg ratios are higher in the suspended matters than in the bottom sediments. These first results are very helpful to better understand the transformation of Hg species in the different compartments and the processes of Hg transfer from one compartment to another.

  15. CALCULATION OF SOIL-WATER AND BENTHIC SEDIMENT PARTITION COEFFICIENTS FOR MERCURY

    EPA Science Inventory

    To accurately model mercury transport to water bodies, an assessment of this pollutant's behavior in the watershed is critical. Partition coefficients, defined as an estimate of the ratio of the pollutant concentration sorbed onto soil/sediment particles to the pollutant concentr...

  16. Mercury Reduction and Removal from High Level Waste at the Defense Waste Processing Facility - 12511

    SciTech Connect

    Behrouzi, Aria; Zamecnik, Jack

    2012-07-01

    The Defense Waste Processing Facility processes legacy nuclear waste generated at the Savannah River Site during production of enriched uranium and plutonium required by the Cold War. The nuclear waste is first treated via a complex sequence of controlled chemical reactions and then vitrified into a borosilicate glass form and poured into stainless steel canisters. Converting the nuclear waste into borosilicate glass is a safe, effective way to reduce the volume of the waste and stabilize the radionuclides. One of the constituents in the nuclear waste is mercury, which is present because it served as a catalyst in the dissolution of uranium-aluminum alloy fuel rods. At high temperatures mercury is corrosive to off-gas equipment, this poses a major challenge to the overall vitrification process in separating mercury from the waste stream prior to feeding the high temperature melter. Mercury is currently removed during the chemical process via formic acid reduction followed by steam stripping, which allows elemental mercury to be evaporated with the water vapor generated during boiling. The vapors are then condensed and sent to a hold tank where mercury coalesces and is recovered in the tank's sump via gravity settling. Next, mercury is transferred from the tank sump to a purification cell where it is washed with water and nitric acid and removed from the facility. Throughout the chemical processing cell, compounds of mercury exist in the sludge, condensate, and off-gas; all of which present unique challenges. Mercury removal from sludge waste being fed to the DWPF melter is required to avoid exhausting it to the environment or any negative impacts to the Melter Off-Gas system. The mercury concentration must be reduced to a level of 0.8 wt% or less before being introduced to the melter. Even though this is being successfully accomplished, the material balances accounting for incoming and collected mercury are not equal. In addition, mercury has not been effectively purified and collected in the Mercury Purification Cell (MPC) since 2008. A significant cleaning campaign aims to bring the MPC back up to facility housekeeping standards. Two significant investigations are being undertaken to restore mercury collection. The SMECT mercury pump has been removed from the tank and will be functionally tested. Also, research is being conducted by the Savannah River National Laboratory to determine the effects of antifoam addition on the behavior of mercury. These path forward items will help us better understand what is occurring in the mercury collection system and ultimately lead to an improved DWPF production rate and mercury recovery rate. (authors)

  17. Glutathione enzyme and selenoprotein polymorphisms associate with mercury biomarker levels in Michigan dental professionals

    SciTech Connect

    Goodrich, Jaclyn M.; Wang, Yi; Gillespie, Brenda; Werner, Robert; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, 325 E. Eisenhower Parkway Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48108 ; Franzblau, Alfred; Basu, Niladri

    2011-12-15

    Mercury is a potent toxicant of concern to both the general public and occupationally exposed workers (e.g., dentists). Recent studies suggest that several genes mediating the toxicokinetics of mercury are polymorphic in humans and may influence inter-individual variability in mercury accumulation. This work hypothesizes that polymorphisms in key glutathione synthesizing enzyme, glutathione s-transferase, and selenoprotein genes underlie inter-individual differences in mercury body burden as assessed by analytical mercury measurement in urine and hair, biomarkers of elemental mercury and methylmercury, respectively. Urine and hair samples were collected from a population of dental professionals (n = 515), and total mercury content was measured. Average urine (1.06 {+-} 1.24 ug/L) and hair mercury levels (0.49 {+-} 0.63 ug/g) were similar to national U.S. population averages. Taqman assays were used to genotype DNA from buccal swab samples at 15 polymorphic sites in genes implicated in mercury metabolism. Linear regression modeling assessed the ability of polymorphisms to modify the relationship between mercury biomarker levels and exposure sources (e.g., amalgams, fish consumption). Five polymorphisms were significantly associated with urine mercury levels (GSTT1 deletion), hair mercury levels (GSTP1-105, GSTP1-114, GSS 5 Prime ), or both (SEPP1 3 Prime UTR). Overall, this study suggests that polymorphisms in selenoproteins and glutathione-related genes may influence elimination of mercury in the urine and hair or mercury retention following exposures to elemental mercury (via dental amalgams) and methylmercury (via fish consumption). -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We explore the influence of 15 polymorphisms on urine and hair Hg levels. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Urine and hair Hg levels in dental professionals were similar to the US population. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer GSTT1 and SEPP1 polymorphisms associated with urine Hg levels. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Accumulation of Hg in hair following exposure from fish was modified by genotype. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer GSTP1, GSS, and SEPP1 polymorphisms influenced Hg accumulation in hair.

  18. Correlations Between Gene Expression and Mercury Levels in Blood of Boys With and Without Autism

    PubMed Central

    Green, Peter G.; Tian, Yingfang; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Pessah, Isaac N.; Hansen, Robin; Yang, Xiaowei; Teng, Jennifer; Gregg, Jeffrey P.; Ashwood, Paul; Van de Water, Judy; Sharp, Frank R.

    2009-01-01

    Gene expression in blood was correlated with mercury levels in blood of 2- to 5-year-old boys with autism (AU) compared to age-matched typically developing (TD) control boys. This was done to address the possibility that the two groups might metabolize toxicants, such as mercury, differently. RNA was isolated from blood and gene expression assessed on whole genome Affymetrix Human U133 expression microarrays. Mercury levels were measured using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was performed and partial correlations between gene expression and mercury levels were calculated, after correcting for age and batch effects. To reduce false positives, only genes shared by the ANCOVA models were analyzed. Of the 26 genes that correlated with mercury levels in both AU and TD boys, 11 were significantly different between the groups (P(Diagnosis*Mercury) ≤ 0.05). The expression of a large number of genes (n = 316) correlated with mercury levels in TD but not in AU boys (P ≤ 0.05), the most represented biological functions being cell death and cell morphology. Expression of 189 genes correlated with mercury levels in AU but not in TD boys (P ≤ 0.05), the most represented biological functions being cell morphology, amino acid metabolism, and antigen presentation. These data and those in our companion study on correlation of gene expression and lead levels show that AU and TD children display different correlations between transcript levels and low levels of mercury and lead. These findings might suggest different genetic transcriptional programs associated with mercury in AU compared to TD children. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12640-009-9137-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:19937285

  19. The bioaccessibility of soil-based mercury as determined by physiological based extraction tests and human biomonitoring in children.

    PubMed

    Safruk, Adam M; Berger, Robert G; Jackson, Blair J; Pinsent, Celine; Hair, Alan T; Sigal, Elliot A

    2015-06-15

    Environmental contaminants associated with soil particles are generally less bioavailable than contaminants associated with other exposure media where chemicals are often found in more soluble forms. In vitro methods, such as Physiological Based Extraction Tests (PBET), can provide estimates of bioaccessibility for soil-based contaminants. The results of these tests can be used to predict exposure to contaminants from soil ingestion pathways within human health risk assessment (HHRA). In the current investigation, an HHRA was conducted to examine the risks associated with elevated concentrations of mercury in soils in the northern Canadian smelter community of Flin Flon, Manitoba. A PBET was completed for residential soils and indicated mean bioaccessibilities of 1.2% and 3.0% for total mercury using gastric phase and gastric+intestinal phase methodologies, respectively. However, as many regulators only allow for the consideration of in vitro results for lead and arsenic in the HHRA process, in vitro bioaccessibility results for mercury were not utilized in the current HHRA. Based on the need to assume 100% bioaccessibility for inorganic mercury in soil, results from the HHRA indicated the need for further assessment of exposure and risk. A biomonitoring study was undertaken for children between 2 and 15 years of age in the community to examine urinary inorganic mercury concentrations. Overall, 375 children provided valid urine samples for analysis. Approximately 50% of urine samples had concentrations of urinary inorganic mercury below the limit of detection (0.1 μg/L), with an average creatinine adjusted concentration of 0.11 μg/g. Despite high variability in mercury soil concentrations within sub-communities, soil concentrations did not appear to influence urinary mercury concentrations. The results of the current investigation indicate that mercury bioaccessibility in residential soils in the Flin Flon area was likely limited and that HHRA estimates would have been better approximated through inclusion of the in vitro study results. PMID:25777960

  20. Mercury Levels in Pregnant Women, Children, and Seafood from Mexico City

    PubMed Central

    Basu, Niladri; Tutino, Rebecca; Zhang, Zhenzhen; Cantonwine, David E.; Goodrich, Jaclyn M.; Somers, Emily C.; Rodriguez, Lauren; Schnaas, Lourdes; Solano, Maritsa; Mercado, Adriana; Peterson, Karen; Sánchez, Brisa N.; Hernández-Avila, Mauricio; Hu, Howard; Téllez-Rojo, Martha Maria

    2014-01-01

    Background Mercury is a global contaminant of concern though little is known about exposures in México. Objectives To characterize mercury levels in pregnant women, children, and commonly consumed seafood samples. Methods Use resources of the Early Life Exposures in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants (ELEMENT) birth cohorts to measure total mercury levels in archived samples from 348 pregnant women (blood from three trimesters and cord blood), 825 offspring (blood, hair, urine) and their mothers (hair), and 91 seafood and canned tuna samples from Mexico City. Results Maternal blood mercury levels correlated across three trimesters and averaged 3.4μg/L. Cord blood mercury averaged 4.7μg/L and correlated with maternal blood from trimester 3 (but not trimesters 1 and 2). In children, blood, hair and urine mercury levels correlated and averaged 1.8μg/L, 0.6μg/g, and 0.9μg/L, respectively. Hair mercury was 0.5μg/g in mothers and correlated with child's hair. Mean consumption of canned tuna, fresh fish, canned sardine, and shellfish was 3.1, 2.2, 0.5, and 1.0 times per month respectively in pregnant women. Mean mercury content in 7 of 23 seafood species and 5 of 9 canned tuna brands purchased exceeded the U.S. EPA guidance value of 0.3 μg/g. Conclusions Mercury exposures in pregnant women and children from Mexico City, via biomarker studies, are generally 3-5 times greater than values reported in population surveys from the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere. In particular, mercury levels in 29-39% of the maternal participants exceeded the biomonitoring guideline associated with the U.S. EPA reference dose for mercury. PMID:25262076

  1. Chapter A5. Section 6.4.B. Low-Level Mercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lewis, Michael Edward; Brigham, Mark E.

    2004-01-01

    Collecting and processing water samples for analysis of mercury at a low (subnanogram per liter) level requires use of ultratrace-level techniques for equipment cleaning, sample collection, and sample processing. Established techniques and associated quality-assurance (QA) procedures for the collection and processing of water samples for trace-element analysis at the part-per-billion level (NFM 3-5) are not adequate for low-level mercury samples. Modifications to the part-per-billion procedures are necessary to minimize contamination of samples at a typical ambient mercury concentration, which commonly is at the subnanogram-per-liter level.

  2. Complexation of mercury(II) ions with humic acids in tundra soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasilevich, R. S.; Beznosikov, V. A.; Lodygin, E. D.; Kondratenok, B. M.

    2014-03-01

    The interaction mechanisms of mercury(II) ions with preparations of humic acids (HAs) isolated from organic horizons of surface-gleyed soils (Haplic Stagnosol (Gelic, Siltic)) of shrub tundra and hydromorphic peat gley soils (Histic Cryosol (Reductaquic, Siltic)) of moss-lichen tundra have been studied. The particular features of the interactions between the mercury(II) ions and the HAs are related to the molecular structure of the HAs, the mercury concentration range, and the environmental parameters. The fixation of mercury(II) ions into stable coordination compounds is most efficient in the pH range of 2.5-3.5. At the element concentrations below 0.50 μmol/dm3, the main complexing sites of HAs are their peripheral aminoacid functional groups. Pyrocatechol, salicylate, and phenolic groups from the nuclear moiety of molecules interact in the concentration range of 0.0005-0.50 mmol/dm3; the physical sorption of mercury hydroxo complexes by the surface of HAs is the main process occurring in the system.

  3. Spatial and vertical distribution of mercury in upland forest soils across the northeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Justin B.; Friedland, Andrew J; Engerbretson, Teresa R.; Kaste, James M.; Jackson, Brian P.

    2013-01-01

    Assessing current Hg pools in forest soils of the northeastern U.S. is important for monitoring changes in Hg cycling. The forest floor, upper and lower mineral horizons were sampled at 17 long-term upland forest sites across the northeastern U.S. in 2011. Forest floor Hg concentration was similar across the study region (274 ± 13 μg kg−1) while Hg amount at northern sites (39 ± 6 g ha−1) was significantly greater than at western sites (11 ± 4 g ha−1). Forest floor Hg was correlated with soil organic matter, soil pH, latitude and mean annual precipitation and these variables explained approximately 70% of the variability when multiple regressed. Mercury concentration and amount in the lower mineral soil was correlated with Fe, soil organic matter and latitude, corresponding with Bs horizons of Spodosols (Podzols). Our analysis shows the importance of regional and soil properties on Hg accumulation in forest soils. PMID:23911621

  4. Background levels of atmospheric mercury in Kagoshima City, and influence of mercury emission from Sakurajima Volcano, Southern Kyushu, Japan

    PubMed

    Tomiyasu; Nagano; Sakamoto; Yonehara

    2000-10-01

    Vapor phase mercury concentration was determined daily for 1 year (Jan. 1996-Jan. 1997) in order to present the levels of atmospheric mercury in Kagoshima City and to estimate the influence of mercury emission from Sakurajima Volcano, southern Kyushu, Japan. The atmospheric mercury was collected on a porous gold collector at Kagoshima University and was determined by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry; Kagoshima University of Kagoshima City is located approximately 11 km west of Sakurajima Volcano. The mercury concentration obtained was in the range 1.2-52.5 ng m(-3) (mean 10.8 ng m(-3), n = 169). The atmospheric concentration varied from season to season; the concentration was high in summer and lower in winter. A linear relation was obtained by plotting ln[Hg/ng m(-3)] vs. 1/T for the north, south and west winds with correlation coefficients of -0.76, -0.79 and -0.83, respectively, but no such dependency was found for the east wind (r = -0.035). When the wind is blowing from the east, Kagoshima City is on the leeward side of the volcano. The impact of the fumarolic activity of the volcano on ambient air in the city was evident in the disappearance of temperature dependency with the appearance of the east wind. Atmospheric mercury concentration except for the east wind was considered to be background levels of Kagoshima City. As background levels, 8.1 +/- 5.3 ng m(-3), 14.8 +/- 7.9 ng m(-3), 13.9 +/- 11.7 ng m(-3) and 4.4 +/- 1.6 ng m(-3) (mean +/- S.D.) were obtained for spring, summer, autumn and winter, respectively. PMID:11032152

  5. Vertical profile measurements of soil air suggest immobilization of gaseous elemental mercury in mineral soil.

    PubMed

    Obrist, Daniel; Pokharel, Ashok K; Moore, Christopher

    2014-02-18

    Evasion of gaseous elemental Hg (Hg(0)g) from soil surfaces is an important source of atmospheric Hg, but the volatility and solid-gas phase partitioning of Hg(0) within soils is poorly understood. We developed a novel system to continuously measure Hg(0)g concentrations in soil pores at multiple depths and locations, and present a total of 297 days of measurements spanning 14 months in two forests in the Sierra Nevada mountains, California, U.S. Temporal patterns showed consistent pore Hg(0)g concentrations below levels measured in the atmosphere (termed Hg(0)g immobilization), ranging from 66 to 94% below atmospheric concentrations throughout multiple seasons. The lowest pore Hg(0)g concentrations were observed in the deepest soil layers (40 cm), but significant immobilization was already present in the top 7 cm. In the absence of sinks or sources, pore Hg(0)g levels would be in equilibrium with atmospheric concentrations due to the porous nature of the soil matrix and gas diffusion. Therefore, we explain decreases in pore Hg(0)g in mineral soils below atmospheric concentrations--or below levels found in upper soils as observed in previous studies--with the presence of an Hg(0)g sink in mineral soils possibly related to Hg(0)g oxidation or other processes such as sorption or dissolution in soil water. Surface chamber measurements showing daytime Hg(0)g emissions and nighttime Hg(0)g deposition indicate that near-surface layers likely dominate net atmospheric Hg(0)g exchange resulting in typical diurnal cycles due to photochemcial reduction at the surface and possibly Hg(0)g evasion from litter layers. In contrast, mineral soils seem to be decoupled from this surface exchange, showing consistent Hg(0)g uptake and downward redistribution--although our calculations indicate these fluxes to be minor compared to other mass fluxes. A major implication is that once Hg is incorporated into mineral soils, it may be unlikely subjected to renewed Hg(0)g re-emission from undisturbed, background soils emphasizing the important role of soils in sequestering past and current Hg pollution loads. PMID:24428735

  6. Determination and assessment of total mercury levels in local, frozen and canned fish in Lebanon.

    PubMed

    Obeid, Pierre J; El-Khoury, Bilal; Burger, Joanne; Aouad, Samer; Younis, Mira; Aoun, Amal; El-Nakat, John Hanna

    2011-01-01

    Fish is an important constituent of the Lebanese diet. However, very little attention in our area is given to bring awareness regarding the effect of the toxicity of mercury (Hg) mainly through fish consumption. This study aimed to report analytical data on total mercury levels in several fish species for the first time in thirty years and to also made individuals aware of the presence and danger from exposure to mercury through fish consumption. Fish samples were selected from local Lebanese markets and fisheries and included 94 samples of which were fresh, frozen, processed, and canned fish. All values were reported as microgram of mercury per gram of fish based on wet weight. The level of mercury ranged from 0.0190 to 0.5700 microg/g in fresh samples, 0.0059 to 0.0665 microg/g in frozen samples, and 0.0305 to 0.1190 microg/g in canned samples. The data clearly showed that higher levels of mercury were detected in local fresh fish as opposed to other types thus placing consumers at higher risk from mercury exposure. Moreover, the data revealed that Mallifa (yellowstripe barracuda/Sphyraena chrysotaenia), Sargous (white seabream/Diplodus sargus), Ghobbos (bogue/Boops boops), and shrimp (Penaeus sp.) were among the types containing the highest amounts of mercury. On the other hand, processed fish such as fish fillet, fish burger, small shrimp and crab are found to contain lower levels of mercury and are associated with lower exposure risks to mercury. Lebanese population should therefore, be aware to consume limited amounts of fresh local fish to minimize exposure to mercury. PMID:22432295

  7. Mercury Release from Soils and Sediments in the Sacramento River Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suess, E.; Aiken, G. R.; Ryan, J. N.; Gasper, J. D.

    2007-12-01

    Mercury released into water from soils and sediments contaminated by cinnabar (HgS) and gold mining is a major environmental concern in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California. To better understand the conditions resulting in Hg solubilization from these contaminated materials, six soil and sediment samples from the Coastal Range and the Sierra Nevada were subject to batch leaching experiments under varying conditions. Sequential extraction analyses of the soils and sediments indicated that most of the mercury was present as (1) Hg as HgS in samples affected by HgS mining, which occurred in the Coastal Range, (2) Hg bound to metal oxides in a background serpentine soil from the Coastal Range, (3) Hg bound to sediment organic matter in lake sediments from Camp Far West Reservoir, and (4) elemental Hg in a sluice sediment from Starr Tunnel. The effects of pH, ionic strength, inorganic ions (chloride, calcium), simple organic ligands (mercaptoacetic acid, salicylic acid, EDTA), and dissolved organic matter (DOM) on the release of Hg were investigated. Leaching experiments confirmed that the water-soluble fraction was small (9 to 350 ng/L) compared to the amounts of Hg associated with the solid samples (1 to 36 μg/g total mercury); however, these concentrations would be sufficient to result in increased methylation by sulfate-reducing bacteria in wetland systems. An increase in mercury release was observed with (1) increasing pH due to solubilization of soil organic matter, (2) decreasing ionic strength due to colloid stabilization, and (3) increasing chloride concentration due to the formation of complexes with mercury. The presence of calcium strongly inhibited mercury release. Among the organic ligands, mercaptoacetic acid, which binds Hg very strongly, was the most effective at solubilizing Hg. DOM, in the form of organic matter isolates, was also very effective at solubilizing Hg for all samples except the lake sediment sample, with the most aromatic organic matter isolates being the most reactive. The results of this study indicate that DOM is very important in the mobilization of Hg from soils and sediments and will influence the dissolution, mobilization, and bioavailability of mercury in wetlands associated with the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta area.

  8. Efficiency of white lupin in the removal of mercury from contaminated soils: soil and hydroponic experiments.

    PubMed

    Zornoza, Pilar; Millán, Rocío; Sierra, M José; Seco, Almudena; Esteban, Elvira

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the ability of the white lupin to remove mercury (Hg) from a hydroponic system (Hg concentrations 0, 1.25, 2.5, 5 and 10 micromol/L) and from soil in pots and lysimeters (total Hg concentration (19.2 +/- 1.9) mg/kg availability 0.07%, and (28.9 +/- 0.4) mg/kg availability 0.09%, respectively), and investigated the accumulation and distribution of Hg in different parts of the plant. White lupin roots efficiently took up Hg, but its translocation to the harvestable parts of the plant was low. The Hg concentration in the seeds posed no risk to human health according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, but the shoots should not be used as fodder for livestock, at least when unmixed with other fodder crops. The accumulation of Hg in the hydroponically-grown plants was linear over the concentration range tested. The amount of Hg retained in the roots, relative to the shoots, was almost constant irrespective of Hg dose (90%). In the soil experiments, Hg accumulation increased with exposure time and was the greater in the lysimeter than in the pot experiments. Although Hg removal was the greater in the hydroponic system, revealing the potential of the white lupin to extract Hg, bioaccumulation was the greatest in the lysimeter-grown plants; the latter system more likely reflects the true behaviour of white lupin in the field when Hg availability is a factor that limits Hg removal. The present results suggest that the white lupin could be used in long-term soil reclamation strategies that include the goal of profitable land use in Hg-polluted areas. PMID:20614785

  9. Field analytical techniques for mercury in soils technology evaluation. Topical report, November 1994--March 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Solc, J.; Harju, J.A.; Grisanti, A.A.

    1998-02-01

    This report presents the evaluation of the four field analytical techniques for mercury detection in soils, namely (1) an anodic stripping voltametry technique (ASV) developed and tested by General Electric Corporation; (2) a static headspace analysis (SHSA) technique developed and tested by Dr. Ralph Turner of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; (3) the BiMelyze{reg_sign} Mercury Immunoassay (Bio) developed and tested by BioNebraska, Inc.; and (4) a transportable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) instrument/technique developed and tested by Spectrace, Inc.

  10. Mercury Levels in Locally Manufactured Mexican Skin-Lightening Creams

    PubMed Central

    Peregrino, Claudia P.; Moreno, Myriam V.; Miranda, Silvia V.; Rubio, Alma D.; Leal, Luz O.

    2011-01-01

    Mercury is considered one of the most toxic elements for plants and animals. Nevertheless, in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, whitening creams containing mercury are being manufactured and purchased, despite their obvious health risks. Due to the mass distribution of these products, this can be considered a global public health issue. In Mexico, these products are widely available in pharmacies, beauty aid and health stores. They are used for their skin lightening effects. The aim of this work was to analyze the mercury content in some cosmetic whitening creams using the cold vapor technique coupled with atomic absorption spectrometry (CV-AAS). A total of 16 skin-lightening creams from the local market were investigated. No warning information was noted on the packaging. In 10 of the samples, no mercury was detected. The mercury content in six of the samples varied between 878 and 36,000 ppm, despite the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the limit for mercury in creams should be less than 1 ppm. Skin creams containing mercury are still available and commonly used in Mexico and many developing countries, and their contents are poorly controlled. PMID:21776243

  11. Comparative Analysis for Polluted Agricultural Soils with Arsenic, Lead, and Mercury in Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Yarto-Ramirez, Mario; Santos-Santos, Elvira; Gavilan-Garcia, Arturo; Castro-Diaz, Jose; Gavilan-Garcia, Irma Cruz; Rosiles, Rene; Suarez, Sara

    2004-03-31

    The use of mercury in Mexico has been associated with the mining industry of Zacatecas. This activity has polluted several areas currently used for agriculture. The main objective of this study was to investigate the heavy metal concentration (Hg, As and Pb) in soil of Guadalupe Zacatecas in order to justify a further environmental risk assessment in the site. A 2X3 km grid was used for the sampling process and 20 soil samples were taken. The analysis was developed using EPA SW 846: 3050B/6010B method for arsenic and metals and EPA SW 846: 7471A for total mercury. It was concluded that there are heavy metals in agricultural soils used for corn and bean farming. For this it is required to make an environmental risk assessment and a bioavailability study in order to determine if there's a risk for heavy metals bioaccumulation in animals or human beings or metal lixiviation to aquifers.

  12. Dietary Predictors of Maternal Prenatal Blood Mercury Levels in the ALSPAC Birth Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Steer, Colin D.; Hibbeln, Joseph R.; Emmett, Pauline M.; Lowery, Tony; Jones, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Background: Very high levels of prenatal maternal mercury have adverse effects on the developing fetal brain. It has been suggested that all possible sources of mercury should be avoided. However, although seafood is a known source of mercury, little is known about other dietary components that contribute to the overall levels of blood mercury. Objective: Our goal was to quantify the contribution of components of maternal diet to prenatal blood mercury level. Methods: Whole blood samples and information on diet and sociodemographic factors were collected from pregnant women (n = 4,484) enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). The blood samples were assayed for total mercury using inductively coupled plasma dynamic reaction cell mass spectrometry. Linear regression was used to estimate the relative contributions of 103 dietary variables and 6 sociodemographic characteristics to whole blood total mercury levels (TBM; untransformed and log-transformed) based on R2 values. Results: We estimated that maternal diet accounted for 19.8% of the total variation in ln-TBM, with 44% of diet-associated variability (8.75% of the total variation) associated with seafood consumption (white fish, oily fish, and shellfish). Other dietary components positively associated with TBM included wine and herbal teas, and components with significant negative associations included white bread, meat pies or pasties, and french fries. Conclusions: Although seafood is a source of dietary mercury, seafood appeared to explain a relatively small proportion of the variation in TBM in our UK study population. Our findings require confirmation, but suggest that limiting seafood intake during pregnancy may have a limited impact on prenatal blood mercury levels. Citation: Golding J, Steer CD, Hibbeln JR, Emmett PM, Lowery T, Jones R. 2013. Dietary predictors of maternal prenatal blood mercury levels in the ALSPAC birth cohort study. Environ Health Perspect 121:1214–1218; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1206115 PMID:23811414

  13. Mercury levels in Great Lakes herring gull eggs, 1972--1992

    SciTech Connect

    Weseloh, D.V.; Koster, M.D.; Ryckman, D.P.; Struger, J.

    1995-12-31

    Since 1971, the herring gull (Larus argentatus) has been used as a sentinel species for monitoring the levels of persistent contaminants in the Great Lakes ecosystem. In this study, 21 herring gull colonies in the Great Lakes and connecting channels were sampled for years 1972--1976, 1981--1983, 1985 and 1992. For each year, 10 eggs (usually) were collected from each colony site and analyzed for total mercury (ppm, wet weight). Results indicated that eggs from Lake Ontario displayed the highest mercury levels, mean = 0.28 (s.d. = 0.08) to 0.73 (0.23). Lake Erie typically displayed the lowest egg mercury levels, 0.18 (0.08) to 0.24 (0.11). Overall, mercury levels ranged from 0.12 (0.02) in 1985 to 0.88 (0.23) in 1982 for Channel-Shelter Island (Lake Huron) and Pigeon Island (Lake Ontario), respectively. Generally, all colony sites showed peak mercury levels in 1982. A significant decline in egg mercury levels was observed in six colony sites between 1972 and 1992 and in three colony sites between 1981 and 1992. The mean herring gull egg mercury levels observed in the early and mid 1970s and in 1982 for some colony sites were within the range found which potentially reduces hatchability in other fish-eating bird species.

  14. Mercury and selenium levels, and selenium:mercury molar ratios of brain, muscle and other tissues in bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) from New Jersey, USA

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna; Jeitner, Christian; Donio, Mark; Pittfield, Taryn; Gochfeld, Michael

    2015-01-01

    A number of contaminants affect fish health, including mercury and selenium, and the selenium: mercury molar ratio. Recently the protective effects of selenium on methylmercury toxicity have been publicized, particularly for consumption of saltwater fish. Yet the relative ameliorating effects of selenium on toxicity within fish have not been examined, nor has the molar ratio in different tissues, (i.e. brain). We examined mercury and selenium levels in brain, kidney, liver, red and white muscle, and skin and scales in bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) from New Jersey to determine whether there were toxic levels of either metal, and we computed the selenium: mercury molar ratios by tissues. Total mercury averaged 0.32 ± 0.02 ppm wet weight in edible muscle and 0.09 ± 0.01 ppm in brain. Selenium concentration averaged 0.37 ± 0.03 in muscle and 0.36 ± 0.03 ppm in brain. There were significant differences in levels of mercury, selenium, and selenium: mercury molar ratios, among tissues. Mercury and selenium levels were correlated in kidney and skin/scales. Mercury levels were highest in kidney, intermediate in muscle and liver, and lowest in brain and skin/scales; selenium levels were also highest in kidney, intermediate in liver, and were an order of magnitude lower in the white muscle and brain. Mercury levels in muscle, kidney and skin/scales were positively correlated with fish size (length). Selenium levels in muscle, kidney and liver were positively correlated with fish length, but in brain; selenium levels were negatively correlated with fish length. The selenium: mercury molar ratio was negatively correlated with fish length for white muscle, liver, kidney, and brain, particularly for fish over 50 cm in length, suggesting that older fish experience less protective advantages of selenium against mercury toxicity than smaller fish, and that consumers of bluefish similarly receive less advantage from eating larger fish. PMID:23202378

  15. Unexpectedly high mercury level in pelleted commercial fish feed

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, M.H.; Cech, J.J. Jr.

    1998-10-01

    An unexpectedly high mercury (Hg) level was found in a pelleted commercial fish feed used to feed fish in laboratory and fish farm settings. Mean total Hg (T-Hg) concentration in the commercial fish pellets was 66 ppb. Mean total selenium (T-Se) concentration in the pellets was 1,120 ppb (ranging from 790 to 1,360 ppb). Total Hg and Se in the whole blood of Sacramento blackfish and in the fish feed were determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). During a 10-week sampling period T-Hg in blood fluctuated between 35 and 56 ppb. A highly significant, positive correlation was found between T-Hg in the fish blood and in the fish feed through the sampling period. On the other hand, no correlation was found between T-Se in the fish feed and T-Hg or T-Se blood level. Researchers working with fish in Hg studies need to know that fish pellets may contain Hg and to consider the influence of these pellets in their results.

  16. Examination of urinary mercury levels in dentists in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Karahalil, B; Rahravi, H; Ertas, N

    2005-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a naturally occurring element and its toxicity, especially in certain forms, has been known for many years. Exposure to Hg can occur in occupational and environmental settings. The toxicity of Hg compounds in dentistry has been an issue of increasing concern. Dental personnel are occupationally exposed to Hg vapor in their working environment and this exposure constitutes a potential risk to people in the dental surgery, mainly from the inhalation of Hg vapor and fine particles of amalgam. In this study, the urinary Hg excretion levels of 20 dentists and nine control subjects, matched for age, were determined by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrometer (CV-AAS). The levels of Hg in the urine samples of the dentists was about three times higher than the control subjects (6.2 +/- 3.5 and 1.97 +/- 0.9 microg/L, respectively) (P <0.001). Some 90% of dentists wore both gloves and masks. Standards of hygiene (use of mask, glove and gown) may contribute to the degree of exposure. Attention to important hygiene measures, such as the avoidance of spills of Hg, cleaning of floors after such spills, ventilation and the installation of ventilation, depending on technology, should be taken into consideration. Age and smoking habits did not influence the urinary Hg excretion. Our results showed that dentists had significant exposure to Hg vapor compared to control subjects and therefore might be subject to possible adverse effects due to Hg toxicity. PMID:16138728

  17. Mercury methylation in paddy soil: source and distribution of mercury species at a Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Lei; Anderson, Christopher W. N.; Qiu, Guangle; Meng, Bo; Wang, Dingyong; Feng, Xinbin

    2016-04-01

    Rice paddy plantation is the dominant agricultural land use throughout Asia. Rice paddy fields have been identified as important sites for methylmercury (MeHg) production in the terrestrial ecosystem and a primary pathway of MeHg exposure to humans in mercury (Hg) mining areas. We compared the source and distribution of Hg species in different compartments of the rice paddy during a complete rice-growing season at two different typical Hg-contaminated mining sites in Guizhou province, China: an abandoned site with a high Hg concentration in soil but a low concentration in the atmosphere and a current-day artisanal site with a low concentration in soil but a high concentration in the atmosphere. Our results showed that the flux of new Hg to the ecosystem from irrigation and atmospheric deposition was insignificant relative to the pool of old Hg in soil; the dominant source of MeHg to paddy soil is in situ methylation of inorganic Hg (IHg). Elevated MeHg concentrations and the high proportion of Hg as MeHg in paddy water and the surface soil layer at the artisanal site demonstrated active Hg methylation at this site only. We propose that the in situ production of MeHg in paddy water and surface soil is dependent on elevated Hg in the atmosphere and the consequential deposition of new Hg into a low-pH anoxic geochemical system. The absence of depth-dependent variability in the MeHg concentration in soil cores collected from the abandoned Hg mining site, consistent with the low concentration of Hg in the atmosphere and high pH of the paddy water and irrigation water, suggested that net production of MeHg at this site was limited. We propose that the concentration of Hg in ambient air is an indicator for the risk of MeHg accumulation in paddy rice.

  18. Dry deposition of gaseous elemental mercury to plants and soils using mercury stable isotopes in a controlled environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutter, Andrew P.; Schauer, James J.; Shafer, Martin M.; Creswell, Joel E.; Olson, Michael R.; Robinson, Michael; Collins, Ryan M.; Parman, Andrew M.; Katzman, Tanya L.; Mallek, Justin L.

    2011-02-01

    Uptake of gaseous elemental mercury (Hg 0(g)) by three plant species and two soil types was measured using mercury vapor enriched in the 198 isotope ( 198Hg 0(g)). The plant species and soil types were: White Ash ( Fraxinus Americana; WA); White Spruce ( Picea Glauca; WS); Kentucky Bluegrass ( Poa Partensis; KYBG); Plano Silt Loam (4% organic matter; PSL); and Plainfield Sand/Sparta Loamy Sand (1.25-1.5% organic matter: PS). The plants and soils were exposed to isotopically enriched Hg 0(g) in a 19 m 3 controlled environment room for 7 days under optimal plant growth conditions (20 °C, 140 Wm -2 between 300 nm and 700 nm; 70% RH) and atmospherically relevant Hg 0(g) concentrations. Mercury was recovered from the samples using acidic digestions and surface leaches, and then analyzed for enrichments in 198Hg by ICPMS. The method was sensitivity enough that statistically significant enrichments in 198Hg were measured in the plant foliage at the end of Day 1. Whole leaf digestions and surface-selective leaches revealed that accumulative uptake was predominantly to the interior of the leaf under the conditions studied. Uptake fluxes for WA increased between the first and third days and remained constant thereafter (WA; Day 1 = 7 ± 2 × 10 -5 ng m -2 s -1; Days 3-7 = 1.3 ± 0.1 × 10 -4 ng m -2 s -1; where m 2 refers to one sided leaf area). KYBG demonstrated similar behavior although no Day 3 measurement was available (Day 1 = 7.5 ± 0.5 × 10 -5 ng m -2 s -1; Day 7 = 1.2 ± 0.1 × 10 -4 ng m -2 s -1). Fluxes to White Spruce were lower, with little difference between Days 1 and 3 followed by a decrease at Day 7 (WS; Days 1-3 = 5 ± 2 × 10 -5 ng m -2 s -1; Day 7 = 2.4 ± 0.2 × 10 -5 ng m -2 s -1). Uptake of Hg to soils was below the method detection limit for those media (PSL = 3 × 10 -2 ng m -2 s -1; PS = 3 × 10 -3 ng m -2 s -1) over the 7 day study period. Foliar resistances calculated for each species compared well to previous studies.

  19. Fish consumption and hair mercury levels in women of childbearing age, Martin County, Florida.

    PubMed

    Nair, Anil; Jordan, Melissa; Watkins, Sharon; Washam, Robert; DuClos, Chris; Jones, Serena; Palcic, Jason; Pawlowicz, Marek; Blackmore, Carina

    2014-12-01

    The health effects of mercury in humans are mostly on the developing nervous system. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding must be targeted in order to decrease mercury exposure to the populations at highest risk-infants, unborn fetuses, and young children. This purpose of this study is to understand the demographics of fish-consumption patterns among women of childbearing age (including pregnant women) in Martin County, Florida, and to analyze the associations of mercury levels in participants' hair with socio-demographic variables in order to better design prevention messages and campaigns. Mercury concentrations in hair samples of 408 women ages 18-49 were assessed. Data on demographic factors, pregnancy status, fish consumption, and awareness of fish advisories were collected during personal interviews. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression. The geometric and arithmetic means of hair mercury concentration were 0.371 and 0.676 µg/g of hair. One-fourth of the respondents had a concentration ≥1 µg/g of hair. Consuming a higher number of fish meals per month, consumption of commercially purchased or locally caught fish higher in mercury, White race and income ≥$75,000 were positively associated with the likelihood of having higher hair mercury levels. This study confirms the existence of a higher overall mean hair mercury level and a higher percentage of women with ≥1 µg/g hair mercury level than those reported at the national level and in other regional studies. This suggests the need for region-specific fish consumption advisories to minimize mercury exposure in humans. PMID:24807406

  20. Ultralow Level Mercury Treatment Using Chemical Reduction and Air Stripping

    SciTech Connect

    Looney, B.B.

    2001-02-23

    The overall objective of this work is to develop a reasonable and cost-effective approach to meet the emerging mercury standards, especially for high volume outfalls with concentrations below the drinking water standard.

  1. Mercury contamination study for flight system safety

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorzynski, C. S., Jr.; Maycock, J. N.

    1972-01-01

    The effects and prevention of possible mercury pollution from the failure of solar electric propulsion spacecraft using mercury propellant were studied from tankage loading of post launch trajector injection. During preflight operations and initial flight mode there is little danger of mercury pollution if proper safety precautions are taken. Any spillage on the loading, mating, transportation, or launch pad areas is obvious and can be removed by vacuum cleaning soil and chemical fixing. Mercury spilled on Cape Kennedy ground soil will be chemically complexed and retained by the sandstone subsoil. A cover layer of sand or gravel on spilled mercury which has settled to the bottom of a water body adjacent to the system operation will control and eliminate the formation of toxic organic mercurials. Mercury released into the earth's atmosphere through leakage of a fireball will be diffused to low concentration levels. However, gas phase reactions of mercury with ozone could cause a local ozone depletion and result in serious ecological hazards.

  2. Responses of soil ammonia oxidizers to a short-term severe mercury stress.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhi-Feng; Liu, Yu-Rong; Sun, Guo-Xin; Zheng, Yuan-Ming

    2015-12-01

    The responses of soil ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) to mercury (Hg) stress were investigated through a short-term incubation experiment. Treated with four different concentrations of Hg (CK, Hg25, Hg50, and Hg100, denoting 0, 25, 50, and 100mgHg/kg dry soil, respectively), samples were harvested after 3, 7, and 28day incubation. Results showed that the soil potential nitrification rate (PNR) was significantly inhibited by Hg stress during the incubation. However, lower abundances of AOA (the highest in CK: 9.20×10(7)copies/g dry soil; the lowest in Hg50: 2.68×10(7)copies/g dry soil) and AOB (the highest in CK: 2.68×10(7)copies/g dry soil; the lowest in Hg50: 7.49×10(6)copies/g dry soil) were observed only at day 28 of incubation (P<0.05). Moreover, only the community structure of soil AOB obviously shifted under Hg stress as seen through DGGE profiles, which revealed that 2-3 distinct AOB bands emerged in the Hg treatments at day 28. In summary, soil PNR might be a very useful parameter to assess acute Hg stress on soil ecosystems, and the community structure of soil AOB might be a realistic biological indicator for the assessment of heavy metal stress on soil ecosystems in the future. PMID:26702963

  3. Increased Mercury Levels in Patients with Celiac Disease following a Gluten-Free Regimen.

    PubMed

    Elli, Luca; Rossi, Valentina; Conte, Dario; Ronchi, Anna; Tomba, Carolina; Passoni, Manuela; Bardella, Maria Teresa; Roncoroni, Leda; Guzzi, Gianpaolo

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aim. Although mercury is involved in several immunological diseases, nothing is known about its implication in celiac disease. Our aim was to evaluate blood and urinary levels of mercury in celiac patients. Methods. We prospectively enrolled 30 celiac patients (20 treated with normal duodenal mucosa and 10 untreated with duodenal atrophy) and 20 healthy controls from the same geographic area. Blood and urinary mercury concentrations were measured by means of flow injection inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Enrolled patients underwent dental chart for amalgam fillings and completed a food-frequency questionnaire to evaluate diet and fish intake. Results. Mercury blood/urinary levels were 2.4 ± 2.3/1.0 ± 1.4, 10.2 ± 6.7/2.2 ± 3.0 and 3.7 ± 2.7/1.3 ± 1.2 in untreated CD, treated CD, and healthy controls, respectively. Resulting mercury levels were significantly higher in celiac patients following a gluten-free diet. No differences were found regarding fish intake and number of amalgam fillings. No demographic or clinical data were significantly associated with mercury levels in biologic samples. Conclusion. Data demonstrate a fourfold increase of mercury blood levels in celiac patients following a gluten-free diet. Further studies are needed to clarify its role in celiac mechanism. PMID:25802516

  4. Increased Mercury Levels in Patients with Celiac Disease following a Gluten-Free Regimen

    PubMed Central

    Elli, Luca; Rossi, Valentina; Conte, Dario; Ronchi, Anna; Tomba, Carolina; Passoni, Manuela; Bardella, Maria Teresa; Roncoroni, Leda; Guzzi, Gianpaolo

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aim. Although mercury is involved in several immunological diseases, nothing is known about its implication in celiac disease. Our aim was to evaluate blood and urinary levels of mercury in celiac patients. Methods. We prospectively enrolled 30 celiac patients (20 treated with normal duodenal mucosa and 10 untreated with duodenal atrophy) and 20 healthy controls from the same geographic area. Blood and urinary mercury concentrations were measured by means of flow injection inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Enrolled patients underwent dental chart for amalgam fillings and completed a food-frequency questionnaire to evaluate diet and fish intake. Results. Mercury blood/urinary levels were 2.4 ± 2.3/1.0 ± 1.4, 10.2 ± 6.7/2.2 ± 3.0 and 3.7 ± 2.7/1.3 ± 1.2 in untreated CD, treated CD, and healthy controls, respectively. Resulting mercury levels were significantly higher in celiac patients following a gluten-free diet. No differences were found regarding fish intake and number of amalgam fillings. No demographic or clinical data were significantly associated with mercury levels in biologic samples. Conclusion. Data demonstrate a fourfold increase of mercury blood levels in celiac patients following a gluten-free diet. Further studies are needed to clarify its role in celiac mechanism. PMID:25802516

  5. [Spatial distribution of mercury in soils of a typical small agricultural watershed in the Three Gorges Reservoir region].

    PubMed

    Wang, Ya; Zhao, Zheng; Mu, Zhi-jian; Wang, Dlng-yong; Yu, Ya-wei

    2015-01-01

    To understand the mercury (Hg) pollution level and the corresponding ecological risk in agricultural watershed of the Three Gorges Reservoir region, a typical watershed, Wangjiagou, located in Fuling, where is in interior zones of the Three Gorges Reservoir region, was selected as the study object. Meanwhile, ArcGIS geo-statistics module was conducted for investigation of the Hg contents and distribution characteristics in soils of different land use types including dry land, farmland, woodland and settlements. Also the corresponding Hg pollution level and ecological risk were assessed. The results suggested that soil Hg contents in this watershed ranged from 9.47 to 94.57 microg x kg(-1), and the mean value was (34.23 +/- 16.23) microg x kg(-1). Higher Hg contents in surfaces of soils were observed in woodland, followed by farmland and settlement. The lowest was found in dry land. Surfaces of soils significantly showed Hg accumulation, and an obvious inverse correlation between soil Hg contents and soil depths was also observed in this study. Additionally, geo-statistics analysis showed a weak spatial correlation of soil Hg contents in this watershed, indicating the spatial distribution of soil Hg in this watershed was mainly influenced by several natural factors such as atmospheric wet-dry deposit, vegetation coverage and topography, instead of anthropogenic interference. Overall confirmative soil Hg pollution was not found in this watershed, which showed a very low pollution index (-0.08), but a moderate potential ecological risk still existed (the ecological risk index was 57), of which woodland had the highest potential risk. The total capacity of Hg in this watershed was 25.39 kg, among which dry land accounted for 69%. PMID:25898656

  6. Mercury concentrations and distribution in soil, water, mine waste leachates, and air in and around mercury mines in the Big Bend region, Texas, USA.

    PubMed

    Gray, John E; Theodorakos, Peter M; Fey, David L; Krabbenhoft, David P

    2015-02-01

    Samples of soil, water, mine waste leachates, soil gas, and air were collected from areas mined for mercury (Hg) and baseline sites in the Big Bend area, Texas, to evaluate potential Hg contamination in the region. Soil samples collected within 300 m of an inactive Hg mine contained elevated Hg concentrations (3.8-11 µg/g), which were considerably higher than Hg in soil collected from baseline sites (0.03-0.05 µg/g) distal (as much as 24 km) from mines. Only three soil samples collected within 300 m of the mine exceeded the probable effect concentration for Hg of 1.06 µg/g, above which harmful effects are likely to be observed in sediment-dwelling organisms. Concentrations of Hg in mine water runoff (7.9-14 ng/L) were generally higher than those found in springs and wells (0.05-3.1 ng/L), baseline streams (1.1-9.7 ng/L), and sources of drinking water (0.63-9.1 ng/L) collected in the Big Bend region. Concentrations of Hg in all water samples collected in this study were considerably below the 2,000 ng/L drinking water Hg guideline and the 770 ng/L guideline recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to protect aquatic wildlife from chronic effects of Hg. Concentrations of Hg in water leachates obtained from leaching of mine wastes varied widely from <0.001 to 760 µg of Hg in leachate/g of sample leached, but only one leachate exceeded the USEPA Hg industrial soil screening level of 31 µg/g. Concentrations of Hg in soil gas collected at mined sites (690-82,000 ng/m(3)) were highly elevated compared to soil gas collected from baseline sites (1.2-77 ng/m(3)). However, air collected from mined areas at a height of 2 m above the ground surface contained concentrations of Hg (4.9-64 ng/m(3)) that were considerably lower than Hg in soil gas from the mined areas. Although concentrations of Hg emitted from mine-contaminated soils and mine wastes were elevated, persistent wind in southwest Texas disperses Hg in the air within a few meters of the ground surface. PMID:24974151

  7. Mercury concentrations and distribution in soil, water, mine waste leachates, and air in and around mercury mines in the Big Bend region, Texas, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, John E.; Theodorakos, Peter M.; Fey, David L.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2015-01-01

    Samples of soil, water, mine waste leachates, soil gas, and air were collected from areas mined for mercury (Hg) and baseline sites in the Big Bend area, Texas, to evaluate potential Hg contamination in the region. Soil samples collected within 300 m of an inactive Hg mine contained elevated Hg concentrations (3.8–11 µg/g), which were considerably higher than Hg in soil collected from baseline sites (0.03–0.05 µg/g) distal (as much as 24 km) from mines. Only three soil samples collected within 300 m of the mine exceeded the probable effect concentration for Hg of 1.06 µg/g, above which harmful effects are likely to be observed in sediment-dwelling organisms. Concentrations of Hg in mine water runoff (7.9–14 ng/L) were generally higher than those found in springs and wells (0.05–3.1 ng/L), baseline streams (1.1–9.7 ng/L), and sources of drinking water (0.63–9.1 ng/L) collected in the Big Bend region. Concentrations of Hg in all water samples collected in this study were considerably below the 2,000 ng/L drinking water Hg guideline and the 770 ng/L guideline recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to protect aquatic wildlife from chronic effects of Hg. Concentrations of Hg in water leachates obtained from leaching of mine wastes varied widely from <0.001 to 760 µg of Hg in leachate/g of sample leached, but only one leachate exceeded the USEPA Hg industrial soil screening level of 31 µg/g. Concentrations of Hg in soil gas collected at mined sites (690–82,000 ng/m3) were highly elevated compared to soil gas collected from baseline sites (1.2–77 ng/m3). However, air collected from mined areas at a height of 2 m above the ground surface contained concentrations of Hg (4.9–64 ng/m3) that were considerably lower than Hg in soil gas from the mined areas. Although concentrations of Hg emitted from mine-contaminated soils and mine wastes were elevated, persistent wind in southwest Texas disperses Hg in the air within a few meters of the ground surface.

  8. Levels of selenium in relation to levels of mercury in fish from Mjoesa, a freshwater lake in southeastern Norway

    SciTech Connect

    Froeslie, A.; Norheim, G.; Sandlund, O.T.

    1985-04-01

    In addition to its role as a micro nutrient, selenium exerts an antagonistic effect in mercury poisoning. The levels of selenium in fish from water systems contaminated with mercury are therefore of great interest. This is especially so in Norway, a country known as a low-selenium area. The present paper reports levels of selenium and their relationship to mercury accumulation in the flesh of fish from Mjoesa. For comparison, fish from five lakes in the surrounding area were also included in the investigation.

  9. Health effects in the Flemish population in relation to low levels of mercury exposure: from organ to transcriptome level.

    PubMed

    Croes, Kim; De Coster, Sam; De Galan, Sandra; Morrens, Bert; Loots, Ilse; Van de Mieroop, Els; Nelen, Vera; Sioen, Isabelle; Bruckers, Liesbeth; Nawrot, Tim; Colles, Ann; Den Hond, Elly; Schoeters, Greet; van Larebeke, Nicolas; Baeyens, Willy; Gao, Yue

    2014-03-01

    Due to possible health risks, quantification of mercury accumulation in humans was included in the Flemish biomonitoring programmes FLEHS I (2002-2006) and FLEHS II (2007-2011). The general objective of FLEHS I was to assess regional exposure levels in order to link possible differences in these internal exposure levels to different types of local environmental pressure. Therefore, Hg and MMHg (methylmercury) were only measured in pooled blood samples per region and per age class. In FLEHS II, mercury concentrations were measured in hair of each participant. About 200 adolescents and 250 mothers (reference group) and two times 200 adolescents (2 hotspots) were screened. The main objectives of the FLEHS II study were: (1) to determine reference levels of mercury in hair for Flanders; (2) to assess relations between mercury exposure and possible sources like fish consumption; (3) to assess dose-effect relations between mercury exposure and health effect markers. The results showed that mercury concentrations in the Flemish population were rather low compared to other studies. Mercury levels in the Flemish populations were strongly related to the age of the participants and consumption of fish. Significant negative associations were observed between mercury in hair and asthma, having received breast feeding as a newborn, age at menarche in girls, allergy for animals and free testosterone levels. Significant correlations were also observed between mercury in hair and genes JAK2, ARID4A, Hist1HA4L (boys) and HLAdrb5, PIAS2, MANN1B1, GIT and ABCA1 (girls). PMID:23920476

  10. Study on the reduction of atmospheric mercury emissions from mine waste enriched soils through native grass cover in the Mt. Amiata region of Italy.

    PubMed

    Fantozzi, L; Ferrara, R; Dini, F; Tamburello, L; Pirrone, N; Sprovieri, F

    2013-08-01

    Atmospheric mercury emissions from mine-waste enriched soils were measured in order to compare the mercury fluxes of bare soils with those from other soils covered by native grasses. Our research was conducted near Mt. Amiata in central Italy, an area that was one of the largest and most productive mining centers in Europe up into the 1980s. To determine in situ mercury emissions, we used a Plexiglas flux chamber connected to a portable mercury analyzer (Lumex RA-915+). This allowed us to detect, in real time, the mercury vapor in the air, and to correlate this with the meteorological parameters that we examined (solar radiation, soil temperature, and humidity). The highest mercury flux values (8000ngm(-2)h(-1)) were observed on bare soils during the hours of maximum insulation, while lower values (250ngm(-2)h(-1)) were observed on soils covered by native grasses. Our results indicate that two main environmental variables affect mercury emission: solar radiation intensity and soil temperature. The presence of native vegetation, which can shield soil surfaces from incident light, reduced mercury emissions, a result that we attribute to a drop in the efficiency of mercury photoreduction processes rather than to decreases in soil temperature. This finding is consistent with decreases in mercury flux values down to 3500ngm(-2)h(-1), which occurred under cloudy conditions despite high soil temperatures. Moreover, when the soil temperature was 28°C and the vegetation was removed from the experimental site, mercury emissions increased almost four-fold. This increase occurred almost immediately after the grasses were cut, and was approximately eight-fold after 20h. Thus, this study demonstrates that enhancing wild vegetation cover could be an inexpensive and effective approach in fostering a natural, self-renewing reduction of mercury emissions from mercury-contaminated soils. PMID:23477569

  11. Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gault, D. E.; Burns, J. A.; Cassen, P.; Strom, R. G.

    1977-01-01

    Prior to the flight of the Mariner 10 spacecraft, Mercury was the least investigated and most poorly known terrestrial planet (Kuiper 1970, Devine 1972). Observational difficulties caused by its proximity to the Sun as viewed from Earth caused the planet to remain a small, vague disk exhibiting little surface contrast or details, an object for which only three major facts were known: 1. its bulk density is similar to that of Venus and Earth, much greater than that of Mars and the Moon; 2. its surface reflects electromagnetic radiation at all wavelengths in the same manner as the Moon (taking into account differences in their solar distances); and 3. its rotation period is in 2/3 resonance with its orbital period. Images obtained during the flyby by Mariner 10 on 29 March 1974 (and the two subsequent flybys on 21 September 1974 and 16 March 1975) revealed Mercury's surface in detail equivalent to that available for the Moon during the early 1960's from Earth-based telescopic views. Additionally, however, information was obtained on the planet's mass and size, atmospheric composition and density, charged-particle environment, and infrared thermal radiation from the surface, and most significantly of all, the existence of a planetary magnetic field that is probably intrinsic to Mercury was established. In the following, this new information is summarized together with results from theoretical studies and ground-based observations. In the quantum jumps of knowledge that have been characteristic of "space-age" exploration, the previously obscure body of Mercury has suddenly come into sharp focus. It is very likely a differentiated body, probably contains a large Earth-like iron-rich core, and displays a surface remarkably similar to that of the Moon, which suggests a similar evolutionary history.

  12. Elevated mercury levels in a wintering population of common eiders (Somateria mollissima) in the northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Meattey, Dustin E; Savoy, Lucas; Beuth, Josh; Pau, Nancy; O'Brien, Kathleen; Osenkowski, Jason; Regan, Kevin; Lasorsa, Brenda; Johnson, Ian

    2014-09-15

    In North America and Europe, sea ducks are important indicators of ecological health and inshore marine pollution. To explore spatial variation in mercury accumulation in common eiders in the northeastern United States, we compared concentrations of total mercury in common eider blood at several New England locations between 1998 and 2013. Eider food items (mollusks) were collected and analyzed to determine if mercury concentrations in eider blood were indicative of local mercury bioavailability. Eiders from Plum Island Sound, MA had a significantly higher mean blood mercury concentration (0.83 μg/g) than those in other locations. Mean mercury levels in this population were also nearly three times higher than any blood mercury concentrations reported for common eiders in published literature. We observed consistent patterns in eider blood mercury and blue mussel mercury concentrations between sites, suggesting a tentative predictive quality between the two species. PMID:25066457

  13. [Field measurement of soil mercury emission in a Masson pine forest in Tieshanping, Chongqing in Southwestern China].

    PubMed

    Du, Bao-Yu; Wang, Qiong; Luo, Yao; Duan, Lei

    2014-10-01

    To investigate soil mercury emission characteristics in areas with high atmospheric mercury concentration, the soil-air exchanging flux of gaseous elemental mercury (Hg0) was measured for four seasons from September 2012 to July 2013 in a Masson pine forest of Tieshanping, Chongqing in Southwestern China using a dynamic flux chamber and a LUMEX RA-915+ mercury analyzer. The effects of ambient air mercury concentration and environmental factors, such as radiation intensity, air temperature, air humidity, soil temperature, and soil water content, on exchanging flux were also studied. Results showed that there was obvious seasonal variation of the Hg0 exchanging flux, with the highest value of 35.3 ng (m2 d)(-1) in the summer and very low values in other seasons, even negative in spring and winter. In addition to radiation intensity and air/soil temperature, ambient air mercury concentration was an important impacting factor, which was negatively correlated with the Hg0 exchanging flux, with the equilibrium concentration at 5.61 ng m(-3). The total soil emission of Hg0 was estimated to be 2.65 ?g (m2 a)(-1), which was much lower than that in similar forests in cleaner areas. High ambient air Hg0 concentration in Tieshanping was the main reason for the difference. PMID:25693390

  14. Total mercury in mushrooms and underlying soil substrate from the Borecka Forest, Northeastern Poland.

    PubMed

    Falandysz, J; Gucia, M; Skwarzec, B; Frankowska, A; Klawikowska, K

    2002-02-01

    Total mercury concentrations were determined by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy in 240 composite samples of the caps, 240 of the stalks, and 16 of the whole fruiting bodies of 13 species of wild mushrooms and in 256 samples of underlying soil substrate collected from the Borecka Forest and the adjacent area in 1998. The area of the study is a background site with no known local sources of mercury emission. The mercury concentrations of the fruiting bodies varied largely (range between 14 and 14,000 ng/g dry weight) depending on the site and mushroom species investigated, but were less varied in soil samples (between 5 and 86 ng/g dry weight). The fruiting bodies of king bolete (Boletus edulis) showed greatest content of mercury. King bolete and yellow-cracking bolete (Xerocomus subtomentosus) collected from the Borecka Forest both contained in the caps around threefold greater concentrations of mercury than were noted for the same species collected from the surrounding area with 9,900 +/- 2,700 and 3,600 +/- 1,400, and 480 +/- 190 and 160 +/- 70 ng/g dry weight, respectively. Apart from the king bolete, relatively elevated concentrations of mercury were quantified also in a whole fruiting bodies of common puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) with 3,400 +/- 1,300 ng/g as well as in the caps and stalks of common scaber stalk (Leccinum scabrum) with 1,200 +/- 740 and 1,100 +/- 380 ng/g dry weight. In other species investigated, the mercury concentrations were below 1,000 ng/g dry weight, and the smallest values were noted for crab-scended brittle gills (Russula xerampelina) with 60 +/- 20 in the caps and 40 +/- 20 ng/g dry weight in the stalks. For the species such as larch bolete, bay bolete (Xerocomus badius), yellow-cracking bolete, king bolete, common scaber stalk, fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), crab-scented brittle gills, honey mushroom (Amariella mellea) and safron milk cap (Lactarius deliciosus) a positive correlation (0.01 < p < 0.05) between the mercury content and size (diameter) of the caps was found, and in some cases also between mercury content of the stalks and size (height) of the fruiting body. The bioconcentration factor (BCF) values of total mercury were greatest for king bolete, i.e., 250 +/- 65 in the caps and 140 +/- 47 in the stalks, while for the other species investigated were between 200 +/- 91 and 1.8 +/- 0.5 in the caps, and 94 +/- 57 and 1.7 +/- 0.4 in the stalks. Nevertheless, despite great values of BCF of mercury indicated for some species and also a positive correlation between mercury content of the caps/stalks and underlying soil substrate, subsequent coefficients of determination were usually below 40%, and only for bay bolete (stalk), yellow-cracking bolete (cap), common scaber stalk (cap), hard bolete (Leccinum griseum) (cap, stalk), crab-scented gills (stalk), and honey mushroom (cap) were up to 68, 82, 42, 82, 51, 74, and 45%, respectively. The values of the cap/stalk Hg quotient were greatest for larch bolete (Suillus flavus) collected from the Borecka Forest (4.4 +/- 1.3) and for honey mushroom (2.7 +/- 0.9) from the adjacent area. PMID:11815805

  15. Temporal characterization of mercury accumulation at different trophic levels and implications for metal biomagnification along a coastal food web.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, P G; Pereira, E; Duarte, A C; Azeiteiro, U M

    2014-10-15

    The main goal of this study was to assess temporal mercury variations along an estuarine food web to evaluate the mercury contamination level of the system and the risks that humans are exposed to, due to mercury biomagnification. The highest mercury concentrations in the sediments and primary producers (macrophytes) were observed during winter sampling. Instead, the highest mercury concentrations in the water, suspended particulate matter as well as in the zooplanktonic and suprabenthic communities were observed during summer sampling. Evidences of mercury biomagnification along the food web were corroborated by the positive biomagnification factors, particularly for omnivorous macrobenthic species. Comparing the mercury levels at distinct components with several environmental quality criteria it suggests that sediments, water and edible species (e.g., bivalve Scrobicularia plana and the crustacean Carcinus maenas) presented higher mercury levels than the values accepted by legislation which represent a matter of concern for the environment and human health. PMID:25172612

  16. MERCURY LEVELS IN HARVESTED FISHES FROM FLORIDA GULF COAST MX964229

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project supports the collection of fish tissue samples and associated biological and environmental data from coastal waters of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico to determine total mercury levels and relationship to species, size, age, sex and capture location.

  17. Atmospheric mercury in the Great Smoky Mountains compared to regional and global levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valente, Ralph J.; Shea, Catherine; Lynn Humes, K.; Tanner, Roger L.

    Improvements in measurement technology are permitting development of a more detailed scientific understanding of the cycling of mercury in the global atmospheric environment. Critical to advancing the state of knowledge is the acquisition of accurate measurement of speciated mercury (gaseous and particulate) at ground research stations in a variety of settings located around the globe. This paper describes one such research effort conducted at TVA's Look Rock air quality monitoring site in Tennessee—a mountain top site (813 m elevation) just west of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the largest National Park in the eastern US and it receives environmental protection under a variety of US statutes. Gaseous and particle mercury species along with some additional trace gases were measured at Look Rock during two field studies totaling 84 days in the spring and summer of 2004. Average results for the entire sampling period are: gaseous elemental mercury Hg(0): 1.65 ng m -3, reactive gaseous mercury RGM: 0.005 ng m -3, particulate mercury Hg(p): 0.007 ng m -3. Literature review indicates that these levels are within the range found for other rural/remote sites in North America and worldwide. Reactive and particulate mercury comprised together less than 1%, on average, of total airborne mercury at Look Rock. When compared to the global background mercury literature, the Look Rock measurements demonstrate that the atmospheric mercury levels in the vicinity of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are clearly dominated by the global atmospheric pool, not by local or regional sources.

  18. Low-Cost Options for Moderate Levels of Mercury Control

    SciTech Connect

    Sharon Sjostrom

    2006-03-31

    On March 15, 2005, EPA issued the Clean Air Mercury Rule, requiring phased-in reductions of mercury emissions from electric power generators. ADA-ES, Inc., with support from DOE/NETL and industry partners, is conducting evaluations of EPRI's TOXECON II{trademark} process and of high-temperature reagents and sorbents to determine the capabilities of sorbent/reagent injection, including activated carbon, for mercury control on different coals and air emissions control equipment configurations. DOE/NETL targets for total mercury removal are {ge}55% (lignite), {ge}65% (subbituminous), and {ge}80% (bituminous). Based on work done to date at various scales, meeting the removal targets appears feasible. However, work needs to progress to more thoroughly document and test these promising technologies at full scale. This is the final site report for tests conducted at MidAmerican's Louisa Station, one of three sites evaluated in this DOE/NETL program. The other two sites in the program are MidAmerican's Council Bluff Station and Entergy's Independence Station. MidAmerican's Louisa Station burns Powder River Basin (PRB) coal and employs hot-side electrostatic precipitators with flue gas conditioning for particulate control. This part of the testing program evaluated the effect of reagents used in the existing flue gas conditioning on mercury removal.

  19. Tissue levels of mercury in autopsy specimens of liver and kidney

    PubMed Central

    Magos, L.; Bakir, F.; Clarkson, T. W.; Al-Jawad, A. M.; Al-Soffi, M. H.

    1976-01-01

    Fifty-one autopsy specimens of liver were analysed for total mercury. Thirteen specimens contained less than 10 mg/kg of mercury, with a minimum value of 1.4 mg/kg, indicating that death in suspected cases was not always due to lethal exposure to methylmercury. The methylmercury concentration in 28 livers was 10-30 mg/kg. Limited additional estimations have shown that 71% of the liver mercury was organic and that the level of mercury in the liver of a 7-month-old fetus was only 25% of that in the liver of the mother. In a patient who died in hospital with a blood mercury level of 4.1 μg/ml, the liver contained 16.5 mg/kg of mercury. Differences between these results and those found in the outbreak of methylmercury poisoning in Japan are discussed. Any extrapolation of tissue mercury levels in relation to the toxic effects of methylmercury must take account of the intensity and duration of exposure. PMID:1086171

  20. Increased mercury in forest soils under elevated carbon dioxide

    SciTech Connect

    Natali, Susan M.; Sa_udo-Wilhelmy, Sergio A.; Norby, Richard J; Finzi, Adrien C; Lerdau, Manuel T.

    2008-01-01

    Fossil fuel combustion is the primary anthropogenic source of both CO2 and Hg to the atmosphere. On a global scale, most Hg that enters ecosystems is derived from atmospheric Hg that deposits onto the land surface. Increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2 may affect Hg deposition to terrestrial systems and storage in soils through CO2-mediated changes in plant and soil properties. We show, using free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments, that soil Hg concentrations are almost 30% greater under elevated atmospheric CO2 in two temperate forests. There were no direct CO2 effects, however, on litterfall, throughfall or stemflow Hg inputs. Soil Hg was positively correlated with percent soil organic matter (SOM), suggesting that CO2-mediated changes in SOM have influenced soil Hg concentrations. Through its impacts on SOM, elevated atmospheric CO2 may increase the Hg storage capacity of soils and modulate the movement of Hg through the biosphere. Such effects of rising CO2, ones that transcend the typically studied effects on C and nutrient cycling, are an important next phase for research on global environmental change.

  1. Phytoscreening-based assessment of mercury in soil.

    PubMed

    Bigham, Gary; Liang, Lian; Balouet, Jean Christophe; Chalot, Michel

    2015-12-01

    This study was conducted to determine whether phytoscreening techniques could be used to characterize the distribution of Hg in soil at the South River, VA. An estimated 500 to 1000 kg of Hg was released to the South River in the 1930s and 1940s from a synthetic fiber manufacturing plant located in Waynesboro, contaminating the floodplain downstream. Under background conditions (soil Hg <0.03 μg/g), phytoscreening sample Hg concentrations ranged from 1.9 to 3.9 ng/g. With soil Hg concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 94 μg/g in the top 30.5 cm of nearby soil, phytoscreening sample Hg concentrations ranged from 5.0 to 145 ng/g. The variability of Hg concentrations in soil solution over the scale of the entire rhizosphere of the large trees sampled was likely high. Furthermore, the mean depth of water uptake and the exact proximity of the soil profile samples for each tree could not be determined. Nevertheless, the phytoscreening results of this study could be used to reliably provide a qualitative delineation of Hg-contaminated soil. PMID:26490933

  2. An Exploration of Mercury Soils Treatment Technologies for the Y-12 Plant - 13217

    SciTech Connect

    Wrapp, John; Julius, Jonathon; Browning, Debbie; Kane, Michael; Whaley, Katherine; Estes, Chuck; Witzeman, John

    2013-07-01

    There are a number of areas at the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) that have been contaminated with mercury due to historical mercury use and storage. Remediation of these areas is expected to generate large volumes of waste that are Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) characteristically hazardous. These soils will require treatment to meet RCRA Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR) prior to disposal. URS - CH2M Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR) performed a feasibility assessment to evaluate on-site and off-site options for the treatment and disposal of mercury-contaminated soil from the Y-12 Site. The focus of the feasibility assessment was on treatment for disposal at the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) located on the Oak Ridge Reservation. A two-phase approach was used in the evaluation process of treatment technologies. Phase 1 involved the selection of three vendors to perform treatability studies using their stabilization treatment technology on actual Y-12 soil. Phase II involved a team of waste management specialists performing an in-depth literature review of all available treatment technologies for treating mercury contaminated soil using the following evaluation criteria: effectiveness, feasibility of implementation, and cost. The result of the treatability study and the literature review revealed several viable on-site and off-site treatment options. This paper presents the methodology used by the team in the evaluation of technologies especially as related to EMWMF waste acceptance criteria, the results of the physical treatability studies, and a regulatory analysis for obtaining regulator approval for the treatment/disposal at the EMWMF. (authors)

  3. Mercury transfer from soil to olive trees. A comparison of three different contaminated sites.

    PubMed

    Higueras, Pablo L; Amorós, José Á; Esbrí, José Maria; Pérez-de-Los-Reyes, Caridad; López-Berdonces, Miguel A; García-Navarro, Francisco J

    2016-04-01

    Mercury contents in soil and olive tree leaves have been studied in 69 plots around three different source areas of this element in Spain: Almadén (Ciudad Real), Flix (Tarragona) and Jódar (Jaén). Almadén was the world's largest cinnabar (HgS) mining district and was active until 2003, Flix is the oldest Spanish chlor-alkali plant (CAP) and has been active from 1898 to the present day and Jódar is a decommissioned CAP that was active for 14 years (1977-1991). Total mercury contents have been measured by high-frequency modulation atomic absorption spectrometry with Zeeman effect (ZAAS-HFM) in the soils and olive tree leaves from the three studied areas. The average soil contents range from 182 μg kg(-1) in Flix to 23,488 μg kg(-1) in Almadén, while the average leaf content ranges from 161 μg kg(-1) in Jódar to 1213 μg kg(-1) in Almadén. Despite the wide range of data, a relationship between soil-leaf contents has been identified: in Almadén and Jódar, multiplicative (bilogarithmic) models show significant correlations (R = 0.769 and R = 0.484, respectively). Significant correlations were not identified between soil and leaf contents in Flix. The continuous activity of the Flix CAP, which remains open today, can explain the different uptake patterns for mercury, which is mainly atmospheric in origin, in comparison to the other two sites, where activity ceased more than 10 years ago and only soil uptake patterns based on the Michaelis-Menten enzymatic model curve are observed. PMID:25801370

  4. A reactive transport model for mercury fate in soil--application to different anthropogenic pollution sources.

    PubMed

    Leterme, Bertrand; Blanc, Philippe; Jacques, Diederik

    2014-11-01

    Soil systems are a common receptor of anthropogenic mercury (Hg) contamination. Soils play an important role in the containment or dispersion of pollution to surface water, groundwater or the atmosphere. A one-dimensional model for simulating Hg fate and transport for variably saturated and transient flow conditions is presented. The model is developed using the HP1 code, which couples HYDRUS-1D for the water flow and solute transport to PHREEQC for geochemical reactions. The main processes included are Hg aqueous speciation and complexation, sorption to soil organic matter, dissolution of cinnabar and liquid Hg, and Hg reduction and volatilization. Processes such as atmospheric wet and dry deposition, vegetation litter fall and uptake are neglected because they are less relevant in the case of high Hg concentrations resulting from anthropogenic activities. A test case is presented, assuming a hypothetical sandy soil profile and a simulation time frame of 50 years of daily atmospheric inputs. Mercury fate and transport are simulated for three different sources of Hg (cinnabar, residual liquid mercury or aqueous mercuric chloride), as well as for combinations of these sources. Results are presented and discussed with focus on Hg volatilization to the atmosphere, Hg leaching at the bottom of the soil profile and the remaining Hg in or below the initially contaminated soil layer. In the test case, Hg volatilization was negligible because the reduction of Hg(2+) to Hg(0) was inhibited by the low concentration of dissolved Hg. Hg leaching was mainly caused by complexation of Hg(2+) with thiol groups of dissolved organic matter, because in the geochemical model used, this reaction only had a higher equilibrium constant than the sorption reactions. Immobilization of Hg in the initially polluted horizon was enhanced by Hg(2+) sorption onto humic and fulvic acids (which are more abundant than thiols). Potential benefits of the model for risk management and remediation of contaminated sites are discussed. PMID:24928379

  5. Simultaneous removal of PCDD/Fs, pentachlorophenol and mercury from contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Hung, Pao-Chen; Chang, Shu-Hao; Ou-Yang, Chia-Chien; Chang, Moo-Been

    2016-02-01

    Pentachlorophenol (PCP), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), and mercury were simultaneously removed from heavily contaminated soil using a continuous pilot-scale thermal system (CPTS). Operating the system at 700 °C with 22 min of retention time ensured that the residual contaminants in remediated soil are lower in concentration than the soil standards of Taiwan EPA require. Both PCP and PCDD/Fs are effectively destroyed during the treatment at high temperatures in the CPTS, but significant dechlorination of PCDD/Fs is also found, resulting in lower net destruction efficiencies of TCDD/F and PeCDD/F-congeners, compared with those of highly chlorinated Hx-, Hp- and OCDD/F congeners. Moreover, 2,3,7,8-TetraCDD is significantly formed if the retention time is not long enough for total destruction. Inadequate reaction time (or retention time) even may lead to a rise in TEQ-value due to incomplete dechlorination. Mercury is significantly desorbed from contaminated soil and discharged through the exhaust. For PCP and PCDD/Fs, the exhaust discharge percentages including both the remediated soil and the exhaust are <0.03% and 1.14% of the input, respectively, achieved with 700 °C and 33 min retention time. In contrast, some 97.8% of input mercury rate is desorbed and discharged via the exhaust, so that the latter should be carefully cleaned via efficient air pollution control devices, whereas this contribution focuses on the conditions required for reaching adequate soil cleaning. PMID:26347926

  6. Preconceptional monitoring of mercury levels in hair and blood as a tool for minimizing associated reproductive risks.

    PubMed

    Neuman, Gal; Gareri, Joey; Koren, Gideon

    2014-12-01

    We describe the case of a 41-year-old woman, planning a pregnancy, who had a spontaneous abortion and subsequently was found to have high blood mercury levels. The source of high mercury was in her diet that contained fish as her main source of protein. Serial measurements of mercury in hair and blood allowed the team to determine the exact time when safe levels of mercury were reached, to eliminate elevated mercury levels as a potential cause of spontaneous abortion and to use preconception counseling to minimize the risk for adverse pregnancy outcome. PMID:24831651

  7. Study on the reduction of atmospheric mercury emissions from mine waste enriched soils through native grass cover in the Mt. Amiata region of Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Fantozzi, L.; Dini, F.; Tamburello, L.; Pirrone, N.; Sprovieri, F.

    2013-08-15

    Atmospheric mercury emissions from mine-waste enriched soils were measured in order to compare the mercury fluxes of bare soils with those from other soils covered by native grasses. Our research was conducted near Mt. Amiata in central Italy, an area that was one of the largest and most productive mining centers in Europe up into the 1980s. To determine in situ mercury emissions, we used a Plexiglas flux chamber connected to a portable mercury analyzer (Lumex RA-915+). This allowed us to detect, in real time, the mercury vapor in the air, and to correlate this with the meteorological parameters that we examined (solar radiation, soil temperature, and humidity). The highest mercury flux values (8000 ng m{sup −2} h{sup −1}) were observed on bare soils during the hours of maximum insulation, while lower values (250 ng m{sup −2} h{sup −1}) were observed on soils covered by native grasses. Our results indicate that two main environmental variables affect mercury emission: solar radiation intensity and soil temperature. The presence of native vegetation, which can shield soil surfaces from incident light, reduced mercury emissions, a result that we attribute to a drop in the efficiency of mercury photoreduction processes rather than to decreases in soil temperature. This finding is consistent with decreases in mercury flux values down to 3500 ng m{sup −2} h{sup −1}, which occurred under cloudy conditions despite high soil temperatures. Moreover, when the soil temperature was 28 °C and the vegetation was removed from the experimental site, mercury emissions increased almost four-fold. This increase occurred almost immediately after the grasses were cut, and was approximately eight-fold after 20 h. Thus, this study demonstrates that enhancing wild vegetation cover could be an inexpensive and effective approach in fostering a natural, self-renewing reduction of mercury emissions from mercury-contaminated soils. -- Highlights: ► Mercury air/surface exchange from grass covered soil is different from bare soil. ► Light enhances mercury emissions and is the main parameter driving the process. ► The presence of wild vegetation covering the soil reduces mercury emission. ► Vegetative covers could be a solution to reduce atmospheric mercury pollution.

  8. The Effect of Wildfire on Soil Mercury Concentrations in Southern California Watersheds

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Marcia; Mendez, Carolina B.; Navarro, Bridget; Lopez, Sonya; Jay, Jennifer A.

    2010-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) stored in vegetation and soils is known to be released to the atmosphere during wildfires, increasing atmospheric stores and altering terrestrial budgets. Increased erosion and transport of sediments is well-documented in burned watersheds, both immediately post-fire and as the watershed recovers; however, understanding post-fire mobilization of soil Hg within burned watersheds remains elusive. The goal of the current study is to better understand the impact of wildfire on soil-bound Hg during the immediate post-fire period as well as during recovery, in order to assess the potential for sediment-driven transport to and within surface waters in burned watersheds. Soils were collected from three southern California watersheds of similar vegetation and soil characteristics that experienced wildfire. Sampling in one of these watersheds was extended for several seasons (1.5 years) in order to investigate temporal changes in soil Hg concentrations. Laboratory analysis included bulk soil total Hg concentrations and total organic carbon of burned and unburned samples. Soils were also fractionated into a subset of grain sizes with analysis of Hg on each fraction. Low Hg concentrations were observed in surface soils immediately post-fire. Accumulation of Hg coincident with moderate vegetative recovery was observed in the burned surface soils 1 year following the fire, and mobilization was also noted during the second winter (rainy) season. Hg concentrations were highest in the fine-grained fraction of unburned soils; however, in the burned soils, the distribution of soil-bound Hg was less influenced by grain size. The accelerated accumulation of Hg observed in the burned soils, along with the elevated risk of erosion, could result in increased delivery of organic- or particulate-bound Hg to surface waters in post-fire systems. PMID:20936165

  9. LEVEL AND EXTENT OF MERCURY CONTAMINATION IN OREGON LOTIC FISH

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of the U.S. EPA's EMAP Oregon Pilot project, we conducted a probability survey of 154 Oregon streams and rivers to assess the spatial extent of mercury (Hg) contamination in fish tissue across the state. Samples consisted of whole fish analyses of both small (< 120 mm) a...

  10. Consumption of tomato products is associated with lower blood mercury levels in Inuit preschool children.

    PubMed

    Gagné, Doris; Lauzière, Julie; Blanchet, Rosanne; Vézina, Carole; Vaissière, Emilie; Ayotte, Pierre; Turgeon O'Brien, Huguette

    2013-01-01

    Some evidence suggests that various diet components and nutrients, including vegetables, fruit and food-derived antioxidants, could mitigate contaminant exposure and/or adverse health effects of contaminants. To examine the effect of the consumption of tomato products on blood mercury levels in Inuit preschool children, 155 Inuit children (25.0±9.1months) were recruited from 2006-2008 in Nunavik childcare centers (northern Québec, Canada). Food frequency questionnaires were completed at home and at the childcare center, and total blood mercury concentration was measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Multivariate regression analysis was performed after multiple imputation. The median blood concentration of mercury was 9.5nmol/L. Age, duration of breastfeeding, annual consumption frequency of seal meat, and monthly consumption frequency of tomato products were significant predictors of blood mercury levels, whereas annual consumption frequencies of beluga muktuk, walrus, Arctic char, and caribou meat were not. Each time a participant consumed tomato products during the month before the interview was associated with a 4.6% lower blood mercury level (p=0.0005). All other significant predictors in the model were positively associated with blood mercury levels. Further studies should explore interactions between consumption of healthy store-bought foods available in Arctic regions and contaminant exposure. PMID:23127601

  11. Potential cultivation of Hordeum vulgare L. in soils with high mercury background concentrations.

    PubMed

    Sierra, M J; Millán, R; Cardona, A I; Schmid, T

    2011-09-01

    Experimental work was carried out under close-to-real conditions to study mercury uptake by Hordeum vulgare L. cultivated in lysimeter experiments. The soil in the lysimeter experiment was obtained from a test plot located near Almadén (Spain) and had a mean mercury content of 22.9 mg kg(-1). A sequence of four crops was sown starting in autumn 2000 and repeated on a yearly basis until 2004. The first crop was grown in the field prior to the extraction of 5 one-cubic-meter lysimeters. The succeeding crops were sown in the lysimeter experiments at the CIEMAT Research Centre (Madrid, Spain). Samples of root and shoot were obtained during the four seasons. Concentrations of mercury at plant maturity in roots vary between I and 3 mg kg(-1) and in straw and grain the concentrations range from 72 to 480 microg kg(-1) and from 5 to 257 microg kg(-1), respectively. In order to assess the potential risk for human health and animal feed, an evaluation of the mercury content in the edible part of the crop has been carried out. According to legislation, there is no human health intoxication risk with a balanced consumption; otherwise, the forage use would have to be controlled. PMID:21972517

  12. Low-Cost Options for Moderate Levels of Mercury Control

    SciTech Connect

    Sharon Sjostrom

    2008-02-09

    This is the final technical report for a three-site project that is part of an overall program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) and industry partners to obtain the necessary information to assess the feasibility and costs of controlling mercury from coal-fired utility plants. This report summarizes results from tests conducted at MidAmerican's Louisa Generating Station and Entergy's Independence Steam Electric Station (ISES) and sorbent screening at MidAmerican's Council Bluffs Energy Center (CBEC) (subsequently renamed Walter Scott Energy Center (WSEC)). Detailed results for Independence and Louisa are presented in the respective Topical Reports. As no full-scale testing was conducted at CBEC, screening updates were provided in the quarterly updates to DOE. ADA-ES, Inc., with support from DOE/NETL, EPRI, and other industry partners, has conducted evaluations of EPRI's TOXECON II{trademark} process and of high-temperature reagents and sorbents to determine the capabilities of sorbent/reagent injection, including activated carbon, for mercury control on different coals and air emissions control equipment configurations. An overview of each plant configuration is presented: (1) MidAmerican's Louisa Generating Station burns Powder River Basin (PRB) coal in its 700-MW Unit 1 and employs hot-side electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) with flue gas conditioning for particulate control. This part of the testing program evaluated the effect of reagents used in the existing flue gas conditioning on mercury removal. (2) MidAmerican's Council Bluffs Energy Center typically burns PRB coal in its 88-MW Unit 2. It employs a hot-side ESP for particulate control. Solid sorbents were screened for hot-side injection. (3) Entergy's Independence Steam Electric Station typically burns PRB coal in its 880-MW Unit 2. Various sorbent injection tests were conducted on 1/8 to 1/32 of the flue gas stream either within or in front of one of four ESP boxes (SCA = 542 ft{sup 2}/kacfm), specifically ESP B. Initial mercury control evaluations indicated that although significant mercury control could be achieved by using the TOXECON II{trademark} design, the sorbent concentration required was higher than expected, possibly due to poor sorbent distribution. Subsequently, the original injection grid design was modeled and the results revealed that the sorbent distribution pattern was determined by the grid design, fluctuations in flue gas flow rates, and the structure of the ESP box. To improve sorbent distribution, the injection grid and delivery system were redesigned and the effectiveness of the redesigned system was evaluated. This project was funded through the DOE/NETL Innovations for Existing Plants program. It was a Phase II project with the goal of developing mercury control technologies that can achieve 50-70% mercury capture at costs 25-50% less than baseline estimates of $50,000-$70,000/lb of mercury removed. Results from testing at Independence indicate that the DOE goal was successfully achieved. Further improvements in the process are recommended, however. Results from testing at Louisa indicate that the DOE goal was not achievable using the tested high-temperature sorbent. Sorbent screening at Council Bluffs also indicated that traditional solid sorbents may not achieve significant mercury removal in hot-side applications.

  13. The relationship between Adirondack lake pH and levels of mercury in yellow perch.

    PubMed

    Brown, Donald; Goncharov, Alexey; Paul, Eric; Simonin, Howard; Carpenter, David O

    2010-12-01

    Levels of total mercury in yellow perch Perca flavescens from Adirondack lakes were studied in relation to characteristics of the lakes to determine why some lakes had fish with higher concentrations of mercury. Almost all mercury in fish is in the form of methylmercury, which can pose significant health hazards to humans who consume such fish. Fish mercury concentrations and water chemistry data were analyzed from eight Adirondack lakes. Four lakes (Halfmoon Lake, Sand Pond, Rock Pond, and Upper Sister Lake) had pH values of less than 5.0. Four other lakes (Lake Adirondack, Kings Flow, Harris Lake, and Lake Kushaqua) had pH values of more than 7.0. The acidic lakes also had high levels of aluminum and low acid-neutralizing capacity relative to the neutral lakes. Yellow perch (n = 100) from the acidic lakes had significantly higher levels of mercury than did those (n = 102) from the neutral lakes (P < 0.001), and the total mercury concentration increased with both length and weight of the fish. We conclude that the pH of the lake water is a major factor in determining the concentration of methylmercury in yellow perch. PMID:21413513

  14. Mercury speciation in floodplain soils and sediments along a contaminated river transect

    SciTech Connect

    Wallschlaeger, D.; Desai, M.V.M.; Spengler, M.; Wilken, R.D.

    1998-09-01

    A novel mercury-specific sequential extraction procedure (SEP) for the assessment of mercury (Hg) speciation in soils and sediments, with emphasis on studying the interaction between Hg and organic matter (OM), was developed and tested. It was applied to determine Hg speciation in floodplain topsoils and surface sediments along the Hg-contaminated part of the river Elbe, and to simultaneously derive some information on the (re)mobilization potentials for Hg from these matrices. The majority of the total Hg in the ecosystem today is bound in the floodplains, which also still geographically reflect the historic emission record. Most of the Hg in both matrices is bound strongly to OM, suggesting low availability. However, distinct differences between Hg speciation in the floodplain soils and sediments were also discovered. Mercury deposited in the floodplains shows speciation patterns that indicate stronger fixation compared with Hg in the sediments. This difference is attributed to the association of Hg with larger quantities of OM, which presumably also has higher molecular weight (MW). By comparison, Hg in the sediments was distributed among weaker binding forms, which are more likely to liberate Hg. Particularly, sediments showed a total lack of sulfidic binding forms for Hg. Pronounced geographical trends were detected in the Hg speciation along the river transect, with a general downstream shift from weaker to stronger binding forms, probably due to increased association with OM. These studies indicate that Hg speciation in riverine ecosystems is dynamic and reflects the chemical mechanisms underlying (bio) geochemical processes like distribution and transport.

  15. Comparison of hair, nails and urine for biological monitoring of low level inorganic mercury exposure in dental workers.

    PubMed

    Morton, J; Mason, H J; Ritchie, K A; White, M

    2004-01-01

    Creatinine-corrected urine mercury measurements in spot urine samples are routinely used in monitoring workers exposed to inorganic mercury. However, mercury measurement in other non-invasive biological material has been used in some epidemiological studies. Dentists and dental nurses remain a group of workers with potential exposure to inorganic mercury through their handling of mercury-containing amalgam, although changes in work practices have reduced the current, likely exposure to mercury. Therefore, dental workers remain an occupational cohort in whom the value of using different biological media to identify exposure to low level inorganic mercury can be investigated. Samples of head hair, pubic hair, fingernails, toenails and urine were analysed for mercury content from a cohort of UK dentists (n=167) and a socioeconomically similar reference population (n=68) in whom any mercury exposure was primarily through diet. The mercury content in all biological material was significantly higher in the dental workers than in the control population (p<0.0001). The geometric mean and 90th percentile mercury concentrations in the urine samples from dentists were 1.7 and 7.3 micromol mol(-1) creatinine, respectively, with only one sample having a value at around the UK's Health and Safety Executive biological monitoring health guidance level of 20 micromol mol(-1) creatinine. Receiver operator characteristic analyses suggested that the ability of the biological material to discriminate between dentists and referents were fingernails>urine approximately equal to toenails>pubic hair approximately equal to head hair. Further investigation is warranted as to why fingernails appear to be such a good discriminator, possibly reflecting some contribution of direct finger contact with amalgam or contaminated surfaces rather than systemic incorporation of mercury into growing nails. Good correlation between head hair and pubic hair mercury levels in all subjects was obtained (r=0.832), which was significantly improved when hair samples weighing <10 mg were excluded (r=0.868). Therefore, under these exposure conditions and using the described pre-analytical washing steps, there is little influence from atmospheric contamination on the level of mercury content of head hair. The choice of non-invasive biological materials for mercury analysis depends on a number of considerations. These include the toxicokinetics of urinary mercury excretion, the growth rates of hair and nail, the nature and time-frame of exposure, and the fact that urine mercury may not reflect the body burden level from dietary methyl mercury. However, the data from this study suggests that urine mercury remains the most practical and sensitive means of monitoring low level occupational exposure to inorganic mercury. PMID:15204310

  16. Seasonal variability of mercury concentration in soils, buds and leaves of Acer platanoides and Tilia platyphyllos in central Poland.

    PubMed

    Kowalski, Artur; Frankowski, Marcin

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we present the results of mercury concentration in soils, buds and leaves of maple (Acer platanoides-Ap) and linden (Tilia platyphyllos-Tp) collected in four periods of the growing season of trees, i.e. in April (IV), June (VI), August (VIII) and November (IX) in 2013, from the area of Poznań city (Poland). The highest average concentration of mercury for 88 samples was determined in soils and it equaled 65.8 ± 41.7 ng g(-1) (range 14.5-238.9 ng g(-1)); lower average concentration was found in Ap samples (n = 66): 55.4 ± 18.1 ng g(-1) (range 26.5-106.9 ng g(-1)); in Tp samples 50.4 ± 15.8 ng g(-1) (range 23.1-88.7 ng g(-1)) and in 22 samples of Tp buds 40.8 ± 22.7 ng g(-1) (range 12.4-98.7 ng g(-1)) and Ap buds 28.2 ± 13.6 ng g(-1) (range 8.0-59.5 ng g(-1)). Based on the obtained results, it was observed that the highest concentration of mercury in soils occurred in the centre of Poznań city (95.5 ± 39.1 ng g(-1)), and it was two times higher than the concentration of mercury in other parts of the city. Similar dependencies were not observed for the leaf samples of Ap and Tp. It was found that mercury concentrations in the soil and leaves of maple and linden were different depending on the period of the growing season (April to November). Mercury content in the examined samples was higher in the first two research periods (April IV, June VI), and then, in the following periods, the accumulation of mercury decreased both in soil and leaf samples of the two tree species. There was no correlation found between mercury concentration in leaves and mercury concentration in soils during the four research periods (April-November). When considering the transfer coefficient, it was observed that the main source of mercury in leaves is the mercury coming from the atmosphere. PMID:26846237

  17. Mercury in polluted soils: speciation using micro-XRF, micro-XRD, and micro- and bulk XAFS.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terzano, R.; Santoro, A.; Spagnuolo, M.; Vekemans, B.; Medici, L.; Janssens, K.; Goettlicher, J.; Denecke, M. A.; Mangold, S.; Ruggiero, P.

    2009-04-01

    In this research, mercury speciation was assessed for soil samples collected inside and outside an industrial polluted area of National environmental interest located in "Val Basento" (Basilicata, Italy). Hg concentration in these soil samples ranged from 12 up to 240 mg/kg. Mercury chemical forms in these samples were identified by a combination of sequential extraction procedures, thermal desorption analyses, and different bulk- and micro-analytical techniques exploiting high intensity synchrotron generated X-rays. Bulk XANES (X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure) and EXAFS (Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure) spectra were collected for direct Hg-speciation in soil samples sieved at 2mm as well as in the clay fraction (<2um), where the highest amount of mercury was concentrated. The interpretation of the complex mixture of Hg-chemical forms in the soil samples was made simpler by performing, beside bulk XAS investigations, microanalyses on soil thin sections by combined u-XRF/u-XRD (micro X-ray Fluorescence/micro X-ray Diffraction) and u-XANES, with a resolution of 20 um. The information deriving from the micro-scale was then used to understand the bulk data. m-XRF maps were collected to localize microscopic Hg-containing particles in areas of several hundreds of mm2. Simultaneous to u-XRF spectra, microdiffraction patterns were collected in each point of the map, to identify possible crystalline Hg-mineral forms or mineral associations. Once points of interest were localized, u-XANES spectra were also collected. In general, two main representative XANES spectra (S1 and S2) were observed from Hg-rich spots at the microscopic level. Interestingly, all the bulk XANES spectra from all soil samples could be fitted by a linear combination of the microscopic S1 and S2 spectra. Therefore, by fitting the S1 and S2 spectra by means of known standard spectra it was then possible to decipher Hg-speciation for all the soil samples. In conclusion, the main constituents in the soil samples were cinnabar (HgS), metacinnabar, corderoite (Hg3S2Cl2), and amorphous Hg-S-Cl phases, in different proportions. The presence of these amorphous forms was suggested by EXAFS and XRD structural analyses. The speciation obtained is also in agreement with the chemical behaviour of the soil samples as assessed by sequential extractions and thermal desorption analyses. The chemical species identified are typical of soils contaminated with wastes produced by chlor-alkali plants. Actually, a chlor-alkali plant was active in the area during the 1960-80's, and now is no more existing. In conclusion, notwithstanding the diffuse Hg-pollution in the investigated area, it seems that Hg is speciated in scarcely soluble and hardly mobilisable forms. The determination of the chemical forms of toxic elements in polluted soils is an indispensable step to identify the source of pollution, to formulate a correct risk assessment and to develop effective remediation strategies.

  18. Water and soil biotic relations in Mercury distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siegel, S. M.; Siegel, B. Z.; Puerner, N.; Speitel, T.; Thorarinsson, F.

    1975-01-01

    The distribution of Hg is considered both in terms of its availability in soil fractions and the relationship between Hg in plant samples and Hg in ambient soils or other supportive media. The plants were grouped by habitat into epipedic-epiphytic (mosses, lichens) and endopedic-aquatic-marine (Basidiomycetes and algae) samples; nonvascular and vascular forms were also distinguished. Sources included Alaska, Hawaii, New England and Iceland. Brief consideration was also given to Hg distribution in a plant-animal-soil community. Data were expressed in terms of plant Hg content and plant substratum concentration ratio. Average Hg contents and concentration ratios, and modal ranges for the ratios were determined. The results showed similar average Hg contents in all groups (126 to 199 ppb) but a low value (84 ppb) in the lichens; terrestrial forms had ratios of 3.5 to 7.6 whereas the marine algae yielded a figure of 78.7. A secondary mode in the range 0 to 0.1 appeared only in the Alaska-New England Group, over 500 km distant from active thermal sites. Evidence for both exclusion and concentration behavior was obtained.

  19. Use of implantable pellets to administer low levels of methyl mercury to fish

    SciTech Connect

    Arnold, B.S.; Jagoe, C.H.; Gross, T.S.

    1999-07-01

    Implantable pellets of methyl mercury chloride were tested in Nile Tilapia (oreochromis niloticus) to appraise the effectiveness of the method for chronic studies of mercury. Two dosing regimes of 15 and 1.5 grams/CH{sub 3}HgCl pellet (test 1) and 1 and 0.1 grams/pellet (tests 2--3) of methyl mercury chloride were used in three tests. Additional pellets containing only matrix were used as controls. The pellets were inserted into the peritoneal cavity along with a microchip for identification. Three methods of incision closure: sutures and two types of surgical glue, were tested. Pellets used in test one released the dose too fast, resulting in premature death of the fish. Results from tests 2 and 3 show blood mercury concentrations over time and tissue levels at necropsy consistent with dose suggestion that this is a viable method of dosing fish.

  20. Continuous atomic spectrometric measurement of ambient levels of sulfur dioxide in air by mercury displacement detection

    SciTech Connect

    Marshall, G.; Midgley, D.

    1982-08-01

    The analytical atomic spectrometric technique of mercury displacement detection has been adapted so that sulfur dioxide can be determined at natural background levels in ambient air on a continuous basis with a 90% response time of 1-2 min. Sample air is drawn into the reaction vessel containing mercury (I) ion reagent and any sulfur dioxide present reacts to form elemental mercury which is measured, after being swept out of the solution by the same flow of sample air, by a mercury vapor detector. Reagent is continuously pumped through the analyzer and the instrument is calibrated with a permeation tube calibrator. The apparatus has a linear concentration range up to 100 ppB sulfur dioxide; this is much lower than can be obtained with existing commerical instruments. The apparatus is very precise and 6, 11, and 20 ppB sulfur dioxide can be measured with coefficients of variation of 1-2%.

  1. X-ray fluorescence mercury determination using cation selective membranes at sub-ppb levels.

    PubMed

    Hatzistavros, Vasilios S; Kallithrakas-Kontos, Nikolaos G

    2014-01-27

    In the present work a method for the determination of mercury at trace levels by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) is introduced. Mercury ions were concentrated on cation selective membranes that have been prepared on Mylar(®) thin film substrate, immobilized on plastic cups. The produced membranes were immersed in water solutions containing low concentrations of mercury. The membranes were left to equilibrate in 1000 mL of mercury solutions and were analyzed by EDXRF. The effects of various experimental parameters were examined. Minimum detection limits of pg mL(-1) (ppt) (0.069 ng mL(-1) for ASTM Type I water and 0.064 ng mL(-1) for seawater) and good linearity were achieved. PMID:24418129

  2. The development and testing of technologies for the remediation of mercury-contaminated soils, Task 7.52. Topical report, December 1992--December 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Stepan, D.J.; Fraley, R.H.; Charlton, D.S.

    1994-02-01

    The release of elemental mercury into the environment from manometers that are used in the measurement of natural gas flow through pipelines has created a potentially serious problem for the gas industry. Regulations, particularly the Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR), have had a major impact on gas companies dealing with mercury-contaminated soils. After the May 8, 1993, LDR deadline extension, gas companies were required to treat mercury-contaminated soils by designated methods to specified levels prior to disposal in landfills. In addition, gas companies must comply with various state regulations that are often more stringent than the LDR. The gas industry is concerned that the LDRs do not allow enough viable options for dealing with their mercury-related problems. The US Environmental Protection Agency has specified the Best Demonstrated Available Technology (BDAT) as thermal roasting or retorting. However, the Agency recognizes that treatment of certain wastes to the LDR standards may not always be achievable and that the BDAT used to set the standard may be inappropriate. Therefore, a Treatability Variance Process for remedial actions was established (40 Code of Federal Regulations 268.44) for the evaluation of alternative remedial technologies. This report presents evaluations of demonstrations for three different remedial technologies: a pilot-scale portable thermal treatment process, a pilot-scale physical separation process in conjunction with chemical leaching, and a bench-scale chemical leaching process.

  3. Changes in mercury levels in Great Lakes fish between 1970s and 2007.

    PubMed

    Bhavsar, Satyendra P; Gewurtz, Sarah B; McGoldrick, Daryl J; Keir, Michael J; Backus, Sean M

    2010-05-01

    A number of initiatives have curtailed anthropogenic mercury emissions in North America over the last two decades; however, various factors, including long-range transport of global emissions, may complicate the response of fish mercury levels to remedial actions. Since the Great Lakes of North America are together the largest surface freshwater body in the world and are under the influence of many complicating factors, trends of mercury in fish from the Great Lakes can reflect the overall impact of mercury management actions at local, regional, and perhaps global scales. Here we present a comprehensive view of mercury trends in Canadian Great Lakes fish using two large (total 5807 samples), different (fillet and whole fish), and long-term (1970s-2007) monitoring data sets. The spatial differences in lake trout and walleye mercury levels during this period have generally been within a factor of 2-3 with Lakes Erie and Superior having the lowest and highest concentrations, respectively. These spatial differences have diminished in the recent years (2000-2007). The concentrations have generally declined over the three decades (mid-1970s to 2007); however, in recent years, the concentration trends are flat in Lake Ontario walleye and appear to be increasing in Lake Erie walleye. There was a mismatch in the Lake Ontario lake trout and walleye temporal trends, which shows the importance of considering more than one fish species for proper spatial/temporal trend assessments. PMID:20350001

  4. Mercury deposition and re-emission pathways in boreal forest soils investigated with Hg isotope signatures.

    PubMed

    Jiskra, Martin; Wiederhold, Jan G; Skyllberg, Ulf; Kronberg, Rose-Marie; Hajdas, Irka; Kretzschmar, Ruben

    2015-06-16

    Soils comprise the largest terrestrial mercury (Hg) pool in exchange with the atmosphere. To predict how anthropogenic emissions affect global Hg cycling and eventually human Hg exposure, it is crucial to understand Hg deposition and re-emission of legacy Hg from soils. However, assessing Hg deposition and re-emission pathways remains difficult because of an insufficient understanding of the governing processes. We measured Hg stable isotope signatures of radiocarbon-dated boreal forest soils and modeled atmospheric Hg deposition and re-emission pathways and fluxes using a combined source and process tracing approach. Our results suggest that Hg in the soils was dominantly derived from deposition of litter (∼90% on average). The remaining fraction was attributed to precipitation-derived Hg, which showed increasing contributions in older, deeper soil horizons (up to 27%) indicative of an accumulation over decades. We provide evidence for significant Hg re-emission from organic soil horizons most likely caused by nonphotochemical abiotic reduction by natural organic matter, a process previously not observed unambiguously in nature. Our data suggest that Histosols (peat soils), which exhibit at least seasonally water-saturated conditions, have re-emitted up to one-third of previously deposited Hg back to the atmosphere. Re-emission of legacy Hg following reduction by natural organic matter may therefore be an important pathway to be considered in global models, further supporting the need for a process-based assessment of land/atmosphere Hg exchange. PMID:25946594

  5. Mobility of Four Common Mercury Species in Model and Natural Unsaturated Soils.

    PubMed

    Gai, Ke; Hoelen, Thomas P; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Lowry, Gregory V

    2016-04-01

    Mercury (Hg) occurs as a myriad of species in environmental media, each with different physicochemical properties. The influence of Hg speciation on its transport in unsaturated soils is not well studied. Transport of four Hg species (dissolved inorganic Hg (II) species, a prepared Hg(II) and dissolved organic matter (DOM) complex, Hg(0), and HgS nanoparticles) was measured in sand and soil packed columns with partial water saturation under simulated rainfall (low ionic strength solution without DOM) and landfill leachate (high DOM content and high ionic strength) influent conditions. The Hg(II)-DOM species had the highest mobility among the four Hg species evaluated, and HgS particles (∼230 nm hydrodynamic diameter) had the poorest mobility, for all soil and influent conditions tested. The addition of 2 wt % clay particles to sand greatly retarded the transport of all Hg species, especially under simulated rainfall. DOM in the column influent facilitated the transport of all four Hg species in model and natural soils. For simulated rainfall, the transport trends observed in model sands were consistent with those measured in a sandy soil, except that the mobility of dissolved inorganic Hg(II) species was significantly lower in natural soils. For simulated rainfall, Hg transport was negligible in a high organic content (∼3.72 wt %) soil for all species except Hg-DOM. This work suggests that the Hg-DOM species presents the greatest potential for vertical migration to groundwater, especially with DOM in the influent solution. PMID:26949999

  6. Forest Structure Affects Soil Mercury Losses in the Presence and Absence of Wildfire.

    PubMed

    Homann, Peter S; Darbyshire, Robyn L; Bormann, Bernard T; Morrissette, Brett A

    2015-11-01

    Soil is an important, dynamic component of regional and global mercury (Hg) cycles. This study evaluated how changes in forest soil Hg masses caused by atmospheric deposition and wildfire are affected by forest structure. Pre and postfire soil Hg measurements were made over two decades on replicate experimental units of three prefire forest structures (mature unthinned, mature thinned, clear-cut) in Douglas-fir dominated forest of southwestern Oregon. In the absence of wildfire, O-horizon Hg decreased by 60% during the 14 years after clearcutting, possibly the result of decreased atmospheric deposition due to the smaller-stature vegetative canopy; in contrast, no change was observed in mature unthinned and thinned forest. Wildfire decreased O-horizon Hg by >88% across all forest structures and decreased mineral-soil (0 to 66 mm depth) Hg by 50% in thinned forest and clear-cut. The wildfire-associated soil Hg loss was positively related to the amount of surface fine wood that burned during the fire, the proportion of area that burned at >700 C, fire severity as indicated by tree mortality, and soil C loss. Loss of soil Hg due to the 200,000 ha wildfire was more than four times the annual atmospheric Hg emissions from human activities in Oregon. PMID:26485585

  7. Historical mercury contamination in sediments and catchment soils of Diss Mere, UK.

    PubMed

    Yang, Handong

    2010-07-01

    A 5.3 m sediment core and soil samples were taken from Diss Mere and its catchment. The sediment core was dated and Hg analysed on the sediment and soil samples. The Hg record of the sediment core shows that Diss Mere has been contaminated for the past thousand years and the historical trends in sediment contamination are in good agreement with the development of the weaving industry in Diss and hemp cultivation in the region. Mercury contamination in Diss Mere has been significant and reached a peak in the mid-19th century with sediment Hg concentrations over 50 microg g(-1). Elevated Hg concentrations were also found in contemporary soils in residential areas with former industrial land use. Although local hemp cultivation and the traditional weaving industry were abandoned a hundred years ago, Hg contamination caused by these activities still exists in the catchment, and affects the lake. PMID:20392552

  8. Hair mercury levels, fish consumption, and cognitive development in preschool children from Granada, Spain .

    PubMed

    Freire, Carmen; Ramos, Rosa; Lopez-Espinosa, Maria-Jose; Díez, Sergi; Vioque, Jesús; Ballester, Ferrán; Fernández, Mariana-Fátima

    2010-01-01

    The main source of human exposure to mercury is the consumption of fish contaminated with methylmercury, which may adversely affect early neurodevelopment. This study assessed mercury levels in hair of preschoolers in Spain, where fish consumption is elevated, with the aim of investigating the influence of their fish intake and other factors on mercury exposure, and evaluating their association with cognitive development. A population-based birth cohort from Granada (Spain) was studied at the age of 4yr. Total mercury (T-Hg) levels were determined in children's hair, and daily fish intake was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire. The McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities (MSCA) were used to assess children's motor and cognitive abilities. Complete data were gathered on 72 children, and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate the influence of mercury exposure and fish intake on MSCA outcomes. Mean concentration of T-Hg in hair was 0.96 microg/g (95% confidence interval=0.76; 1.20 microg/g). T-Hg levels were associated with higher frequency of oily fish consumption, place of residence, maternal age, and passive smoking. After adjustment for fish intake, T-Hg levels > or =1microg/g were associated with decrements in the general cognitive (-6.6 points), memory (-8.4 points), and verbal (-7.5 points) MSCA scores. Higher mercury exposure in children from this Mediterranean area was associated with cognitive development delay. Studies on the putative benefits of fish intake during early development should consider mercury exposure from different fish species. PMID:19909946

  9. Soil as an archive of coal-fired power plant mercury deposition.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio; Nanos, Nikos

    2016-05-01

    Mercury pollution is a global environmental problem that has serious implications for human health. One of the most important sources of anthropogenic mercury emissions are coal-burning power plants. Hg accumulations in soil are associated with their atmospheric deposition. Our study provides the first assessment of soil Hg on the entire Spanish surface obtained from one sampling protocol. Hg spatial distribution was analysed with topsoil samples taken from 4000 locations in a regular sampling grid. The other aim was to use geostatistical techniques to verify the extent of soil contamination by Hg and to evaluate presumed Hg enrichment near the seven Spanish power plants with installed capacity above 1000MW. The Hg concentration in Spanish soil fell within the range of 1-7564μgkg(-1) (mean 67.2) and 50% of the samples had a concentration below 37μgkg(-1). Evidence for human activity was found near all the coal-fired power plants, which reflects that metals have accumulated in the basin over many years. Values over 1000μgkg(-1) have been found in soils in the vicinity of the Aboño, Soto de Ribera and Castellon power plants. However, soil Hg enrichment was detectable only close to the emission source, within an approximate range of only 15km from the power plants. We associated this effect with airborne emissions and subsequent depositions as the potential distance through fly ash deposition. Hg associated with particles of ash tends to be deposited near coal combustion sources. PMID:26808251

  10. Brain and tissue levels of mercury after chronic methylmercury exposure in the monkey

    SciTech Connect

    Rice, D.C.

    1989-01-01

    Estimated half-lives of mercury following methylmercury exposure in humans are 52-93 d for whole body and 49-164 d for blood. In its most recent 1980 review, the World Health Organization concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that brain half-life differed from whole-body half-life. In the present study, female monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were dosed for at least 1.7 yr with 10, 25, or 50 micrograms/kg.d of mercury as methylmercuric chloride. Dosing was discontinued, and blood half-life was determined to be about 14 d. Approximately 230 d after cessation of dosing, monkeys were sacrificed and organ and regional brain total mercury levels determined. One monkey that died while still being dosed had brain mercury levels three times higher than levels in blood. Theoretical calculations were performed assuming steady-state brain:blood ratios of 3, 5, or 10. Brain mercury levels were at least three orders of magnitude higher than those predicted by assuming the half-life in brain to be the same as that in blood. Estimated half-lives in brain were between 56 (brain:blood ratio of 3) and 38 (brain:blood ratio of 10) d. In addition, there was a dose-dependent difference in half-lives for some brain regions. These data clearly indicate that brain half-life is considerably longer than blood half-life in the monkey under conditions of chronic dosing.

  11. Chronic effects of low-level mercury and cadmium to goldfish (Carassius Auratus)

    SciTech Connect

    Westerman, A.G.

    1984-01-01

    During this five and one half year investigation, experiments were performed to determine the effects of nanogram levels of cadmium and mercury on reproductive performance, growth, and tissue residues of goldfish. In addition, embryo-larval bioassays were conducted on these metals to compare the effects of a short-term exposure to a sensitive life-cycle stage (i.e., eggs and larvae) with a sustained exposure to a relatively insensitive life-cycle period (i.e., adult). Reproduction was blocked by the long-term exposure to 0.25 ..mu..g/l mercury and 0.27 ..mu..g/l cadmium. Over the 1972 days, the control fish spawned on eleven occasions, but the experimentals failed to spawn. The metal-induced reproductive impairment continued in the experimentals even after six months in clean water. Growth of the populations exposed to mercury and cadmium was significantly less than that of the control population (P < 0.001). The mercury, cadmium and control populations grew by 229%, 232% and 353%, respectively. Mercury and cadmium continuously accumulated in fish tissues over the entire 1789 days of whole body exposure. Despite exposure to mercury as inorganic metal, organomercury also accumula

  12. Comparative observations on levels of mercury in scalp hair of humans from different Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renzoni, Aristeo

    1992-09-01

    Following the Minamata events, an extraordinary number of studies concerning mercury toxicity and human health have been undertaken. Particular attention has been given to the evaluation of the dose-response relationship, i.e., the body burden at which (evaluated through the mercury analyses in blood or hair) the risk of poisoning begins. The results of a comparative study concerning levels of mercury in the hair of fishermen living in small islands who eat seafood more than four times per week show that in two areas only, and only in a few cases in these areas, the mercury in the hair exceeds the limit at which a possible risk could exist. In fact, the limit of 50 mg/g of total mercury in the hair (indicated as the lower limit above which a possible risk could occur) is surpassed by nine fishermen out of a total of 39 at station 1 and by four fishermen out of a total of 26 at station 3. The average value at station 1 is 36.38 mg/g and that at station 3 is 30.31 mg. Many countries have set legal limits of mercury for seafood, but evidently the system does not offer a true protection for man. Only the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI), as repeatedly suggested by WHO, should be considered the best guideline to prevent possibly harmful consequences.

  13. Achieving very low mercury levels in refinery wastewater by membrane filtration.

    SciTech Connect

    Urgun Demirtas, M.; Benda, P.; Gillenwater, P. S.; Negri, M. C.; Xiong, H.; Snyder, S. W.

    2012-05-15

    Microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes were evaluated for their ability to achieve the world's most stringent Hg discharge criterion (<1.3 ng/L) in an oil refinery's wastewater. The membrane processes were operated at three different pressures to demonstrate the potential for each membrane technology to achieve the targeted effluent mercury concentrations. The presence of mercury in the particulate form in the refinery wastewater makes the use of MF and UF membrane technologies more attractive in achieving very low mercury levels in the treated wastewater. Both NF and RO were also able to meet the target mercury concentration at lower operating pressures (20.7 bar). However, higher operating pressures ({ge}34.5 bar) had a significant effect on NF and RO flux and fouling rates, as well as on permeate quality. SEM images of the membranes showed that pore blockage and narrowing were the dominant fouling mechanisms for the MF membrane while surface coverage was the dominant fouling mechanism for the other membranes. The correlation between mercury concentration and particle size distribution was also investigated to understand mercury removal mechanisms by membrane filtration. The mean particle diameter decreased with filtration from 1.1 {+-} 0.0 {micro}m to 0.74 {+-} 0.2 {micro}m after UF.

  14. Characterization of soils from an industrial complex contaminated with elemental mercury

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Carrie L. Watson, David B.; Lester, Brian P.; Lowe, Kenneth A.; Pierce, Eric M.; Liang, Liyuan

    2013-08-15

    Historical use of liquid elemental mercury (Hg(0){sub l}) at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, TN, USA, resulted in large deposits of Hg(0){sub l} in the soils. The fate and distribution of the spilled Hg(0) are not well characterized. In this study we evaluated analytical tools for characterizing the speciation of Hg in the contaminated soils and then used the analytical techniques to examine the speciation of Hg in two soil cores collected at the site. These include x-ray fluorescence (XRF), soil Hg(0) headspace analysis, and total Hg determination by acid digestion coupled with cold vapor atomic absorption (HgT). XRF was not found to be suitable for evaluating Hg concentrations in heterogeneous soils containing low concentration of Hg or Hg(0) because Hg concentrations determined using this method were lower than those determined by HgT analysis and the XRF detection limit is 20 mg/kg. Hg(0){sub g} headspace analysis coupled with HgT measurements yielded good results for examining the presence of Hg(0){sub l} in soils and the speciation of Hg. The two soil cores are highly heterogeneous in both the depth and extent of Hg contamination, with Hg concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 8400 mg/kg. In the first core, Hg(0){sub l} was distributed throughout the 3.2 m depth, whereas the second core, from a location 12 m away, contained Hg(0){sub l} in a 0.3 m zone only. Sequential extractions showed organically associated Hg dominant at depths with low Hg concentration. Soil from the zone of groundwater saturation showed reducing conditions and the Hg is likely present as Hg-sulfide species. At this depth, lateral Hg transport in the groundwater may be a source of Hg detected in the soil at the deeper soil depths. Overall, characterization of soils containing Hg(0){sub l} is difficult because of the heterogeneous distribution of Hg within the soils. This is exacerbated in industrial facilities where fill materials make up much of the soils and historical and continued reworking of the subsurface has remobilized the Hg. -- Highlights: • Presence of Hg(0) and chemical transformations control the Hg speciation in soil. • Redox reactions can result in the mobilization and sequestration of Hg in soils. • Analysis of soils containing Hg(0) is complex due to sample heterogeneity.

  15. Influence of Methylmercury from Tributary Streams on Mercury Levels in Savannah River Asiatic Clams

    SciTech Connect

    Paller, M.H.

    2004-03-01

    Average methylmercury levels in five Savannah River tributary streams sampled 11 times over two years were nearly twice as high as in the Savannah River. Total mercury levels in the tributaries did not differ significantly from the river. All of the tributaries drained extensive wetlands that would be expected to support comparatively high rates of methylation. Mercury concentrations in Asiatic clams (Corbicula fluminea) collected from the discharge plumes of Savannah River tributaries were significantly higher than in Asiatic clams collected from the Savannah River upstream from the tributary mouths . These results indicate that streams draining wetlands into coastal plain rivers can create localized areas of elevated methylmercury with resulting increases in the mercury levels of river biota.

  16. Electronic Characterization of Defects in Narrow Gap Semiconductors-Comparison of Electronic Energy Levels and Formation Energies in Mercury Cadmium Telluride, Mercury Zinc Telluride, and Mercury Zinc Selenide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, James D.

    1996-01-01

    We have used a Green's function technique to calculate the energy levels and formation energy of deep defects in the narrow gap semiconductors mercury cadmium telluride (MCT), mercury zinc telluride (MZT) and mercury zinc selenide (MZS). The formation energy is calculated from the difference between the total energy with an impurity cluster and the total energy for the perfect crystal. Substitutional (including antisite), interstitial (self and foreign), and vacancy deep defects are considered. Relaxation effects are calculated (with molecular dynamics). By use of a pseudopotential, we generalize the ideal vacancy model so as to be able to consider relaxation for vacancies. Different charge states are considered and the charged state energy shift (as computed by a modified Haldane-Anderson model) can be twice that due to relaxation. Different charged states for vacancies were not calculated to have much effect on the formation energy. For all cases we find deep defects in the energy gap only for cation site s-like orbitals or anion site p-like orbitals, and for the substitutional case only the latter are appreciably effected by relaxation. For most cases for MCT, MZT, MZS, we consider x (the concentration of Cd or Zn) in the range appropriate for a band gap of 0.1 eV. For defect energy levels, the absolute accuracy of our results is limited, but the precision is good, and hence chemical trends are accurately predicted. For the same reason, defect formation energies are more accurately predicted than energy level position. We attempt, in Appendix B, to calculate vacancy formation energies using relatively simple chemical bonding ideas due to Harrison. However, these results are only marginally accurate for estimating vacancy binding energies. Appendix C lists all written reports and publications produced for the grant. We include abstracts and a complete paper that summarizes our work which is not yet available.

  17. [Spatial distribution and ecological significance of heavy metals in soils from Chatian mercury mining deposit, western Hunan province].

    PubMed

    Sun, Hong-Fei; Li, Yong-Hu; Ji, Yan-Fang; Yang, Lin-Sheng; Wang, Wu-Yi

    2009-04-15

    Ores, waste tailings and slag, together with three typical soil profiles (natural soil profiles far from mine entrance and near mine entrance, soil profile under slag) in Chatian mercury mining deposit (CMD), western Hunan province were sampled and their concentrations of mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn) were determined by HG-ICP-AES and ICP-MS. Enrichment factor and correlation analysis were taken to investigate the origins, distribution and migration of Hg, as well as other heavy metals in the CMD. The results show that Hg is enriched in the bottom of the soil profile far from mine entrance but accumulated in the surface of soil profiles near mine entrance and under slag. The soil profiles near mine entrance and under slag are both contaminated by Hg, while the latter is contaminated more heavily. In the soil profile under slag, Hg concentration in the surface soil, Hg average concentration in the total profile, and the leaching depth of soil Hg are 640 microg x g(-1), (76.74 +/- 171.71) microg x g(-1), and more than 100 cm, respectively; while 6.5 microg x g(-1), (2.74 +/- 1.90) microg x g(-1), and 40 cm, respectively, are found in the soil profile near mine entrance. Soil in the mercury mine area is also polluted by Cd, As, Pb, Zn besides metallogenic element Hg, among which Cd pollution is relatively heavier than others. The mobility of the studied heavy metals in soil follows the order as Hg > Cd > As > Zn approximately equal to Pb. The leaching depth of the heavy metals is influenced by total concentration in the surface soil and soil physico-chemical parameters. The origins, distribution and migration of heavy metals in soil profile in the mining area are related to primary geological environment, and strongly influenced by human mining activities. PMID:19545023

  18. [Influence of industrial pollution with mercury on levels of its accumulation in populated area objects and foods].

    PubMed

    Amreeva, K E; Teryokhin, S P; Krashanovskaya, T R

    2015-01-01

    The article deals with results of study covering influence of industrial pollution with mercury on its accumulation level in populated area objects and foods. Mercury content was measured in ambient air, snow, water, bed silt and regional foods of vegetable and animal origin--that is a potential health hazard for Central Kazakhstan population. The data obtained prove that high levels of mercury were detected in all the studied objects. PMID:26036022

  19. Effects of sulfate and selenite on mercury methylation in a mercury-contaminated rice paddy soil under anoxic conditions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yongjie; Dang, Fei; Zhong, Huan; Wei, Zhongbo; Li, Ping

    2016-03-01

    Biogeochemical cycling of sulfur and selenium (Se) could play an important role in methylmercury (MeHg) dynamics in soil, while their potential effects on MeHg production in rice paddy soil are less understood. The main objective of this study was to explore the effects of sulfate and selenite on net MeHg production in contaminated rice paddy soil, characterized with massive MeHg production and thus MeHg accumulation in rice. A series of microcosm incubation experiments were conducted using a contaminated paddy soil amended with sulfate and/or selenite, in which sulfate-reducing bacteria were mainly responsible for MeHg production. Our results demonstrated that sulfate addition reduced solid and dissolved MeHg levels in soils by ≤18 and ≤25 %, respectively. Compared to sulfate, selenite was more effective in inhibiting net MeHg production, and the inhibitory effect depended largely on amended selenite doses. Moreover, sulfate input played a dual role in affecting Hg-Se interactions in soil, which could be explained by the dynamics of sulfate under anoxic conditions. Therefore, the effects of sulfate and selenium input should be carefully considered when assessing risk of Hg in anoxic environments (e.g., rice paddy field and wetland). PMID:26520099

  20. Effects of infiltration chemistry on the mobilization potential of mercury (Hg) in soils from the New Jersey Coastal Plain

    SciTech Connect

    MacLeod, C.; Taylor, E. . Dept. of Geological and Geophysical Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    Mercury concentrations in ground water exceeding the USEPA maximum contaminant level of 2 [mu]g/l have been found in wells 60 to 100 feet deep in the Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer System of the New Jersey Coastal Plain. The aquifer is a sand and gravel aquifer consisting primarily of quartz with minor amounts of biotite, plagioclase feldspars and ilmenite. This is the shallowest aquifer system in the NJ Coastal Plain and is unconfined over much of central and southern NJ. Soils on these aquifer sediments are quartz-rich with poorly developed A[sub 0] and B horizons. These are weakly-buffered acid soils with a pH ranging from 4.0 to 5.5, and little or no capacity for metal retention. Mercury contaminated soils from Gloucester County, NJ were used to determine the mobilization potential of Hg by run-off solutions containing 0.02M NaCl and 0.02M CaCl[sub 2] salt solutions that approximate diluted highway de-icing salts; and by a simulated acid rain solution of pH 4.0. These experimental data are in agreement with previous studies suggesting that chlorides from de-icing salts are capable of mobilizing Hg. However, the mobilization potential of Hg in coastal plain soils attributable to acid rain is much greater (approx. 1 to 2 orders of magnitude) than that estimated for de-icing salts. These data also indicate that in NJ Coastal Plain soils Hg mobilization may be controlled by colloidal movement during an infiltration event. Mobilization of Hg by the simulated acid rain solution was found to coincide with the resuspension of Fe and Al colloids, while no colloidal movement was found with either of the salt solutions. Thus Hg sorbed to Fe and Al colloids in NJ Coastal Plain soils is more likely to be mobilized by infiltration of acidic rain water or fluctuating acidic ground water than by highway de-icing salts.

  1. Characterization of soils from an industrial complex contaminated with elemental mercury

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Carrie L; Watson, David B; Liang, Liyuan; Lester, Brian P; Lowe, Kenneth Alan; Pierce, Eric M

    2013-01-01

    Historic use of liquid elemental mercury (Hg(0)l) at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, TN, USA resulted in large deposits of Hg(0)l in the soils. An evaluation of analytical tools for characterizing the speciation of Hg in the soils at the Y-12 facility was conducted and these tequniques were used to examine the speciation of Hg in two soil cores collect at the site. These include X-ray fluorescence (XRF), soil Hg(0) headspace analysis, and total Hg determination by acid digestion coupled with cold vapor atomic absorption. Hg concentrations determined using XRF, a tool that has been suggestions for quick onsite characterization of soils, were lower than concentrations determined by HgT analysis and as a result this technique is not suitable for the evaluation of Hg concentrations in heterogeneous soils containing Hg(0)l. Hg(0)g headspace analysis can be used to examine the presence of Hg(0)l in soils and when coupled with HgT analysis an understanding of the speciation of Hg in soils can be obtained. Two soil cores collected within the Y-12 complex highlight the heterogeneity in the depth and extent of Hg contamination, with Hg concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 8400 mg/kg. At one location Hg(0)l was distributed throughout 3.2 meters of core whereas the core from a location only 12 meters away only contained Hg(0)l in 0.3 m zone of the core. Sequential extractions, used to examine the forms of Hg in the soils, indicated that at depths within the core that have low Hg concentrations organically associated Hg is dominant. Soil from the zone of groundwater inundation showed reduced characteristics and the Hg is likely present as Hg-sulfide species. At this location it appears that Hg transported within the groundwater is a source of Hg to the soil. Overall the characterization of Hg in soils containing Hg(0) l is difficult due to the heterogeneous distribution within the soils and this challenge is enhanced in industrial facilities in which fill material comprise most of the soils and historical and continuing reworking of the subsurface has remobilized the Hg.

  2. Mercury in the Soil of Two Contrasting Watersheds in the Eastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Burns, Douglas A.; Woodruff, Laurel G.; Bradley, Paul M.; Cannon, William F.

    2014-01-01

    Soil represents the largest store of mercury (Hg) in terrestrial ecosystems, and further study of the factors associated with soil Hg storage is needed to address concerns about the magnitude and persistence of global environmental Hg bioaccumulation. To address this need, we compared total Hg and methyl Hg concentrations and stores in the soil of different landscapes in two watersheds in different geographic settings with similar and relatively high methyl Hg concentrations in surface waters and biota, Fishing Brook, Adirondack Mountains, New York, and McTier Creek, Coastal Plain, South Carolina. Median total Hg concentrations and stores in organic and mineral soil samples were three-fold greater at Fishing Brook than at McTier Creek. Similarly, median methyl Hg concentrations were about two-fold greater in Fishing Brook soil than in McTier Creek soil, but this difference was significant only for mineral soil samples, and methyl Hg stores were not significantly different among these watersheds. In contrast, the methyl Hg/total Hg ratio was significantly greater at McTier Creek suggesting greater climate-driven methylation efficiency in the Coastal Plain soil than that of the Adirondack Mountains. The Adirondack soil had eight-fold greater soil organic matter than that of the Coastal Plain, consistent with greater total Hg stores in the northern soil, but soil organic matter – total Hg relations differed among the sites. A strong linear relation was evident at McTier Creek (r2 = 0.68; p<0.001), but a linear relation at Fishing Brook was weak (r2 = 0.13; p<0.001) and highly variable across the soil organic matter content range, suggesting excess Hg binding capacity in the Adirondack soil. These results suggest greater total Hg turnover time in Adirondack soil than that of the Coastal Plain, and that future declines in stream water Hg concentrations driven by declines in atmospheric Hg deposition will be more gradual and prolonged in the Adirondacks. PMID:24551042

  3. Assessment of Mercury in Soils, Crops, Earthworms, and Water when Soil is Treated with Gypsum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum from fossil fuel combustion has many potential uses in agriculture, but there is concern about the potential environmental effects of its elevated mercury (Hg) concentration. The wet limestone scrubbing process that removes sulfur from flue gas (and produces gyp...

  4. Projections of atmospheric mercury levels and their effect on air quality in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, H.; Wuebbles, D. J.; Liang, X.-Z.; Tao, Z.; Olsen, S.; Artz, R.; Ren, X.; Cohen, M.

    2014-01-01

    The individual and combined effects of global climate change and emissions changes from 2000 to 2050 on atmospheric mercury levels in the United States are investigated by using the global climate-chemistry model, CAM-Chem, coupled with a mercury chemistry-physics mechanism (CAM-Chem/Hg). Three future pathways from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) are considered, with the A1FI, A1B and B1 scenarios representing the upper, middle and lower bounds of potential climate warming, respectively. The anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions of mercury are projected from the energy use assumptions in the IPCC SRES report. Natural emissions from both land and ocean sources are projected by using dynamic schemes. TGM concentration increases are greater in the low latitudes than they are in the high latitudes, indicative of a larger meridional gradient than in the present day. In the A1FI scenario, TGM concentrations in 2050 are projected to increase by 2.1-4.0 ng m-3 for the eastern US and 1.4-3.0 ng m-3 for the western US. This spatial difference corresponds to potential increases in wet deposition of 10-14 μg m-2 for the eastern US and 2-4 μg m-2 for the western US. The increase in Hg(II) emissions tends to enhance wet deposition and hence increase the risk of higher mercury entering the hydrological cycle and ecosystem. In the B1 scenario, mercury concentrations in 2050 are similar to present level concentrations; this finding indicates that the domestic reduction in mercury emissions is essentially counteracted by the effects of climate warming and emissions increases in other regions. The sensitivity analyses show that changes in anthropogenic emissions contribute 32-53% of projected changes in mercury air concentration, while the independent contribution by climate change and its induced natural emissions change accounts for 47-68%.

  5. Pituitary gland levels of mercury, selenium, iron, and zinc in an Alzheimer`s disease study

    SciTech Connect

    Cornett, C.R.; Markesbery, W.R.; Wekstein, D.R.; Ehmann, W.D.

    1996-12-31

    Mercury, iron, selenium, and zinc imbalances have been observed in comparisons between Alzheimer`s disease (AD) and control subject brains. Analyses of the pituitary gland have demonstrated that this organ retains relatively high concentrations of trace elements, including mercury, iron, and zinc. Our previous work has shown that the pituitary glands of AD and control subjects are typically higher in these trace elements than brain samples from the same subject. Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) was used to compare the pituitary trace element levels of AD and control subjects. This study also describes the intrasubject relationships of brain trace element levels to those in the pituitary gland of AD and control subjects.

  6. Fish faddism causing low-level mercury poisoning in the Caribbean: two case reports

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Two otherwise healthy middle-aged males presented with persistent abdominal and lower- back pain, progressive weakness, paraesthesias, fatigue and weight loss over 8-12 months. Extensive work-up failed to localize organ pathology. Both men, strongly aware of the nutritional benefits of fish had a diet dedicated of canned and fresh fish. Raised blood mercury levels confirmed clinical suspicion and serial levels declined with symptom resolution after excluding dietary fish. To gain reported health benefits of fish as a healthy food modest consumption is encouraged. Efforts to monitor fish consumption and mercury residues in fish are recommended in Trinidad and Tobago. PMID:20126317

  7. A comprehensive database of global soil-atmosphere flux studies of mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnan, Y.; Obrist, D.; Moore, C.; Le Dantec, T.

    2014-12-01

    The surface-atmosphere exchange of mercury (Hg) is temporally and spatially dynamic and soils can serve as large reservoirs for atmospheric deposition of Hg. However, due to semi-volatile behavior of elemental Hg (Hg0) and reduction processes, Hg0 can re-emit to the atmosphere, undergoing a bi-directional flux. These processes, particularly re-emissions of previously deposited Hg, are estimated to globally account for up to 60% of current atmospheric Hg loads. Due to the variation in Hg0 fluxes among areas, the purpose of this study was to build a global database of surface-atmosphere Hg0 flux measurements and use that database to evaluate our current level of understanding. Hg0 fluxes have been measured over a wide range of areas from typical background sites to locations naturally and anthropogenically enhanced in Hg. Our database analysis showed that most flux measurements of Hg0 have been focused in the United States, Europe, and East Asia. Large areas of the globe have poorly documented surface-atmosphere Hg0 exchange. Measured fluxes span a very large range from -5,500 ng m-2 hr-1 to +110,000 ng m-2 hr-1, with fluxes measured before the year 2005 being 3 times higher than fluxes measured after 2005. This corresponds to a shift from measuring over enriched sites towards measurement over background areas and improvements in measurement methods. Measurements to date have experienced a strong bias; for instance, daytime measurements (85%) prevail over nighttime ones, as summer and spring measurements (65%) dominate over those taken in winter and fall. Bare soils account for over 40% of all terrestrial data, and 57% of studies were conducted over substrate concentrations that are considered "background". At the same time, only 40% of measurements were performed under air Hg concentrations typical of background air (<2 ng m-3). 85% of all flux studies were conducted with chamber methods using a variety of different designs, materials, and measurement protocols, with the rest based on micrometeorological flux techniques. Our findings indicate that to effectively estimate global and regional budgets of surface-atmosphere Hg0 exchange and their dependence on environmental variables, careful consideration should be given to the potential biases introduced by selectively sampling areas and methods used.

  8. High mercury levels in hair samples from residents of Taiji, a Japanese whaling town.

    PubMed

    Endo, Tetsuya; Haraguchi, Koichi

    2010-05-01

    We investigated the mercury concentrations in red meat from pilot whales consumed by some residents of the Japanese whaling town, Taiji, and in hair samples from 50 residents for their maker of mercury burden. The methyl mercury (M-Hg) level in the red meat was 5.9 microg/wet g, markedly higher than the US FDA action level and Cordex Alimentarius guideline level for predatory fish (1.0 microg/wet g). The average level of total mercury (T-Hg) in the hair from residents who ate whale meat more than once a month was 24.6 microg/g, whereas the average from the residents who did not consume any whale meat was 4.3 microg/g. The T-Hg concentrations in the hair from three donors exceeded 50 microg/g, the level for NOAEL set by WHO. The T-Hg level found in the Taiji whale meat consumers was markedly higher than that observed in the Japanese population overall (about 2 microg/g). PMID:20045122

  9. 40 CFR Table 5 to Subpart IIIii of... - Required Elements of Floor-Level Mercury Vapor Measurement and Cell Room Monitoring Plans

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... Mercury Vapor Measurement and Cell Room Monitoring Plans 5 Table 5 to Subpart IIIII of Part 63 Protection... Hazardous Air Pollutants: Mercury Emissions From Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali Plants Pt. 63, Subpt. IIIII, Table 5 Table 5 to Subpart IIIII of Part 63—Required Elements of Floor-Level Mercury Vapor...

  10. 40 CFR Table 5 to Subpart IIIii of... - Required Elements of Floor-Level Mercury Vapor Measurement and Cell Room Monitoring Plans

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... Mercury Vapor Measurement and Cell Room Monitoring Plans 5 Table 5 to Subpart IIIII of Part 63 Protection... Hazardous Air Pollutants: Mercury Emissions From Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali Plants Pt. 63, Subpt. IIIII, Table 5 Table 5 to Subpart IIIII of Part 63—Required Elements of Floor-Level Mercury Vapor...

  11. 40 CFR Table 5 to Subpart IIIii of... - Required Elements of Floor-Level Mercury Vapor Measurement and Cell Room Monitoring Plans

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Mercury Vapor Measurement and Cell Room Monitoring Plans 5 Table 5 to Subpart IIIII of Part 63 Protection... Hazardous Air Pollutants: Mercury Emissions From Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali Plants Pt. 63, Subpt. IIIII, Table 5 Table 5 to Subpart IIIII of Part 63—Required Elements of Floor-Level Mercury Vapor...

  12. 40 CFR Table 5 to Subpart IIIii of... - Required Elements of Floor-Level Mercury Vapor Measurement and Cell Room Monitoring Plans

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... Mercury Vapor Measurement and Cell Room Monitoring Plans 5 Table 5 to Subpart IIIII of Part 63 Protection... Hazardous Air Pollutants: Mercury Emissions From Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali Plants Pt. 63, Subpt. IIIII, Table 5 Table 5 to Subpart IIIII of Part 63—Required Elements of Floor-Level Mercury Vapor...

  13. 40 CFR Table 5 to Subpart IIIii of... - Required Elements of Floor-Level Mercury Vapor Measurement and Cell Room Monitoring Plans

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Mercury Vapor Measurement and Cell Room Monitoring Plans 5 Table 5 to Subpart IIIII of Part 63 Protection... Hazardous Air Pollutants: Mercury Emissions From Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali Plants Pt. 63, Subpt. IIIII, Table 5 Table 5 to Subpart IIIII of Part 63—Required Elements of Floor-Level Mercury Vapor...

  14. Mercury in mushrooms and soil from the Wieluńska Upland in south-central Poland.

    PubMed

    Falandysz, Jerzy; Bielawski, Leszek; Kawano, Masabide; Brzostowski, Andrzej; Chudzyński, Krzysztof

    2002-09-01

    Concentrations of mercury were determined in the fruiting bodies of 15 species of higher mushrooms and underlying soil substrate collected from Wieluńska Upland in northern part of Sandomierska Valley in south-central Poland in 1995. A total of 197 samples of caps, 197 stalks, 30 whole fruiting bodies and 227 soil (0-10 cm layer) were analyzed. Mean mercury concentrations in soil substrate corresponding to 15 mushroom species were between 28 +/- 17 and 85 +/- 62 ng/g dry matter (total range between 3.0-190 ng/g). The average cap to stalk concentration quotients of Hg were around 2 (range between 1.1 +/- 1.1 and 2.8 +/- 1.4). However, this quotient in Larch bolete (Suillus grevillei) was 4.4 +/- 6.3. Concentrations of Hg varied depending on the mushroom species. Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepiota procera) and Horse mushroom (Agaricus arvensis) contained the greatest mean mercury concentrations both in caps (between 4500 +/- 1700 and 4400 +/- 2400 ng/g dry matter) and stalks (between 2800 +/- 1300 and 3000 +/- 2000 ng/g dry matter). Both the Parasol Mushroom and Horse mushroom were characterised also by a greater potential to bioconcentrate mercury from soils as evidenced by great bioconcentration factors (BCFs), which were between 170 +/- 160 and 130 +/- 120 for caps, and 110 +/- 97 and 89 +/- 92 for stalks. Mercury concentrations in caps and stalks of False death cap (Amanita citrina) increased (p < 0.05) with increasing soil mercury contents. An opposite trend was observed for Quéleta brittle gills (Russula queleti), Grat knight-cap (Tricholoma terreum), Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), Common scaber stalk (Leccinum scabrum) and Slippery jack (Suillus luteus). PMID:12369635

  15. Invasive and exotic earthworms: an unaccounted change to mercury cycling in northeastern US forest soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, J. B.; Friedland, A. J.; Görres, J. H.; Renock, D. J.; Jackson, B. P.

    2014-12-01

    Invasive and exotic earthworms are now present in many forested areas of the northeastern US with currently unquantified consequences to abiotic and biotic Hg cycling. To quantify these effects, we measured Hg concentrations (mg kg-1) and amounts (μg m-2) in earthworms and soil horizons at 45 soil pits from 9 sites in northern New England. Seven earthworm species were observed in varying assemblages. Most earthworm species attained concentrations of Hg potentially hazardous to wildlife that may ingest them, with highest concentrations found in shallow-burrowing, litter-feeders. Specifically, Aporrectodea rosea and Amynthas agrestis had the greatest Hg concentrations (0.9 ± 0.1) and Hg amounts (8 ± 2) μg m-2. Aporrectodea rosea and Amynthas agrestis were found to inhabit the forest floor and the top 5 cm of the mineral horizons in high abundance, potentially making it a readily accessible prey species. Bioaccumulation of Hg by invasive and exotic earthworms may be an important mechanism that transfers Hg to ground foraging predators, such as thrushes, red-backed salamanders and foxes, which is generally unaccounted for in terrestrial food chains. Earthworm Hg concentrations were poorly correlated with their respective soil Hg concentrations, suggesting a species dependence for Hg bioaccumulation rather than site effects. We observed that forest floor Hg concentrations and amounts were 23% and 57% lower, respectively, at soil pits with earthworms compared to those without. Moreover, Hg amounts in forest floor-feeding earthworms exceeded the remaining forest floor Hg pools. Mercury concentrations and pools in the mineral soil were 21% and 33% lower, respectively, for soil pits with earthworms compared to those without. We hypothesize that enhanced decomposition, horizon disturbance and bioaccumulation by earthworms has decreased Hg amounts in the forest floor and mineral soil. Our results suggest that earthworms are decreasing Hg storage in forest soils with potential hazardous impacts for predatory animals in northeastern US forests and other ecosystems.

  16. Characterization of soils from an industrial complex contaminated with elemental mercury.

    PubMed

    Miller, Carrie L; Watson, David B; Lester, Brian P; Lowe, Kenneth A; Pierce, Eric M; Liang, Liyuan

    2013-08-01

    Historical use of liquid elemental mercury (Hg(0)l) at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, TN, USA, resulted in large deposits of Hg(0)l in the soils. The fate and distribution of the spilled Hg(0) are not well characterized. In this study we evaluated analytical tools for characterizing the speciation of Hg in the contaminated soils and then used the analytical techniques to examine the speciation of Hg in two soil cores collected at the site. These include x-ray fluorescence (XRF), soil Hg(0) headspace analysis, and total Hg determination by acid digestion coupled with cold vapor atomic absorption (HgT). XRF was not found to be suitable for evaluating Hg concentrations in heterogeneous soils containing low concentration of Hg or Hg(0) because Hg concentrations determined using this method were lower than those determined by HgT analysis and the XRF detection limit is 20 mg/kg. Hg(0)g headspace analysis coupled with HgT measurements yielded good results for examining the presence of Hg(0)l in soils and the speciation of Hg. The two soil cores are highly heterogeneous in both the depth and extent of Hg contamination, with Hg concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 8400mg/kg. In the first core, Hg(0)l was distributed throughout the 3.2m depth, whereas the second core, from a location 12m away, contained Hg(0)l in a 0.3m zone only. Sequential extractions showed organically associated Hg dominant at depths with low Hg concentration. Soil from the zone of groundwater saturation showed reducing conditions and the Hg is likely present as Hg-sulfide species. At this depth, lateral Hg transport in the groundwater may be a source of Hg detected in the soil at the deeper soil depths. Overall, characterization of soils containing Hg(0)l is difficult because of the heterogeneous distribution of Hg within the soils. This is exacerbated in industrial facilities where fill materials make up much of the soils and historical and continued reworking of the subsurface has remobilized the Hg. PMID:23809204

  17. Projections of atmospheric mercury levels and their effect on air quality in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, H.; Wuebbles, D. J.; Liang, X.-Z.; Tao, Z.; Olsen, S.; Artz, R.; Ren, X.; Cohen, M.

    2013-08-01

    The individual and combined effects of global climate change and emissions changes from 2000 to 2050 on atmospheric mercury levels in the US are investigated by using the global climate-chemistry model, CAM-chem, coupled with a mercury chemistry-physics mechanism (CAM-Chem/Hg). Three future pathways from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) are considered, with the A1FI, A1B and B1 scenarios representing the upper, middle and lower bounds of potential climate warming, respectively. The anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions of mercury are projected from the energy use assumptions in the IPCC SRES report. Natural emissions from both land and ocean sources are projected using dynamic schemes. The zonal mean surface total gaseous mercury (TGM) concentrations in the tropics and mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere are projected to increase by 0.5-1.2 ng m-3 in 2050. TGM concentration increases are greater in the low latitudes than they are in the high latitudes, indicative of a larger meridional gradient than in the present day. In the A1FI scenario, TGM concentrations in 2050 are projected to increase by 2.1-4.0 ng m-3 for the eastern US and 1.4-3.0 ng m-3 for the western US. This pattern corresponds to potential increases in wet deposition of 10-14 μg m-2 for the eastern US and 2-4 μg m-2 for the western US. The increase in Hg(II) emissions tends to enhance wet deposition and hence increase the risk of higher mercury entering the hydrological cycle and ecosystems. In the B1 scenario, mercury concentrations in 2050 are similar to present level concentrations; this indicates that the domestic reduction in mercury emissions is essentially counteracted by the effects of climate warming and emissions increases in other regions. The sensitivity analyses presented show that anthropogenic emissions changes contribute 32-53% of projected mercury air concentration changes, while the independent contribution by climate change accounts for 47-68%. In summary, global climate change could have a comparable effect on mercury pollution in the US to that caused by global emissions changes.

  18. Population correlates of circulating mercury levels in Korean adults: the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey IV

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Prior studies focused on bioaccumulation of mercury (Hg) and on large, long-lived fish species as the major environmental source of Hg, but little is known about consumption of small-sized fish or about non-dietary determinants of circulating Hg levels. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whole blood mercury concentration (WBHg) and its major dietary and non-dietary correlates in Korean adults. Methods We analyzed cross-sectional data from 3,972 (male = 1,994; female = 1,978) participants who completed the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey IV, 2008 to 2009. Relevant factors included diet, geographic location of residence, demographics, and lifestyle. WBHg concentration was measured using cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. Multivariable linear models assessed independent correlates of dietary and non-dietary factors for WBHg levels. Results Median levels of WBHg were 5.1 μg/L in men and 3.7 μg/L in women. Higher levels of fish/shellfish intake were associated with higher levels of WBHg. Higher consumption of small-sized fish was linked to higher levels of WBHg. Non-dietary predictors of higher WBHg were being male, greater alcohol consumption, higher income and education, overweight/obesity, increasing age, and living in the southeast region. Conclusions Both dietary and non-dietary factors were associated with WBHg levels in the Korean population. There is significant geographic variation in WBHg levels; residents living in the mid-south have higher WBHg levels. We speculate that uncontrolled geographic characteristics, such as local soil/water content and specific dietary habits are involved. PMID:24884916

  19. Mercury levels and potential risk from subsistence foods from the Aleutians.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Jeitner, Christian; Burke, Sean; Stamm, Tim; Snigaroff, Ronald; Snigaroff, Dan; Patrick, Robert; Weston, Jim

    2007-10-01

    Considerable attention has been devoted to contaminants (mainly PCBs and mercury) in subsistence foods (particularly fish) from various parts of the world. However, relatively little attention has been devoted to examining mercury levels in a full range of subsistence foods from a particular region. While managers and scientists compute risk based on site-specific data on contaminant levels and consumption rates, a first step in making risk decisions by subsistence peoples is knowledge about the relative levels of mercury in the foods they eat. This study examined levels of mercury in subsistence foods (edible components) from several islands in the western Aleutians of Alaska, including algae (4 species), invertebrates (9 species), fish (15 species) and birds (5 species). Samples were gathered by both subsistence hunters/fishers and by scientists using the same equipment. Another objective was to determine if there were differences in mercury levels in subsistence foods gathered from different Aleutian islands. We tested the null hypotheses that there were no interspecific and interisland differences in mercury levels. Because of variation in distribution and the nature of subsistence hunting and fishing, not all organisms were collected from each of the islands. There were significant and important differences in mercury levels among species, but the locational differences were rather small. There was an order of magnitude difference between algae/some invertebrates and fish/birds. Even within fish, there were significant differences. The highest mean mercury levels were in flathead sole (Hippoglossoides elassodon, 0.277 ppm), yellow irish lord (Hemilepidotus jardani, 0.281 ppm), great sculpin (Myoxocephalus polyacanthocephalus, 0.366 ppm), glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens, 0.329 ppm) and its eggs (0.364 ppm), and pigeon guillemot (Cepphus columba, 0.494 ppm). Mercury levels increased with increasing weight of the organisms for limpets (Tectura scutum), and for 11 of the 15 fish species examined. Nine of the 15 fish species had some samples over the 0.3 ppm level, and 7 of 15 fish had some samples over 0.5 ppm. For birds, 95% of the pigeon guillemot muscle samples were above the 0.3 ppm, and 43% were above 0.5 ppm. While health professionals may argue about the risk and benefits of eating fish, and of eating alternative protein sources, the public should be provided with enough information for them to make informed decisions. This is particularly true for subsistence people who consume large quantities of self-caught foods, particularly for sensitive sub-populations, such as pregnant women. We argue that rather than giving people blanket statements about the health benefits or risks from eating fish, information on mean and maximum mercury levels should also be provided on a wide range of subsistence foods, allowing informed decisions, especially by those most at risk. PMID:17590413

  20. Bioaccumulation of trace mercury in trophic levels of benthic, benthopelagic, pelagic fish species, and sea birds from Arvand River, Iran.

    PubMed

    Hosseini, Mehdi; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad Bagher; Parsa, Yaghob

    2013-12-01

    In this study, concentration of mercury was determined in the trophic levels of benthic, benthopelagic, pelagic fish species, and river birds from Arvand River, located in the Khuzestan province in the lowlands of southwestern Iran at the head of the Persian Gulf. The order of mercury concentrations in tissues of the fish species was as follows: liver>gill>muscle and in tissues of the kingfisher species was as follows: feather>liver>kidney>muscle. Therefore, liver in fish and feather in kingfisher exhibited higher mercury concentration than the other tissues. There was a positive correlation between mercury concentrations in fish and kingfisher species with size of its food items. We expected to see higher mercury levels in tissues of female species because they are larger and can eat larger food items. The results of this study show that the highest mean mercury level were found in the kingfisher (Anas crecca), followed by benthic (Epinephelus diacanthus), benthopelagic (Chanos chanos), and pelagic fish (Strongylura strongylura). Mean value of mercury in fish species, S. strongylura were (0.61 μg g(-1) dry weight), C. chanos (0.45 μg g(-1) dry weight), E. diacanthus (0.87 μg g(-1) dry weight), and in kingfisher species A. crecca was (2.64 μg g(-1) dry weight). Significant correlation between mercury concentration in fish and kingfisher may be related to high variability of mercury in the fish. PMID:24174062

  1. Ecotoxicity of mercury to Folsomia candida and Proisotoma minuta (Collembola: Isotomidae) in tropical soils: Baseline for ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Buch, Andressa Cristhy; Niemeyer, Júlia Carina; Fernandes Correia, Maria Elizabeth; Silva-Filho, Emmanoel Vieira

    2016-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a highly toxic nonessential trace metal. Despite its natural occurrence in the Earth's Crust, its concentrations have been steadily increasing in the environment due to anthropogenic sources. Recent studies have showed great concern about soil fauna, once the potential adverse effects of mercury concentrations in the environment of these invertebrates are still poorly understood, especially when linked to forest soils and tropical biota. Different collembolan species can show distinct toxicity effects to the contaminants, impairing its developing lifelong and affecting its diversity and abundance in the environment. Laboratory studies were performed to evaluate the ecotoxicity of Hg(II) to collembolan species collected in Brazil, Proisotoma minuta (autochthonous) and Folsomia candida (allochthonous), as a tool to predict effects in ecological risk assessment of tropical regions. Behavioral, acute and chronic tests were carried under temperatures of 20°C and 24°C using two test soils, natural and artificial, spiked with increasing mercury concentrations. F. candida was more sensitive to mercury contamination than P. minuta, presenting the most restrictive values of EC50 and LC50. Reproduction was a considerably more sensitive endpoint than avoidance and mortality. The 28-day lower EC50 values were found in chronic tests for F. candida in natural soil to 24°C (3.32mgHgkg(-1)), while for P. minuta was in tropical artificial soil to 20°C (4.43mgHgkg(-1)). There were similarity for each collembolan species to respond at the Hg(II) effects when exposed at 20°C and 24°C. F. candida can be suitable as a bioindicator species to mercury ecotoxicity tests in tropical forest soils. PMID:26796529

  2. Impact of forested fallows on fertility and mercury content in soils of the Tapajós River region, Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Patry, Cynthia; Davidson, Robert; Lucotte, Marc; Béliveau, Annie

    2013-08-01

    Recent research on slash-and-burn agriculture conducted in the Amazonian basin has suggested that soils must be left under forested fallows for at least 10 to 15 years to regain fertility levels comparable to non-disturbed forests in order to allow for short cycle crop cultivation. However, small scale farmers tend nowadays to re-burn secondary forests as soon as after 3 to 5 years, thus could contribute to further reduce soil fertility and could enhance the transfer of mercury (Hg) naturally present in soils of the region towards water courses. The present research project sets out to characterize the impact of forested fallows of differing age and land-use history on soils properties (fertility and Hg contents) in the region of the Tapajós River, an active pioneer front of the Brazilian Amazon. To do this, soil samples in forested fallows of variable age and in control primary forests were retrieved. In general, soil fertility of grouped forested fallows of different ages was similar to that of the primary forests. But when discriminating soils according to their texture, forested fallows on coarse grained soils still had much higher NH4/NO3 ratios, NH4 and Ca contents than primary forests, this even 15 years after burning. The impact of repeated burnings was also assessed. Fallows on coarse grained soils showed an impoverishment for all variables related to fertility when the number of burnings was 5 or more. For fallows on fine grained soils that underwent 5 or more burnings, NO3 contents were low although a cation enrichment was observed. Total soil Hg content was also sensitive to repeated burnings, showing similar losses for forested fallows established on both types of soil. However, Hg linked to coarse particles appeared to migrate back towards fine particles at the surface of coarse grained soils in fallows older than 7 years. PMID:23651778

  3. Potential side effects of dental amalgam restorations. (II). No relation between mercury levels in the body and mental disorders.

    PubMed

    Bratel, J; Haraldson, T; Ottosson, J O

    1997-06-01

    A group of 50 consecutive patients, referred for self-reported complaints which they related to dental amalgam restorations, was compared with control patients matched by age, sex and postal zip code. All patients were subjected to a psychiatric examination and a set of rating scales and questionnaires, and the symptoms were related to the mercury levels in blood, urine and hair. A psychiatric diagnosis was established in 70% of the patients in the index group versus 14% in the control group. The prevailing symptoms were anxiety, asthenia and depression. Mercury levels in blood, urine and hair were similar among index cases and controls, and were far below critical levels of mercury intoxication. There was no correlation between mercury levels and the severity of the reported symptoms. Therefore, mercury was not a likely cause of the complaints. Instead, the reported symptoms were part of a broad spectrum of mental disorders. PMID:9249191

  4. Air-surface exchange of mercury with soils amended with ash materials

    SciTech Connect

    Jody Ericksen; Mae Sexauer Gustin

    2006-07-15

    Air-surface exchange of mercury (Hg) was measured from soil low in Hg amended with four different ash materials: a wood ash containing {approximately} 10% coal ash, amixture of two subbituminous coal fly ashes, a subbituminous coal ash containing {approximately} 10% petroleum coke ash and an ash from incinerated municipal sewage sludge (4.3 mg/kg Hg) using a dynamic flux chamber. Ash was added to soil to simulate agricultural supplements, soil stabilization, and pad layers used in livestock areas. For the agricultural amendment, {approximately} 0.4% ash was well mixed into the soil. To make the stabilized soil that could be used for construction purposes, {approximately} 20% ash was mixed into soil with water. The pad layer consisted of a wetted 1-cm layer of ash material on the soil surface. Diel trends of Hg flux were observed for all of the substrates with significantly higher Hg emissions during the day and negligible flux or deposition of Hg during the night. Hg fluxes, which were measured in the summer months, were best correlated with solar radiation, temperature, and air O{sub 3} concentrations. Mean Hg fluxes measured outdoors for unamended soils ranged from 19 to 140 ng/m{sup 2} day, whereas those for soil amended with ash to simulate an agricultural application ranged from 7.2 to 230 ng/m{sup 2} day. Fluxes for soil stabilized with ash ranged from 77 to 530 ng/m{sup 2} day and for soil with pads constructed of ash ranged from -50 to 90 ng/m{sup 2} day. Simple analytical tests were performed to assess whether algorithms based on these tests could be used to predict Hg fluxes observed outdoors using the flux chamber. Based on this study, no consistent relationships could be developed. More work is needed to assess long-term and seasonal variations in Hg flux from substrates before annual estimates of emissions can be developed. 45 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. A reactive transport model for mercury fate in contaminated soil--sensitivity analysis.

    PubMed

    Leterme, Bertrand; Jacques, Diederik

    2015-11-01

    We present a sensitivity analysis of a reactive transport model of mercury (Hg) fate in contaminated soil systems. The one-dimensional model, presented in Leterme et al. (2014), couples water flow in variably saturated conditions with Hg physico-chemical reactions. The sensitivity of Hg leaching and volatilisation to parameter uncertainty is examined using the elementary effect method. A test case is built using a hypothetical 1-m depth sandy soil and a 50-year time series of daily precipitation and evapotranspiration. Hg anthropogenic contamination is simulated in the topsoil by separately considering three different sources: cinnabar, non-aqueous phase liquid and aqueous mercuric chloride. The model sensitivity to a set of 13 input parameters is assessed, using three different model outputs (volatilized Hg, leached Hg, Hg still present in the contaminated soil horizon). Results show that dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentration in soil solution and the binding constant to DOM thiol groups are critical parameters, as well as parameters related to Hg sorption to humic and fulvic acids in solid organic matter. Initial Hg concentration is also identified as a sensitive parameter. The sensitivity analysis also brings out non-monotonic model behaviour for certain parameters. PMID:26099598

  6. [Mercury poisoning].

    PubMed

    Bensefa-Colas, L; Andujar, P; Descatha, A

    2011-07-01

    Mercury is a widespread heavy metal with potential severe impacts on human health. Exposure conditions to mercury and profile of toxicity among humans depend on the chemical forms of the mercury: elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic or organic mercury compounds. This article aims to reviewing and synthesizing the main knowledge of the mercury toxicity and its organic compounds that clinicians should know. Acute inhalation of metallic or inorganic mercury vapours mainly induces pulmonary diseases, whereas chronic inhalation rather induces neurological or renal disorders (encephalopathy and interstitial or glomerular nephritis). Methylmercury poisonings from intoxicated food occurred among some populations resulting in neurological disorders and developmental troubles for children exposed in utero. Treatment using chelating agents is recommended in case of symptomatic acute mercury intoxication; sometimes it improves the clinical effects of chronic mercury poisoning. Although it is currently rare to encounter situations of severe intoxication, efforts remain necessary to decrease the mercury concentration in the environment and to reduce risk on human health due to low level exposure (dental amalgam, fish contamination by organic mercury compounds…). In case of occupational exposure to mercury and its compounds, some disorders could be compensated in France. Clinicians should work with toxicologists for the diagnosis and treatment of mercury intoxication. PMID:20579784

  7. Simple and accessible analytical methods for the determination of mercury in soil and coal samples.

    PubMed

    Park, Chul Hee; Eom, Yujin; Lee, Lauren Jong-Eun; Lee, Tai Gyu

    2013-09-01

    Simple and accessible analytical methods compared to conventional methods such as US EPA Method 7471B and ASTM-D6414 for the determination of mercury (Hg) in soil and coal samples are proposed. The new methods are consisted of fewer steps without the Hg oxidizing step consequently eliminating a step necessary to reduce excess oxidant. In the proposed methods, a Hg extraction is an inexpensive and accessible step utilizing a disposable test tube and a heating block instead of an expensive autoclave vessel and a specially-designed microwave. Also, a common laboratory vacuum filtration was used for the extracts instead of centrifugation. As for the optimal conditions, first, best acids for extracting Hg from soil and coal samples was investigated using certified reference materials (CRMs). Among common laboratory acids (HCl, HNO3, H2SO4, and aqua regia), aqua regia was most effective for the soil CRM whereas HNO3 was for the coal CRM. Next, the optimal heating temperature and time for Hg extraction were evaluated. The most effective Hg extraction was obtained at 120°C for 30min for soil CRM and at 70°C for 90min for coal CRM. Further tests using selected CRMs showed that all the measured values were within the allowable certification range. Finally, actual soil and coal samples were analyzed using the new methods and the US EPA Method 7473. The relative standard deviation values of 1.71-6.55% for soil and 0.97-12.11% for coal samples were obtained proving that the proposed methods were not only simple and accessible but also accurate. PMID:23683353

  8. Susceptibility of Soil Bound Mercury to Gaseous Emission As a Function of Source Depth: An Enriched Isotope Tracer Investigation.

    PubMed

    Mazur, Maxwell E E; Eckley, Chris S; Mitchell, Carl P J

    2015-08-01

    Soil mercury (Hg) emissions are an important component of the global Hg cycle. Sunlight induced photoreduction of oxidized Hg to gaseous elemental Hg is an important mechanism controlling emissions from the soil surface, however we currently understand little about how subsurface Hg stores participate in gaseous Hg cycling. Our study objective was to investigate the ability of Hg at deeper soil depths to participate in emissions. Soil fluxes were measured under controlled laboratory conditions utilizing an enriched stable Hg isotope tracer buried at 0, 1, 2, and 5 cm below the surface. Under dry and low-light conditions, the Hg isotope tracer buried at the different depths participated similarly in surface emissions (median flux: 7.5 ng m(-2) h(-1)). When the soils were wetted, Hg isotope tracer emissions increased significantly (up to 285 ng m(-2) h(-1)), with the highest fluxes (76% of emissions) originating from the surface 1 cm amended soils and decreasing with depth. Mercury associated with sandy soil up to 6 cm below the surface can be emitted, clearly demonstrating that volatilization can occur via processes unrelated to sunlight. These results have important implications for considering how long older, legacy soil Hg contamination continues to cycle between soil and atmosphere. PMID:26151306

  9. Mercury in soils, lakes, and fish in Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota): Importance of atmospheric deposition and ecosystem factors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiener, J.G.; Knights, B.C.; Sandheinrich, M.B.; Jeremiason, J.D.; Brigham, M.E.; Engstrom, D.R.; Woodruff, L.G.; Cannon, W.F.; Balogh, S.J.

    2006-01-01

    Concentrations of methylmercury in game fish from many interior lakes in Voyageurs National Park (MN, U.S.A.) substantially exceed criteria for the protection of human health. We assessed the importance of atmospheric and geologic sources of mercury to interior lakes and watersheds within the Park and identified ecosystem factors associated with variation in methylmercury contamination of lacustrine food webs. Geologic sources of mercury were small, based on analyses of underlying bedrock and C-horizon soils, and nearly all mercury in the O- and A-horizon soils was derived from atmospheric deposition. Analyses of dated sediment cores from five lakes showed that most (63% ?? 13%) of the mercury accumulated in lake sediments during the 1900s was from anthropogenic sources. Contamination of food webs was assessed by analysis of whole, 1-year-old yellow perch (Perca flavescens), a regionally important prey fish. The concentrations of total mercury in yellow perch and of methylmercury in lake water varied substantially among lakes, reflecting the influence of ecosystem processes and variables that affect the microbial production and abundance of methylmercury. Models developed with the information-theoretic approach (Akaike Information Criteria) identified lake water pH, dissolved sulfate, and total organic carbon (an indicator of wetland influence) as factors influencing methylmercury concentrations in lake water and fish. We conclude that nearly all of the mercury in fish in this seemingly pristine landscape was derived from atmospheric deposition, that most of this bioaccumulated mercury was from anthropogenic sources, and that both watershed and lacustrine factors exert important controls on the bioaccumulation of methylmercury. ?? 2006 American Chemical Society.

  10. The association between amalgam dental surfaces and urinary mercury levels in a sample of Albertans, a prevalence study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Objective The objective of this study was to quantify the relationship between number of dental amalgam surfaces and urinary mercury levels. Methods This study uses participant data from a large philanthropic chronic disease prevention program in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Urine samples were analysed for mercury levels (measured in ?g/g-creatinine). T-tests were used to determine if differences in urine mercury were statistically significant between persons with no dental amalgam surfaces and one or more dental amalgam surfaces. Linear regression was used to estimate the change in urinary mercury per amalgam surface. Results Urinary mercury levels were statistically significantly higher in participants with amalgam surfaces, with an average difference of 0.55 ?g/g-creatinine. Per amalgam surface, we estimated an expected increase of 0.04 ?g/g-creatinine. Measured urinary mercury levels were also statistically significantly higher in participants with dental amalgam surfaces following the oral administration of 2,3-dimercaptopropane-l-sulfonate (DMPS) and meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) which are used to mobilize mercury from the blood and tissues. Discussion Our estimates indicate that an individual with seven or more dental amalgam surfaces has 30% to 50% higher urinary mercury levels than an individual without amalgams. This is consistent with past literature that has identified seven amalgam surfaces as an unsafe level of exposure to mercury vapor. Our analysis suggests that continued use of silver amalgam dental fillings for restorative dentistry is a non-negligible, unnecessary source of mercury exposure considering the availability of composite resin alternatives. PMID:23984857

  11. Mercury vapor pressure of flue gas desulfurization scrubber suspensions: effects of pH level, gypsum, and iron.

    PubMed

    Schuetze, Jan; Kunth, Daniel; Weissbach, Sven; Koeser, Heinz

    2012-03-01

    Calcium-based scrubbers designed to absorb HCl and SO(2) from flue gases can also remove oxidized mercury. Dissolved mercury halides may have an appreciable partial vapor pressure. Chemical reduction of the dissolved mercury may increase the Hg emission, thereby limiting the coremoval of mercury in the wet scrubbing process. In this paper we evaluate the effects of the pH level, different gypsum qualities, and iron in flue gas desulfurization (FGD) scrubber suspensions. The impact of these parameters on mercury vapor pressure was studied under controlled laboratory conditions in model scrubber suspensions. A major influence is exerted by pH values above 7, considerably amplifying the mercury concentration in the vapor phase above the FGD scrubber suspension. Gypsum also increases the mercury re-emission. Fe(III) decreases and Fe(II) increases the vapor pressure significantly. The consequences of the findings for a reliable coremoval of mercury in FGD scrubbers are discussed. It is shown that there is an increased risk of poor mercury capture in lime-based FGD scrubbers in comparison to limestone FGD scrubbers. PMID:22324514

  12. Hair mercury levels in pregnant women in Mahshahr, Iran: fish consumption as a determinant of exposure.

    PubMed

    Salehi, Zohreh; Esmaili-Sari, Abbas

    2010-09-15

    MeHg is a well-documented neurotoxicant even at low levels of exposure. Developing brain, in particular, is vulnerable to that. Through bioaccumulating to differing degrees in various fish species, it can have serious adverse effects on the development and functioning of the human central nervous system, especially during prenatal exposure. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate mercury concentration in hair samples of pregnant women living in Mahshahr located in Khuzestan province, Iran. It assessed the association between fish consumption and specific characteristics that can influence exposure. From April to June 2008, 149 pregnant women were invited to participate in this study. An interview administered questionnaire was used to collect information about age, body weight, height, fish (fresh, canned and shrimp) consumption, pregnancy stage, residence duration, education level, family income and number of dental amalgam fillings. The obtained results showed that the geometric mean and range for hair total Hg concentration was 3.52 microg/g (0.44-53.56 microg/g). About 5.4% of mothers had hair total Hg levels in excess of 10 microg/g. Maternal hair mercury level was less than threshold level of WHO (5 microg/g). As expected, there was a clear increase in hair Hg with reported fresh marine fish consumption (p=0.04). The highest mean for hair mercury level in a group who consumed fish several times per week, was 4.93 microg/g. Moreover, a significant effect of age and residential time on Hg concentration in the hair of the women was found. Pregnant women in Mahshahr consumed large amounts of fish; consequently, most of their offspring were prenatally exposed to moderately high levels of mercury. The results found suggest that pregnant women should decrease their fish consumption. PMID:20655095

  13. Parameterizing soil emission and atmospheric oxidation-reduction in a model of the global biogeochemical cycle of mercury.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Tetsuro; Ikemoto, Hisatoshi; Takahashi, Katsuyuki; Hasome, Hisashi; Ueda, Hiromasa

    2013-01-01

    Using the GEOS-Chem atmosphere-land-ocean coupled mercury model, we studied the significances of two processes, soil emission and atmospheric oxidation-reduction, in the global biogeochemical cycling of mercury and their parametrization to improve model performance. Implementing an empirical equation for soil emission flux (Esoil) including soil mercury concentration, solar radiation, and surface air temperature as parameters enabled the model to reproduce the observed seasonal variations of Esoil, whereas the default setting, which uses only the former two parameters, failed. The modified setting of Esoil also increased the model-simulated atmospheric concentration in the summertime surface layer of the lower- and midlatitudes and improved the model reproducibility for the observations in Japan and U.S. in the same period. Implementing oxidation of atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (Hg(0)) by ozone with an updated rate constant, as well as the oxidation by bromine atoms (Br) in the default setting, improved the model reproducibility for the dry deposition fluxes observed in Japan. This setting, however, failed to reproduce the observed seasonal variations of atmospheric concentrations in the Arctic sites due to the imbalance between oxidation and reduction, whereas the model with Br as the sole Hg(0) oxidant in the polar atmosphere could capture the variations. PMID:24053722

  14. Threshold increases in soil lead and mercury from tropospheric deposition across an elevational gradient.

    PubMed

    Stankwitz, Clare; Kaste, James M; Friedland, Andrew J

    2012-08-01

    Atmospheric deposition is the primary mechanism by which remote ecosystems are contaminated, but few data sets show how fluxes change and control soil metal burdens at the landform scale. We present mercury (Hg), lead ((210)Pb and total Pb), and cosmogenic beryllium-7 ((7)Be) measurements in organic (O) soil horizons at high-resolution elevation intervals of ∼60 m from 540 to 1160 m on Camels Hump in northern Vermont, USA. Across this gradient, average O horizon Hg ranges from 0.99 mg m(-2) in the low elevation deciduous forest zone to 7.6 mg m(-2) in the higher elevation coniferous forest at 1030 m. We measure two pronounced threshold increases in soil metal burdens above 801 and 934 m, corresponding to the two most common altitudes of cloud base, which coincide with changes in vegetation species. Lead-210, a unique tracer of tropospheric deposition, also increased from 3200 Bq m(-2) to 11500 Bq m(-2) in O horizons, exhibiting threshold responses at the same elevations as Hg and total Pb. Concentrations of (210)Pb and Hg in foliage double from 760 to 900 m elevation, indicating enhanced deposition across the transition from deciduous to coniferous forest. In contrast, (7)Be is constant across the entire elevational gradient because of its upper atmospheric source. This indicates that the effects of orographic precipitation have a smaller control on soil contaminant burdens than the coupled cloudwater deposition-vegetation scavenging effect in the presence of upwind sources. By measuring soil contaminants and unique tracers of atmospheric deposition, we show that tropospheric fluxes of Hg and Pb are higher by a factor of 2 in high-elevation coniferous forests than in adjacent lowlands. Total O horizon Hg and Pb burdens increase by over 4-fold with elevation because of the compounding effects of enhanced deposition and longer metal residence times at higher elevations (>50 years). PMID:22759071

  15. Impact of consumption of freshwater fish on mercury levels in hair, blood, urine, and alveolar air.

    PubMed

    Johnsson, Cecilia; Schtz, Andrejs; Sllsten, Gerd

    2005-01-22

    Human exposure to methylmercury occurs mainly via consumption of fish. The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of freshwater fish consumption on mercury levels in hair, blood, urine, and end-exhaled air. Twenty subjects without dental amalgam fillings were recruited from sport-fishing societies. They ranged in age from 61 to 87 yr. Six individuals ate freshwater fish at least once a week and were categorized as high consumers. Eight individuals were classified as medium consumers and ate freshwater fish at least once a month but less than once a week. Six individuals were categorized as low consumers and had not eaten freshwater fish in the past 3 mo. Among the high consumers, median concentrations of mercury were 8.6 microg/L in blood, 2.4 microg/g in hair, 10 pg/L in end-exhaled air, and 1.1 microg/g creatinine in urine. The relationship between freshwater fish consumption and mercury was significant in all biological media. The high-consumption group had much higher mercury levels in blood (9-fold), hair (7-fold), alveolar air (3-fold), and urine (15-fold) than the low-consumption group. The latter finding may be explained by demethylation of methylmercury in the body. The ratio between mercury concentration in blood and hair was 1:270. This implies that the typical blood-hair ratio of 1:250, specified by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990, is valid also for exposure to low amounts of methylmercury. PMID:15762551

  16. Surveying Mercury Levels in Hair, Blood and Urine of under 7-Year Old Children from a Coastal City in China

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Guixia; Chen, Xiaoxin; Yan, Chonghuai; Wu, Xingdong; Zeng, Guozhang

    2014-01-01

    Aim: The average mercury load in children under 7-years old was determined in a populated but not overly industrial coastal area in China. Methods: 395 blood samples, 1072 urine samples, and 581 hair samples were collected from 1076 children, aged 0 to 6 years, from eight representative communities of Xiamen, China. Mercury levels in the samples were surveyed. Results: The 95% upper limits of mercury in blood, urine, and hair for the children were 2.30, 1.50 and 2100.00 μg/kg, respectively. Levels tended to increase with age. Correlation analyses showed that mercury levels in blood and urine correlated with those in hair (n = 132), r = 0.49, p < 0.0001 and r = 0.20, p = 0.0008; however, blood mercury levels did not correlate with urine levels (n = 284), r = 0.07, p = 0.35. Conclusions: Surveying the average mercury load in children 0 to 6 years, and the 95% upper limit value of mercury in their blood, urine, and hair should help guide risk assessment and health management for children. PMID:25419876

  17. A comprehensive assessment of mercury exposure in penguin populations throughout the Southern Hemisphere: Using trophic calculations to identify sources of population-level variation.

    PubMed

    Brasso, Rebecka L; Chiaradia, André; Polito, Michael J; Raya Rey, Andrea; Emslie, Steven D

    2015-08-15

    The wide geographic distribution of penguins (Order Sphenisciformes) throughout the Southern Hemisphere provided a unique opportunity to use a single taxonomic group as biomonitors of mercury among geographically distinct marine ecosystems. Mercury concentrations were compared among ten species of penguins representing 26 geographically distinct breeding populations. Mercury concentrations were relatively low (⩽2.00ppm) in feathers from 18/26 populations considered. Population-level differences in trophic level explained variation in mercury concentrations among Little, King, and Gentoo penguin populations. However, Southern Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins breeding on Staten Island, Tierra del Fuego, had the highest mercury concentrations relative to their conspecifics despite foraging at a lower trophic level. The concurrent use of stable isotope and mercury data allowed us to document penguin populations at the greatest risk of exposure to harmful concentrations of mercury as a result of foraging at a high trophic level or in geographic 'hot spots' of mercury availability. PMID:26072048

  18. Preservation and storage techniques for low-level aqueous mercury speciation.

    PubMed

    Parker, Jennifer L; Bloom, Nicolas S

    2005-01-20

    Although researchers today generally employ appropriate techniques for the storage and preservation of aqueous samples for ambient-level mercury (ppb) speciation, these methods continue to be poorly documented. Numerous experiments were thus conducted to investigate the effects of acidification and bottle type on holding time for various mercury species [elemental mercury (Hg(0)), ionic mercury (Hg(II)), dimethyl mercury (DMHg), monomethyl mercury (MMHg), and dissolved-to-particulate ratio] as well as total mercury (THg). We documented that THg is stable for at least 300 days when stored at 0.4-0.5% acidity in either Teflon or glass bottles. In cases where THg is adsorbed to bottle walls, the addition of BrCl at least 24 h before analysis allowed all Hg to be quantitatively recovered. Polyethylene bottles allowed diffusion of Hg(0) through the bottle walls to or from the sample, depending on the Hg concentration of the sample and storage atmosphere. MMHg in freshwater samples can be stored refrigerated and unacidified for days to weeks with no observed degradation of MMHg. For long-term storage (at least 250 days), samples should be acidified with 0.4% HCl (v/v) and kept in the dark to avoid photodegradation (approximate t(1/2)=6 months). For saltwater samples, preservation with 0.2% (v/v) H(2)SO(4) is preferred to avoid exceeding the optimal chloride concentration if the distillation procedure is used for MMHg determination. For volatile species (Hg(0) and DMHg), samples should be collected in completely full glass bottles with Teflon-lined caps, as these species are lost rapidly (t(1/2)=10-20 h) from Teflon and polyethylene bottles. Because acids can enhance the rapid oxidation of volatile species, these samples should be stored refrigerated and unacidified and processed within 1-2 days if they cannot be purged and trapped in the field. Hg(II) and the dissolved-to-particulate ratio are more stable and can be stored for a period of days to weeks without preservation. PMID:15626395

  19. Colloidal mercury (Hg) distribution in soil samples by sedimentation field-flow fractionation coupled to mercury cold vapour generation atomic absorption spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Santoro, A; Terzano, R; Medici, L; Beciani, M; Pagnoni, A; Blo, G

    2012-01-01

    Diverse analytical techniques are available to determine the particle size distribution of potentially toxic elements in matrices of environmental interest such as soil, sediments, freshwater and groundwater. However, a single technique is often not exhaustive enough to determine both particle size distribution and element concentration. In the present work, the investigation of mercury in soil samples collected from a polluted industrial site was performed by using a new analytical approach which makes use of sedimentation field-flow fractionation (SdFFF) coupled to cold vapour generation electrothermal atomic absorption spectroscopy (CV-ETAAS). The Hg concentration in the SdFFF fractions revealed a broad distribution from about 0.1 to 1 μm, roughly following the particle size distributions, presenting a maximum at about 400-700 nm in diameter. A correlation between the concentration of Hg in the colloidal fraction and organic matter (O.M.) content in the soil samples was also found. However, this correlation is less likely to be related to Hg sorption to soil O.M. but rather to the presence of colloidal mercuric sulfide particles whose size is probably controlled by the occurrence of dissolved O.M. The presence of O.M. could have prevented the aggregation of smaller particles, leading to an accumulation of mercuric sulfides in the colloidal fraction. In this respect, particle size distribution of soil samples can help to understand the role played by colloidal particles in mobilising mercury (also as insoluble compounds) and provide a significant contribution in determining the environmental impact of this toxic element. PMID:22089540

  20. Growth response and tissue accumulation trends of herbaceous wetland plant species exposed to elevated aqueous mercury levels.

    PubMed

    Willis, Jonathan M; Gambrell, Robert P; Hester, Mark W

    2010-08-01

    The impacts of elevated aqueous mercury levels (0, 2, and 4 ppm) on the growth status and mercury tissue concentrations of Eleocharis parvula, Saururus cernuus, Juncus effuses, Typha latifolia, and Panicum hemitomon were determined. Both short-term (net CO2 assimilation) and long-term (biomass) indicators of plant growth status suggest that Eleocharis parvula, Saururus cernuus, and Juncus effuses were relatively unimpacted by elevated mercury levels, whereas Typha latifolia and Panicum hemitomon were somewhat impacted at elevated mercury levels. Eleocharis parvula, Panicum hemitomon, and Typha latifolia generally had the greatest overall belowground tissue concentrations of mercury (2 ppm treatment: 7.21, 7.32, and 9.64 ppm respectively; 4 ppm treatment: 16.23, 18.23, and 13.98 ppm, respectively) and aboveground tissue concentrations of mercury (2 ppm treatment: 0.01, 0.04, 0.02; 4 ppm treatment: 0.26; 0.11; 0.17 ppm, respectively). However, the species investigated in this study demonstrated lower levels of mercury accumulation into tissues when compared with similar investigations of other aquatic plants, suggesting that the above species are not optimal for phytoremediation efforts. PMID:21166283

  1. FIELD MEASUREMENT TECHNOLOGY FOR MERCURY IN SOIL AND SEDIMENT MILESTONE INC.'S DIRECT MERCURY ANALYZER (DMA)-80

    EPA Science Inventory

    Milestone's Direct Mercury Analyzer (DMA-80) was demonstrated under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation Program in May 2003 at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The purpose of the Demonstration was to...

  2. FIELD MEASUREMENT TECHNOLOGY FOR MERCURY IN SOIL AND SEDIMENT OHIO LUMEX'S RA-915+/RP-91C MERCURY ANALYZER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ohio Lumex's RA915+/91 C mercury analyzer was demonstrated under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation Program in May 2003, at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The purpose of the Demonstration was to c...

  3. Fish consumption patterns and hair mercury levels in children and their mothers in 17 EU countries.

    PubMed

    Castaño, Argelia; Cutanda, Francisco; Esteban, Marta; Pärt, Peter; Navarro, Carmen; Gómez, Silvia; Rosado, Montserrat; López, Ana; López, Estrella; Exley, Karen; Schindler, Birgit K; Govarts, Eva; Casteleyn, Ludwine; Kolossa-Gehring, Marike; Fiddicke, Ulrike; Koch, Holger; Angerer, Jürgen; Den Hond, Elly; Schoeters, Greet; Sepai, Ovnair; Horvat, Milena; Knudsen, Lisbeth E; Aerts, Dominique; Joas, Anke; Biot, Pierre; Joas, Reinhard; Jiménez-Guerrero, José A; Diaz, Gema; Pirard, Catherine; Katsonouri, Andromachi; Cerna, Milena; Gutleb, Arno C; Ligocka, Danuta; Reis, Fátima M; Berglund, Marika; Lupsa, Ioana-Rodica; Halzlová, Katarína; Charlier, Corinne; Cullen, Elizabeth; Hadjipanayis, Adamos; Krsková, Andrea; Jensen, Janne F; Nielsen, Jeanette K; Schwedler, Gerda; Wilhelm, Michael; Rudnai, Peter; Középesy, Szilvia; Davidson, Fred; Fischer, Mark E; Janasik, Beata; Namorado, Sónia; Gurzau, Anca E; Jajcaj, Michal; Mazej, Darja; Tratnik, Janja Snoj; Larsson, Kristin; Lehmann, Andrea; Crettaz, Pierre; Lavranos, Giagkos; Posada, Manuel

    2015-08-01

    The toxicity of methylmercury (MeHg) in humans is well established and the main source of exposure is via the consumption of large marine fish and mammals. Of particular concern are the potential neurodevelopmental effects of early life exposure to low-levels of MeHg. Therefore, it is important that pregnant women, children and women of childbearing age are, as far as possible, protected from MeHg exposure. Within the European project DEMOCOPHES, we have analyzed mercury (Hg) in hair in 1799 mother-child pairs from 17 European countries using a strictly harmonized protocol for mercury analysis. Parallel, harmonized questionnaires on dietary habits provided information on consumption patterns of fish and marine products. After hierarchical cluster analysis of consumption habits of the mother-child pairs, the DEMOCOPHES cohort can be classified into two branches of approximately similar size: one with high fish consumption (H) and another with low consumption (L). All countries have representatives in both branches, but Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Portugal and Sweden have twice as many or more mother-child pairs in H than in L. For Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia the situation is the opposite, with more representatives in L than H. There is a strong correlation (r=0.72) in hair mercury concentration between the mother and child in the same family, which indicates that they have a similar exposure situation. The clustering of mother-child pairs on basis of their fish consumption revealed some interesting patterns. One is that for the same sea fish consumption, other food items of marine origin, like seafood products or shellfish, contribute significantly to the mercury levels in hair. We conclude that additional studies are needed to assess and quantify exposure to mercury from seafood products, in particular. The cluster analysis also showed that 95% of mothers who consume once per week fish only, and no other marine products, have mercury levels 0.55 μg/g. Thus, the 95th percentile of the distribution in this group is only around half the US-EPA recommended threshold of 1 μg/g mercury in hair. Consumption of freshwater fish played a minor role in contributing to mercury exposure in the studied cohort. The DEMOCOPHES data shows that there are significant differences in MeHg exposure across the EU and that exposure is highly correlated with consumption of fish and marine products. Fish and marine products are key components of a healthy human diet and are important both traditionally and culturally in many parts of Europe. Therefore, the communication of the potential risks of mercury exposure needs to be carefully balanced to take into account traditional and cultural values as well as the potential health benefits from fish consumption. European harmonized human biomonitoring programs provide an additional dimension to national HMB programs and can assist national authorities to tailor mitigation and adaptation strategies (dietary advice, risk communication, etc.) to their country's specific requirements. PMID:25667172

  4. Mercury levels in human hair and sex factors

    SciTech Connect

    Shimomura, S.; Kimura, A.; Nakagawa, H.; Takao, M.

    1980-06-01

    Evidence has been presented: (1) that the geometric mean is essential to the statistical analysis of the result of the amount of Hg in hair, and (2) that the individual Hg level in hair must be evaluated by the standard deviation of logarithmic values. The Hg level in hair obtained from 1324 inhabitants on Shikoku Island showed logarithmic-normal distribution curves, with higher values in males than in females. To verify such a sexual difference, hair samples were obtained from male and female children (N = 346), teenagers (N = 300), and adults (N = 354) living in an agricultural area of Tokushima Prefecture on the island. As the result, males were found to have more Hg than females in sexually mature teenagers and adults (P < 0.05 by F test) but not in younger children.

  5. Hair Mercury Levels Detection in Fishermen from Sicily (Italy) by ICP-MS Method after Microwave-Assisted Digestion

    PubMed Central

    Giangrosso, Giuseppe; Cammilleri, Gaetano; Macaluso, Andrea; Vella, Antonio; D'Orazio, Nicolantonio; Graci, Stefania; Lo Dico, Gianluigi Maria; Galvano, Fabio; Giangrosso, Margherita; Ferrantelli, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    A number of ninety-six hair samples from Sicilian fishermen were examined for total mercury detection by an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) method. The mercury levels obtained were compared with mercury levels of 96 hair samples from a control group, in order to assess potential exposure to heavy metals of Sicilian fishermen due to fish consumption and closeness to industrial activities. Furthermore, the mercury levels obtained from hair samples were sorted by sampling area in order to verify the possible risks linked to the different locations. The overall mean concentration in the hair of the population of fishermen was 6.45 ± 7.03 μg g−1, with a highest value in a fisherman of Sciacca (16.48 μg g−1). Hair mercury concentration in fishermen group was significantly higher than in control group (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in hair total mercury concentrations between sampling areas (p > 0.05). The results of this study indicate a greater risk of exposure to mercury in Sicilian fishermen, in comparison to the control population, due to the high consumption of fish and the close relationship with sources of exposure (ports, dumps, etc.). PMID:27127456

  6. Measurement of total dissolved mercury at the picomolar level using ICP-SFMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Y.; Huh, Y.; Lee, K.; Hur, S.; Hong, S.

    2009-12-01

    A series of tests were carried out to measure total mercury in solution at the picomolar (pM, 10-12 M) level using inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (ICP-SFMS). For low-matrix snow and ice samples for which we are developing this method, ICP-SFMS offers advantages over the conventional cold vapor generation method by reducing the amount of sample consumed, by eliminating complicated pretreatment steps, and by supporting concurrent multi-elemental analysis. However, the loss of volatile mercury species during sample storage in polyethylene containers, preparation of standards and instrumental analyses can pose serious quantification problems. According to our tests of different container material and matrix acidity, stability was maintained during the measurement period for glass bottles with Teflon-lined caps and 2% (v/v) HNO3 matrix. Teflon bottles, however, require the addition of auric ion (~100 nM) to stabilize the dilute mercury solution, increasing blank levels by several pM.

  7. Atmospheric Deposition and Fate of Mercury in High-altitude Watersheds of the Rocky Mountains.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, D. H.; Mast, M. A.; Ingersoll, G. P.; Manthorne, D. J.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Taylor, H. E.; Aiken, G. R.; Schuster, P. F.; Reddy, M. M.

    2003-12-01

    Despite the potential for cold high-altitude ecosystems to act as sinks in the global mercury cycle, atmospheric deposition and fate of mercury have not been measured extensively at mountain sites in the Western United States. At Buffalo Pass in northwestern Colorado (the highest site in the national Mercury Deposition Network at 3234 m elevation), mercury in wet deposition was 9 μ gm-2 in 2000, comparable to many sites in the upper Midwestern United States where fish consumption advisories are widespread because of elevated levels of mercury from atmospheric deposition. Similar levels of mercury deposition were measured about 90 km east of Buffalo Pass at Loch Vale in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) during 2002. Concentrations of total mercury in headwater streams in RMNP averaged 2-4 ngL-1 during spring and summer of 2001-2002. Higher concentrations were observed during snowmelt and rainfall events. Dissolved mercury was generally greater than particulate mercury in these clear mountain streams. Mercury and dissolved organic carbon peaked as soils were flushed during early snowmelt and rainy summer periods. Overall, mercury deposition was greater than mercury export, indicating accumulation in alpine/subalpine ecosystems; however, the mercury exported in streamflow may contribute substantially to mercury loading in downstream lakes and reservoirs where fish consumption advisories have increased. Methyl mercury concentrations measured in the streams in 2002 were generally near or less than detection limits, however, extreme drought conditions limited hydrologic flushing of soils and wetlands that may be sources of methyl mercury. In 2003, surface and ground water from various alpine and subalpine landscapes were sampled to determine sources and transport of total and methyl mercury. The elevated levels of mercury in atmospheric deposition indicate a need for better understanding of mercury cycling and transport in high-altitude ecosystems of Western North America.

  8. Mercury in the River Nura and its floodplain, Central Kazakhstan: II. Floodplain soils and riverbank silt deposits.

    PubMed

    Heaven, S; Ilyushchenko, M A; Kamberov, I M; Politikov, M I; Tanton, T W; Ullrich, S M; Yanin, E P

    2000-10-01

    A unique and serious case of mercury pollution has occurred in the River Nura and its floodplain in Central Kazakhstan, where mercury-rich wastewater from an acetaldehyde plant was discharged largely without treatment for several decades. In the river, the mercury became associated with millions of tonnes of power station fly ash, forming a new type of deposit known as 'technogenic silt'. During spring floods these highly contaminated silts are transported downstream and are dispersed over the floodplain, leading to widespread contamination of the land. A detailed survey of the floodplain was carried out to investigate the extent of pollution and to assess the need for remediation. Total mercury concentrations in the topsoils of the floodplain ranged from near background levels to over 100 mg/kg. Mercury concentrations in river bank deposits were found to range from a mean of 73.3 mg/kg Hg in the most contaminated section of the river to a mean of 13.4 mg/kg Hg at a distance of 70 km downstream. Concentrations were lower than corresponding concentrations in the riverbed within the first 25 km from the source of the pollution, but thereafter they were significantly higher. The results show that over the past 30-40 years a large proportion of the contaminated sediments from the river was deposited on the 70 km of banks and in the floodplain below the pollution source. Topsoils of the floodplain and silt deposits located on or close to the river banks contain an estimated 53 t and 65 t of mercury respectively, with an additional 62 t in a small natural swamp which was formerly used as a waste disposal area. The contamination is serious but relatively localized, with > 70% of the total amount of mercury in topsoils and > 90% of mercury in river bank deposits located within 25 km from the source. PMID:11032115

  9. Are liver and renal lesions in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) associated with high mercury levels?

    PubMed Central

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Leifsson, Pall S; Asmund, Gert; Born, Erik W; Kirkegaard, Maja

    2007-01-01

    Background In the Arctic, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) bio-accumulate mercury as they prey on polluted ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus). Studies have shown that polar bears from East Greenland are among the most mercury polluted species in the Arctic. It is unknown whether these levels are toxic to liver and kidney tissue. Methods We investigated the histopathological impact from anthropogenic long-range transported mercury on East Greenland polar bear liver (n = 59) and kidney (n = 57) tissues. Results Liver mercury levels ranged from 1.1–35.6 μg/g wet weight and renal levels ranged from 1–50 μg/g wet weight, of which 2 liver values and 9 kidney values were above known toxic threshold level of 30 μg/g wet weight in terrestrial mammals. Evaluated from age-correcting ANCOVA analyses, liver mercury levels were significantly higher in individuals with visible Ito cells (p < 0.02) and a similar trend was found for lipid granulomas (p = 0.07). Liver mercury levels were significantly lower in individuals with portal bile duct proliferation/fibrosis (p = 0.007) and a similar trend was found for proximal convoluted tubular hyalinisation in renal tissue (p = 0.07). Conclusion Based on these relationships and the nature of the chronic inflammation we conclude that the lesions were likely a result of recurrent infections and ageing but that long-term exposure to mercury could not be excluded as a co-factor. The information is important as it is likely that tropospheric mercury depletion events will continue to increase the concentrations of this toxic heavy metal in the Sub Arctic and Arctic marine food webs. PMID:17439647

  10. Association between Low-level Mercury Exposure and Neurobehavioral Functions in Korean Adults Living in a Coastal City

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Rock Bum; Kim, Byoung-Gwon; Kim, Yu-Mi; Hong, Young-Seoub; You, Chang-Hun

    2013-01-01

    Objectives The aim of this study was to determine the association between low-level mercury exposure and neurobehavioral functions in adults living in coastal regions of Korea. Methods We selected 172 adults aged 20-65 years living in a city in the coastal region of Korea. A sociodemographic survey was conducted, mercury levels in the blood, urine, and hair were measured, and the associations according to computerized neurobehavioral tests were determined using univariate analysis. After adjustment for associated variables, a multivariate linear regression analysis was performed. Results The geometric mean mercury levels in the blood, urine, and hair were 5.41 g/L (range, 0.00-15.84 g/L), 1.17 g/g-creatinine (range, 0.00-32.86 g/g-creatinine), and 1.37 mg/kg (range, 0.42-6.56 mg/kg), respectively. Variables that were associated with simple reaction time according to the neurobehavioral test results were age and urine mercury level. Variables associated with choice reaction time were the recent use of Korean traditional medicine and urine mercury level. Variables associated with the right-hand finger tapping speed test were age, gender, smoking behavior, education level, monthly household income, and urine mercury level. Variables associated with the left-hand finger tapping speed test were age, gender, education level, and urine mercury level. After adjustment for associated variables, there was no significant association between urine mercury level and simple reaction time (?=25.96; p=0.47), choice reaction time (?=50.37; p=0.32), or the number of left-hand finger taps (?=-1.54; p=0.21). However, urine mercury level was significantly associated with the number of right-hand finger taps (?=-3.86; p=0.01). Conclusions We found no evidence that low-level mercury exposure in adults is associated with deficits in neurobehavioral functions. A longer follow-up study is required to confirm this conclusion. PMID:24303351

  11. Low-level prenatal mercury exposure in north China: an exploratory study of anthropometric effects.

    PubMed

    Ou, Langbo; Chen, Cen; Chen, Long; Wang, Huanhuan; Yang, Tianjun; Xie, Han; Tong, Yindong; Hu, Dan; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Xuejun

    2015-06-01

    In order to investigate anthropometric effects of mercury (Hg) exposure, we examined the status of human prenatal exposure to Hg species, including total mercury (THg), methylmercury (MeHg) and inorganic mercury (IHg), in North China, as well as their potential effects on fetal and infant growth. Hg concentrations in various bioindicators were measured from 50 Chinese women and newborns in 2011. The participants were followed for 12 months to collect anthropometric information. Linear and two-level regression analyses were performed to determine the associations between Hg levels and body growth. The geometric mean levels of THg in the placenta, cord blood, fetal hair, and maternal blood, hair, and urine were 25.88 μg/kg dry wt, 2.73 μg/L, 572.98 μg/kg, 2.29 μg/L, 576.54 μg/kg, and 0.58 μg/g creatinine, respectively. Nearly 100% of Hg presented as IHg in urine, and the percentage of IHg in other bioindicators was 14.86-48.73%. We observed significantly negative associations between Hg levels in some matrixes and anthropometry of neonates (weight and height) and infants (height) (p < 0.05). THg levels in maternal hair were also negatively associated with infant growth rate of weight during 12 months after delivery (p = 0.017). This study suggests that low-level prenatal Hg exposure could play a role in attenuating fetal and infant growth, and the effects of MeHg and IHg are different. PMID:25936461

  12. Mercury interferes with endogenous antioxidant levels in Yukon River subsistence-fed sled dogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunlap, Kriya L.; Reynolds, Arleigh J.; Gerlach, S. Craig; Duffy, Lawrence K.

    2011-10-01

    Before adopting modern corn-and-grain-based western processed diets, circumpolar people had a high fat and protein subsistence diet and exhibited a low incidence of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Some health benefits are attributable to a subsistence diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Pollution, both global and local, is a threat to wild foods, as it introduces contaminants into the food system. Northern indigenous people and their sled dogs are exposed to a variety of contaminants, including mercury, that accumulate in the fish and game that they consume. The sled dogs in Alaskan villages are maintained on the same subsistence foods as their human counterparts, primarily salmon, and therefore they can be used as a food systems model for researching the impact of changes in dietary components. In this study, the antioxidant status and mercury levels were measured for village sled dogs along the Yukon River. A reference kennel, maintained on a nutritionally balanced commercial diet, was also measured for comparison. Total antioxidant status was inversely correlated with the external stressor mercury.

  13. Mercury levels, reproduction, and hematology in western grebes from three California Lakes, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Elbert, R.A.; Anderson, D.W.

    1998-02-01

    Twenty-three healthy adult western and Clark`s grebes (Aechmorphorus occidentalis and Aechmorphorus clarkii) were collected at three study sites in California, USA, in 1992: Clear Lake, Lake County; Eagle Lake, Lassen County; and Tule Lake, Siskiyou County. Liver, kidney, breast muscle, and brain were analyzed for total mercury (Hg) concentration (ppm wet weight), and blood was analyzed for various blood parameters. Clear Lake birds had greater Hg concentrations in kidney, breast muscle, and brain than birds from the other two lakes whereas liver concentrations were not statistically different. Average concentrations for Clear Lake birds were 2.74 ppm for liver, 2.06 ppm for kidney, 1.06 ppm for breast muscle, and 0.28 ppm for brain. The tissue levels of kidney, breast muscle, and brain at the other two study sites were one half the levels found at Clear Lake. These mean tissue levels were near, but below, those known to cause adverse effects. When data from all sites were merged, kidney, breast muscle, and brain concentrations are positively correlated to each other. Liver concentrations were not correlated to any other value. Brain Hg concentrations were also negatively correlated to blood potassium and blood phosphorus levels. Kidney Hg levels were positively correlated to percent blood heterophils and negatively correlated to percent eosinophils, suggesting that mercury levels might be affecting immune function. These biomarkers could not be related to any obvious ecological effects.

  14. High levels of mercury contamination in multiple media of the Carson River drainage basin of Nevada: implications for risk assessment.

    PubMed Central

    Gustin, M S; Taylor, G E; Leonard, T L

    1994-01-01

    Approximately 5.5 x 109 g (4.0 x 105) of mercury was discharged into the Carson River Drainage Basin of west-central Nevada during processing of the gold- and silver-rich Comstock ore in the late 1800s. For the past 13 decades, mercury has been redistributed throughout 500 km2 of the basin, and concentrations are some of the highest reported values in North America. This article documents the concentrations of mercury in the air, water, and substrate at both contaminated and noncontaminated sites within the basin and discusses the implications for risk assessment. At contaminated areas, the range of mercury concentrations are as follows: mill tailings, 3-1610 micrograms/g; unfiltered reservoir water, 53-591 ng/l; atmospheric vapor, 2-294 ng/m3. These values are three to five orders of magnitude greater than natural background. In all media at contaminated sites, concentrations are spatially variable, and air and water mercury concentrations vary temporally. The study are in situated in a natural mercuriferous belt, and regional background mercury concentrations in all environmental media are higher than values typically cited for natural background. As a mercury-contaminated site in North America, the Carson River Drainage Basin is unusual for a number of reasons, including its location in a natural mercuriferous belt, high and sustained levels of anthropogenic mercury inputs, long exposure time, aridity of the climate, and the riparian setting in an arid landscape, where biological activity is concentrated in the same areas that contain high levels of mercury in multiple media. Images Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 4. Figure 4. PMID:9657709

  15. High levels of mercury contamination in multiple media of the Carson River Drainage Basin of Nevada: Implications for risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Gustin, M.S.; Taylor, G.E. Jr.; Leonard, T.L. Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV )

    1994-09-01

    Approximately 5.5 x 10[sup 9] g (4.0 x 10[sup 5] l) of mercury was discharged into the Carson River Drainage Basin of west-central Nevada during processing of the gold- and silver-rich Comstock ore in the late 1800s. For the past 13 decades, mercury has been redistributed throughout 500 km[sup 2] of the basin, and concentrations are some of the highest reported values in North America. This article documents the concentration of mercury in the air, water, and substrate at both contaminated and noncontaminated sites within the basin and discusses the implications for risk assessment. At contaminated areas, the range of mercury concentrations are as follows: mill tailings, 3-1610 [mu]g/g; unfiltered reservoir water, 53-591 ng/l; atmospheric vapor, 2-294 ng/m[sup 3]. These values are three to five orders of magnitude greater than natural background. In all media at contaminated sites, concentrations are spatially variable, and air and water mercury concentrations vary temporally. The study area is situated in a natural mercuriferous belt, and regional background mercury concentrations in all environmental media are higher than values typically cited for natural background. As a mercury-contaminated site in North America, the Carson River Drainage Basin is unusual for a number of reasons, including its location in a natural mercuriferous belt, high and sustained levels of anthropogenic mercury inputs, long exposure time, aridity of the climate, and the riparian setting in an arid landscape, where biological activity is concentrated in the same areas that contain high levels of mercury in multiple media. 37 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  16. Levels of cadmium and mercury in the hair of Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from Svalbard, Norway

    SciTech Connect

    Wiig, O.; Renzoni, A.; Gjertz, I.

    1999-08-01

    Hair samples of 15 adult male Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) collected from anesthetized individuals at Svalbard, Norway, were analyzed for cadmium and total mercury. The mean level of cadmium was 0.860 {+-} 0.321 {micro}g/g dry weight and the mean level of mercury was 0.235 {+-} 0.100 {micro}g/g dry weight. Levels of cadmium and mercury in hair of walruses from other areas are not known. Both cadmium and mercury levels in hair of walruses from Svalbard are relatively low compared to the levels found in the hair of other marine mammal species. It has been documented from a number of marine species, including marine mammals such as ringed seals and polar bears, that both cadmium and mercury levels of Svalbard are lower than in other areas. It is uncertain as to what degree levels in hair reflect levels in internal organs in walruses. In rare and highly endangered species or populations tissue samples can be difficult to collect. In walruses, it is possible to collect hair from anesthetized individuals or at the haul-out sites during molt, to monitor heavy metal levels of the population.

  17. Applications of organic and inorganic amendments induce changes in the mobility of mercury and macro- and micronutrients of soils.

    PubMed

    García-Sánchez, Mercedes; Sípková, Adéla; Száková, Jiřina; Kaplan, Lukáš; Ochecová, Pavla; Tlustoš, Pavel

    2014-01-01

    Both soil organic matter and sulfur (S) can reduce or even suppress mercury (Hg) mobility and bioavailability in soil. A batch incubation experiment was conducted with a Chernozem and a Luvisol artificially contaminated by 440 mg · kg(-1) Hg showing wide differences in their physicochemical properties and available nutrients. The individual treatments were (i) digestate from the anaerobic fermentation of biowaste; (ii) fly ash from wood chip combustion; and (iii) ammonium sulfate, and every treatment was added with the same amount of S. The mobile Hg portion in Chernozem was highly reduced by adding digestate, even after 1 day of incubation, compared to control. Meanwhile, the outcome of these treatments was a decrease of mobile Hg forms as a function of incubation time whereas the contents of magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and phosphorus (P) were stimulated by the addition of digestate in both soils. The available calcium (Ca) contents were not affected by the digestate addition. The experiment proved digestate application as the efficient measure for fast reduction of mobile Hg at extremely contaminated soils. Moreover, the decrease of the mobile mercury portion was followed by improvement of the nutrient status of the soils. PMID:25401138

  18. Applications of Organic and Inorganic Amendments Induce Changes in the Mobility of Mercury and Macro- and Micronutrients of Soils

    PubMed Central

    García-Sánchez, Mercedes; Šípková, Adéla; Száková, Jiřina; Kaplan, Lukáš; Ochecová, Pavla; Tlustoš, Pavel

    2014-01-01

    Both soil organic matter and sulfur (S) can reduce or even suppress mercury (Hg) mobility and bioavailability in soil. A batch incubation experiment was conducted with a Chernozem and a Luvisol artificially contaminated by 440 mg·kg−1 Hg showing wide differences in their physicochemical properties and available nutrients. The individual treatments were (i) digestate from the anaerobic fermentation of biowaste; (ii) fly ash from wood chip combustion; and (iii) ammonium sulfate, and every treatment was added with the same amount of S. The mobile Hg portion in Chernozem was highly reduced by adding digestate, even after 1 day of incubation, compared to control. Meanwhile, the outcome of these treatments was a decrease of mobile Hg forms as a function of incubation time whereas the contents of magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and phosphorus (P) were stimulated by the addition of digestate in both soils. The available calcium (Ca) contents were not affected by the digestate addition. The experiment proved digestate application as the efficient measure for fast reduction of mobile Hg at extremely contaminated soils. Moreover, the decrease of the mobile mercury portion was followed by improvement of the nutrient status of the soils. PMID:25401138

  19. Mercury speciation analyses in HgCl(2)-contaminated soils and groundwater--implications for risk assessment and remediation strategies.

    PubMed

    Bollen, A; Wenke, A; Biester, H

    2008-01-01

    Since the 19th century, mercury(II)chloride (HgCl(2)) has been used on wood impregnation sites to prevent wooden poles from decay, leaving behind a legacy of highly contaminated soil/aquifer systems. Little is known about species transformation and mobility of HgCl(2) in contaminated soils and groundwater. At such a site the behaviour of HgCl(2) in soils and groundwater was investigated to assist in risk assessment and remediation. The soil is low in organic carbon and contains up to 11,000 mg Hg/kg. Mercury (Hg) concentrations in groundwater decrease from 230 to 0.5 microg/l within a distance of 1.3 km. Hg species transformations in soil and aqueous samples were analysed by means of solid-phase Hg pyrolysis and CV-AAS. In aqueous samples, Hg species were distinguished between ionic/reactive Hg and complex-bound Hg. Potential mobility of Hg in soils was studied through batch experiments. Most Hg in the soil is matrix-bound HgCl(2), whereas in the aquifer secondary formation to Hg(0) could be observed. Aqueous Hg speciation in groundwater and soil solutions shows that an average of 84% of soluble Hg exists as easily reducible, inorganic Hg species (mostly HgCl(2)). The proportion of complex-bound Hg increases with distance due to the transformation of inorganic HgCl(2). The frequent occurrence of Hg(0) in the aquifer suggests the formation and degassing of Hg(0), which is, in addition to dilution, an important process, lowering Hg concentrations in the groundwater. High percentage of mobile Hg (3-26%) and low seepage fluxes will result in continuous Hg release over centuries requiring long-term groundwater remediation. Results of soluble Hg speciation suggest that filtering materials should be adapted to ionic Hg species, e.g. specific resins or amalgamating metal alloys. PMID:17675134

  20. How humic substances dominate mercury geochemistry in contaminated floodplain soils and sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Wallschlaeger, D.; Desai, M.V.M.; Spengler, M.; Windmoeller, C.C.; Wilken, R.D.

    1998-09-01

    The interaction of mercury (Hg) and humic substances (hs) was studied in floodplain topsoils and surface sediments of the contaminated German river Elbe. An intimate coupling exists between the geochemical cycles of Hg and organic carbon (OC) in this ecosystem. Humic substances exert a dominant influence on several important parallel geochemical pathways of Hg, including binding, transformation, and transport processes. Significant differences exist between the Hg-hs associations in floodplains and sediments. Both humic acids (ha) and fulvic acids (fa) contribute to Hg binding in the sediments. In contrast, ultrafiltration experiments proved that Hg in the floodplain soils is almost exclusively bound to very large humic acids (ha) with a nominal molecular weight (MW) > 300,000. Successive cation and anion exchange experiments demonstrated that those Hg-ha complexes are inert toward competition by other cations, and also apparently predominantly electroneutral. Speciation transformation reactions in the solid phase were investigated by sequential extraction and thermal release experiments. Upon addition of Hg model compounds to a sediment matrix, all species were transformed to the same new speciation pattern, regardless of their original speciation. The accompanying alterations in availability and solubility were partially due to interconversion between the different Hg redox states, including Hg(I). Simultaneously, partial transformation of added Hg{sup 2+} into volatile Hg compounds (35% in 10 d) was observed. Finally, Hg association with water-soluble ha continuously increased downstream, indicating that hs play a key role in both lateral and longitudinal Hg transport in the Elbe ecosystem.

  1. Targeting geothermal exploration sites in the Mount St. Helens area using soil mercury surveys

    SciTech Connect

    Holmes, J.; Waugh, K.

    1983-11-01

    The background mercury level was determined for the areas studied, providing preliminary information for future work. Identification of areas which might merit more intensive sampling was also accomplished. The clusters of samples with high Hg concentrations in both areas may indicate high heat flow and should be investigated further. Problems involving the use of this method in the Cascades were also identified. Both areas north and south of the mountain had approximately the same standard deviation (expressed as a percentage of the mean), even though the sampling horizons seemed much more consistent and less disturbed in the Marble Mountain area than in the Green River Soda Springs area. This may indicate that for these areas, secondary controls are more important, or that Hg anomalies are much smaller than indicated in studies of other areas.

  2. Mercury and selenium levels in 19 species of saltwater fish from New Jersey as a function of species, size, and season.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2011-03-15

    There are few data on risks to biota and humans from mercury levels in saltwater fish. This paper examines mercury and selenium levels in muscle of 19 species of fish caught by recreational fisherfolk off the New Jersey shore, as a function of species of fish, size, and season, and risk of mercury to consumers. Average mercury levels ranged from 0.01 ppm (wet weight) (Menhaden Brevoortia tyrannus) to 1.83 ppm (Mako Shark Isurus oxyrinchus). There were four categories of mercury levels: very high (only Mako), high (averaging 0.3-0.5 ppm, 3 species), medium (0.14-0.20 ppm, 10 species), and low (below 0.13 ppm, 5 species). Average selenium levels for the fish species ranged from 0.18 ppm to 0.58 ppm, and had lower variability than mercury (coefficient of variation=38.3 vs 69.1%), consistent with homeostatic regulation of this essential element. The correlation between mercury and selenium was significantly positive for five and negative for two species. Mercury levels showed significant positive correlations with fish size for ten species. Size was the best predictor of mercury levels. Selenium showed no consistent relationship to fish length. Over half of the fish species had some individual fish with mercury levels over 0.3 ppm, and a third had fish with levels over 0.5 ppm, levels that pose a human health risk for high end consumers. Conversely several fish species had no individuals above 0.5 ppm, and few above 0.3 ppm, suggesting that people who eat fish frequently, can reduce their risk from mercury by selecting which species (and which size) to consume. Overall, with the exception of shark, Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus), Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) and Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis), the species sampled are generally medium to low in mercury concentration. Selenium:mercury molar ratios were generally above 1:1, except for the Mako shark. PMID:21292311

  3. Levels of mercury in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) collected along a transect through the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rumbold, D.G.; Fink, L.E.; Laine, K.A.; Niemczyk, S.L.; Chandrasekhar, T.; Wankel, Scott D.; Kendall, C.

    2002-01-01

    As part of a multi-agency study of alligator health, 28 American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) were captured along a transect through the Florida Everglades in 1999. Liver and tail muscle tissues were sampled and analyzed on a wet weight basis for total mercury (THg) using cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry. All tissues had detectable concentrations of THg that ranged from 0.6 to 17 mg/kg in liver and from 0.1 to 1.8 mg/kg in tail muscle. THg was more concentrated in liver tissue than tail muscle, but levels were highly correlated between tissues. THg concentrations in tissue differed significantly among locations, with animals from Everglades National Park (ENP) having mean concentrations of THg in liver (10.4 mg/kg) and tail muscle (1.2 mg/kg) that were two-fold higher than basin-wide averages (4.9 and 0.64 mg/kg, respectively). The reasons for higher contamination of ENP alligators were unclear and could not be explained by differences in sex, length, weight or animal age. While ??15N values were positively correlated with THg concentrations in tail muscle, spatial patterns in isotopic composition did not explain the elevated THg levels in ENP alligators. Therefore, it appears that ENP alligators were more highly exposed to mercury in their environment than individuals in other areas. Comparisons to a previous survey by Yanochko et al. [Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 32 (1997) 323] suggest that mercury levels have declined in some Everglades alligators since 1994. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Mercury levels in fish from the upper peninsula of Michigan (ElS Subregion 2B) in relation to lake acidity

    SciTech Connect

    Landers, D.; Gloss, S.P.; Grieb, T.M.; Driscoll, C.T.; Schofield, C.L.

    1990-01-01

    The accumulation of mercury by fish and the potential human health effects of eating mercury-contaminated fish have been well documented. However, elevated mercury concentrations in fish from dilute, low-pH lakes have only recently been associated with increased lake acidity. Nevertheless, there now is ample evidence to document that elevated levels of mercury are found in fish from lakes in remote areas with no known point sources of mercury and that an apparent relationship exists between lake pH and fish mercury level. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set an action level of 1.0 ppm methyl mercury as the limit for human consumption. Many state fisheries agencies in the United States have established advisories regarding consumption of fish with mercury levels that do not exceed the standard of 1.0 ppm, usually invoking a standard of 0.5 ppm. Forty-nine drainage and seepage lakes in the Upper Michigan Peninsula were sampled in conjunction with Phase 2 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Eastern Lake Survey to explore the relationship between chemical and physical characteristics of lakes and mercury concentrations in fish tissue. The lakes were selected using a stratified random design weighted for low pH so that acidification effects on mercury accumulation could be evaluated. By coupling the study to Phase I, the authors were able to examine the role of chemical and physical lake variables on the assimilation of mercury by fish.

  5. In Brief: Mountaintop mining under scrutiny; High levels of mercury in U.S. rainfall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    Proposed new regulations call for mountaintop surface coal mining in U.S. Appalachian states to reduce ``burying'' and other adverse impacts on streams and watersheds. The draft regulations, issued on 29 May by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies, affects a 12-million-acre area encompassing parts of Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee.The mercury levels in rainfall in 12 U.S. states far exceeds safe standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a 29 May report by the National Wildlife Federation, a non-profit environmental group.

  6. Long-term changes in fish mercury levels in the historically impacted English-Wabigoon River system (Canada).

    PubMed

    Neff, Margaret R; Bhavsar, Satyendra P; Arhonditsis, George B; Fletcher, Rachael; Jackson, Donald A

    2012-09-01

    The English-Wabigoon River system in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, was one of the most heavily mercury-contaminated waterways in the world due to historical discharges in the 1960s from a chlor-alkali plant. This study examines long-term (1970-2010) monitoring data to assess temporal trends in mercury contamination in Walleye, Northern Pike and Lake Whitefish, three species important for sport and subsistence fishing in this region, using dynamic linear modeling and piecewise regression. For all lakes and species, there is a significant decline (36-94%) in mercury concentrations through time; however, there is evidence that this decline is either slowing down or levelling off. Concentrations in the English-Wabigoon fish are elevated, and may still present a potential health risk to humans consuming fish from this system. Various biotic and abiotic factors are examined as possible explanations to slowing rates of decline in mercury concentrations observed in the mid-1980s. PMID:22785387

  7. A new, catchment-scale model for simulating methyl and total mercury in soils and surface waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Futter, M. N.; Poste, A. E.; Whitehead, P. G.; Dillon, P. J.

    2012-04-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a potent and persistent neurotoxin. It is subject to long-range atmospheric transport, accumulates in catchment soils, and can pose health risks to humans and animals both at the point of use as well as in remote locations. Elevated concentrations of methyl mercury (MeHg) in fish are related to atmospheric Hg deposition and have resulted in fish consumption advisories in many parts of North America and Fennoscandia. After more than 150 years of elevated Hg deposition in Europe and North America, there remains a large inventory of Hg in the terrestrial catchments of lakes, which continues to be exported to receiving waters despite decreasing atmospheric inputs. While a substantial Hg pool exists in boreal catchment soils, fluxes of Hg from catchments via stream runoff tend to be much lower than atmospheric Hg inputs. Terrestrial catchments receiving similar atmospheric Hg inputs can have markedly different patterns of Hg output in stream water. Considering the importance of catchment processes in determining Hg flux to lakes and subsequent MeHg concentrations in fish, there is a need to characterize Hg cycling and transport in boreal and temperate forest-covered catchments. We present a new, catchment-scale, process-based dynamic model for simulating Hg in soils and surface waters. The Integrated Catchments Model for Mercury (INCA-Hg) simulates transport of gaseous, dissolved and solid Hg and transformations between elemental (Hg0), ionic (Hg(II)) and MeHg in natural and semi-natural landscapes. The mathematical description represents the model as a series of linked, first-order differential equations describing chemical and hydrological processes in catchment soils and waters which control surface water Hg dynamics and subsequent fluxes to lakes and other receiving waters. The model simulates daily time series between one and one hundred years long and can be applied to catchments ranging in size from <1 to ~10000 km2. Here we present applications of the model to two boreal forest headwater catchments in central Canada where we were able to reproduce observed patterns of stream water total mercury (THg) and MeHg fluxes and concentrations. Model performance was assessed using Monte Carlo techniques. Simulated in-stream THg and MeHg concentrations were sensitive to hydrologic controls and terrestrial and aquatic process rates. Our results show the need for new research to better quantify in-situ methylation and demethylation rates in soils and surface waters and for additional surveys of soil Hg concentrations. These data are needed for constraining model simulations of the effects of changing climate, Hg deposition and land management on fluxes of THg and MeHg.

  8. Mercury in the environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fulkerson, W.; Lyon, W. S.; Shults, W. D.; Wallace, R. A.

    1972-01-01

    Problems in assessing mercury concentrations in environmental materials are discussed. Data for situations involving air, water, rocks, soils, sediments, sludges, fossil fuels, plants, animals, foods, and man are drawn together and briefly evaluated. Details are provided regarding the toxicity of mercury along with tentative standards and guidelines for mercury in air, drinking water, and food.

  9. Critical levels of atmospheric pollution: criteria and concepts for operational modelling of mercury in forest and lake ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Meili, Markus; Bishop, Kevin; Bringmark, Lage; Johansson, Kjell; Munthe, John; Sverdrup, Harald; de Vries, Wim

    2003-03-20

    Mercury (Hg) is regarded as a major environmental concern in many regions, traditionally because of high concentrations in freshwater fish, and now also because of potential toxic effects on soil microflora. The predominant source of Hg in most watersheds is atmospheric deposition, which has increased 2- to >20-fold over the past centuries. A promising approach for supporting current European efforts to limit transboundary air pollution is the development of emission-exposure-effect relationships, with the aim of determining the critical level of atmospheric pollution (CLAP, cf. critical load) causing harm or concern in sensitive elements of the environment. This requires a quantification of slow ecosystem dynamics from short-term collections of data. Aiming at an operational tool for assessing the past and future metal contamination of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, we present a simple and flexible modelling concept, including ways of minimizing requirements for computation and data collection, focusing on the exposure of biota in forest soils and lakes to Hg. Issues related to the complexity of Hg biogeochemistry are addressed by (1) a model design that allows independent validation of each model unit with readily available data, (2) a process- and scale-independent model formulation based on concentration ratios and transfer factors without requiring loads and mass balance, and (3) an equilibration concept that accounts for relevant dynamics in ecosystems without long-term data collection or advanced calculations. Based on data accumulated in Sweden over the past decades, we present a model to determine the CLAP-Hg from standardized values of region- or site-specific synoptic concentrations in four key matrices of boreal watersheds: precipitation (atmospheric source), large lacustrine fish (aquatic receptor and vector), organic soil layers (terrestrial receptor proxy and temporary reservoir), as well as new and old lake sediments (archives of response dynamics). Key dynamics in watersheds are accounted for by quantifying current states of equilibration in both soils and lakes based on comparison of contamination factors in sediment cores. Future steady-state concentrations in soils and fish in single watersheds or entire regions are then determined by corresponding projection of survey data. A regional-scale application to southern Sweden suggests that the response of environmental Hg levels to changes in atmospheric Hg pollution is delayed by centuries and initially not proportional among receptors (atmosphere > soils not equal sediments>fish; clearwater lakes > humic lakes). This has implications for the interpretation of common survey data as well as for the implementation of pollution control strategies. Near Hg emission sources, the pollution of organic soils and clearwater lakes deserves attention. Critical receptors, however, even in remote areas, are humic waters, in which biotic Hg levels are naturally high, most likely to increase further, and at high long-term risk of exceeding the current levels of concern: soil organic matter. If environmental Hg concentrations are to be reduced and kept below these critical limits, virtually no man-made atmospheric Hg emissions can be permitted. PMID:12663174

  10. Determination of the potential for release of mercury from combustion product amended soils: Part 2 - Coal fly ash generated stabilized soil and degradation products

    SciTech Connect

    Mae Sexauer Gustin; Mei Xin; Jody Ericksen; George C. Fernandez

    2008-11-15

    The potential for mercury (Hg) releases to the air and water from three soils, two subbituminous coal fly ashes, and mixtures of these materials as stabilized soil was assessed. In addition, the potential for Hg release from crushed stabilized material mixed into soil simulating degradation over time was investigated. In general, atmospheric Hg deposition was measured for the ash and materials made using the ash with the higher Hg concentration, whereas the second ash material and materials generated using this ash exhibited emission as the dominant flux. Fluxes measured from stabilized material were less than that measured for the pure ash material but of the same direction. Although the stabilized and degraded stabilized materials exhibited Hg fluxes that were significantly different from base soils, values were within the range reported for low Hg-containing background soils. Because of limitations of the experimental design (i.e., reduced light exposures and measurement of flux from dry materials) reported fluxes are most likely underestimates of that which would occur in the natural environment. Materials made to simulate degradation of the stabilized material did not exhibit higher releases than the stabilized material alone. Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure (SPLP; EPA method 1312) results showed that the chemistry of a soil, especially pH, may influence the amount of Hg released to soil solutions, with more acidic soils potentially enhancing Hg release. 25 refs., 9 figs., 4 tabs.

  11. Total mercury levels in muscle tissue of swordfish (Xiphias gladius) and bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) from the Mediterranean Sea (Italy).

    PubMed

    Storelli, M M; Marcotrigiano, G O

    2001-07-01

    This study was carried out to determine the current levels of total mercury in the muscle tissue of swordfish (Xiphias gladius) and bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) caught in the Mediterranean Sea with the purpose of ascertaining whether the concentrations exceeded the maximum level fixed by the European Commission Decision. In addition, specimens of each species were divided into different ranges of weight to investigate the influence of size on mercury accumulation in order to provide data upon which commercial fishing strategies and marketing of swordfish and bluefin tuna may be based. Higher mean levels of total mercury were found in bluefin tuna (1.02 microg g(-1) wet wt) than in swordfish (0.49 microg g(-1) wet wt). In 4.3% of swordfish and in 44.3% of bluefin tuna analyzed, total mercury concentrations exceeded the maximum level fixed by the European Commission Decision (Hg = 1 microg g(-1) wet wt). Besides, for bluefin tuna the total mercury level variability observed, due to size, suggests that there should be greater regulatory control by the authorities. PMID:11456192

  12. Atmospheric mercury emissions from mine wastes and surrounding geologically enriched terrains

    SciTech Connect

    Gustin, Mae S.; Coolbaugh, M. F.; Engle, M. A.; Fitzgerald, B. C.; Keislar, R. E.; Lindberg, Steven Eric; Nacht, D. M.; Quashnick, J.; Rytuba, J. J.; Sladek, C.; Zhang, Hong; Zehner, R. E.

    2003-01-01

    Waste rock and ore associated with Hg, precious and base metal mining, and their surrounding host rocks are typically enriched in mercury relative to natural background concentrations (<0.1 {micro}g Hg g{sup -1}). Mercury fluxes to the atmosphere from mineralized areas can range from background rates (0-15 ng m{sup -2} h{sup -1}) to tens of thousands of ng m{sup -2} h{sup -1}. Mercury enriched substrate constitutes a long-term source of mercury to the global atmospheric mercury pool. Mercury emissions from substrate are influenced by light, temperature, precipitation, and substrate mercury concentration, and occur during the day and night. Light-enhanced emissions are driven by two processes: desorption of elemental mercury accumulated at the soil:air interface, and photo reduction of mercury containing phases. To determine the need for and effectiveness of regulatory controls on short-lived anthropogenic point sources the contribution of mercury from geologic non-point sources to the atmospheric mercury pool needs to be quantified. The atmospheric mercury contribution from small areas of mining disturbance with relatively high mercury concentrations are, in general, less than that from surrounding large areas of low levels of mercury enrichment. In the arid to semi-arid western United States volatilization is the primary means by which mercury is released from enriched sites.

  13. Atmospheric mercury emissions from mine wastes and surrounding geologically enriched terrains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gustin, M.S.; Coolbaugh, M.F.; Engle, M.A.; Fitzgerald, B.C.; Keislar, R.E.; Lindberg, S.E.; Nacht, D.M.; Quashnick, J.; Rytuba, J.J.; Sladek, C.; Zhang, H.; Zehner, R.E.

    2003-01-01

    Waste rock and ore associated with Hg, precious and base metal mining, and their surrounding host rocks are typically enriched in mercury relative to natural background concentrations (<0.1 ??g Hg g-1). Mercury fluxes to the atmosphere from mineralized areas can range from background rates (0-15 ng m-2 h-1) to tens of thousands of ng m-2 h-1. Mercury enriched substrate constitutes a long-term source of mercury to the global atmospheric mercury pool. Mercury emissions from substrate are influenced by light, temperature, precipitation, and substrate mercury concentration, and occur during the day and night. Light-enhanced emissions are driven by two processes: desorption of elemental mercury accumulated at the soil:air interface, and photo reduction of mercury containing phases. To determine the need for and effectiveness of regulatory controls on short-lived anthropogenic point sources the contribution of mercury from geologic non-point sources to the atmospheric mercury pool needs to be quantified. The atmospheric mercury contribution from small areas of mining disturbance with relatively high mercury concentrations are, in general, less than that from surrounding large areas of low levels of mercury enrichment. In the arid to semi-arid west-ern United States volatilization is the primary means by which mercury is released from enriched sites.

  14. MERGANSER- Predicting Mercury Levels in Fish and Loons in New England Lakes

    EPA Science Inventory

    MERGANSER (MERcury Geo-spatial AssesmentS for the New England Region) is an empirical least squares multiple regression model using atmospheric deposition of mercury (Hg) and readily obtainable lake and watershed features to predict fish and common loon Hg (as methyl mercury) in ...

  15. Mercury in ground water, septage, leach-field effluent, and soils in residential areas, New Jersey coastal plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barringer, J.L.; Szabo, Z.; Schneider, D.; Atkinson, W.D.; Gallagher, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    Water samples were collected from domestic wells at an unsewered residential area in Gloucester County, New Jersey where mercury (Hg) concentrations in well water were known to exceed the USEPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 2000 ng/L. This residential area (the CSL site) is representative of more than 70 such areas in southern New Jersey where about 600 domestic wells, sampled previously by State and county agencies, yielded water containing Hg at concentrations that exceed the MCL. Recent studies indicate that background concentrations of Hg in water from this unconfined sand and gravel aquifer system are < 10 ng/L. Additional sampling was conducted at the CSL site in order to better understand sources of Hg and potential Hg transport mechanisms in the areas with Hg-contaminated ground water. At the CSL site, concentrations of Hg were substantially lower (although still exceeding the MCL in some cases) in filtered water samples than in the unfiltered water samples collected previously from the same wells. Surfactants and elevated concentrations of sodium, chloride, nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate in water from domestic and observation wells indicated septic-system effects on water quality; detections of sulfide indicated localized reducing conditions. Hg concentrations in septage and leach-field effluent sampled at several other households in the region were low relative to the contaminant-level Hg concentrations in water from domestic wells. Relations of Hg concentrations in leach-field effluent to iron concentrations indicate that reductive dissolution of iron hydroxides in soils may release Hg to the percolating effluent. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Determination of the potential for release of mercury from combustion product amended soils: Part 1 - Simulations of beneficial use

    SciTech Connect

    Mae Sexauer Gustin; Jody Ericksen; George C. Fernandez

    2008-05-15

    This paper describes a project that assessed the potential for mercury (Hg) release to air and water from soil amended with combustion products to simulate beneficial use. Combustion products (ash) derived from wood, sewage sludge, subbituminous coal, and a subbituminous coal-petroleum coke mixture were added to soil as agricultural supplements, soil stabilizers, and to develop low permeability surfaces. Hg release was measured from the latter when intact and after it was broken up and mixed into the soil. Air-substrate Hg exchange was measured for all materials six times over 24 hr, providing data that reflected winter, spring, summer, and fall meteorological conditions. Dry deposition of atmospheric Hg and emission of Hg to the atmosphere were both found to be important fluxes. Measured differences in seasonal and diel (24 hr) fluxes demonstrated that to establish an annual estimate of air-substrate flux from these materials data on both of these time steps should be collected. Air-substrate exchange was highly correlated with soil and air temperature, as well as incident light. Hg releases to the atmosphere from coal and wood combustion product-amended soils to simulate an agricultural application were similar to that measured for the unamended soil, whereas releases to the air for the sludge-amended materials were higher. Hg released to soil solutions during the Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure for ashamended materials was higher than that released from soil alone. On the basis of estimates of annual releases of Hg to the air from the materials used, emissions from coal and wood ash-amended soil to simulate an agricultural application could simply be re-emission of Hg deposited by wet processes from the atmosphere; however, releases from sludge-amended materials and those generated to simulate soil stabilization and disturbed low-permeability pads include Hg indigenous to the material. 37 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs.

  17. Levels of total mercury in marine organisms from Adriatic Sea, Italy.

    PubMed

    Perugini, Monia; Visciano, Pierina; Manera, Maurizio; Zaccaroni, Annalisa; Olivieri, Vincenzo; Amorena, Michele

    2009-08-01

    The presence of total mercury in fish, crustacean and cephalopod from Adriatic Sea, was investigated. The highest concentrations were observed in decreasing order in: Norway lobster (0.97 +/- 0.24 mg/kg; mean +/- SE), European hake (0.59 +/- 0.14 mg/kg), red mullet (0.48 +/- 0.09 mg/kg), blue whiting (0.38 +/- 0.09 mg/kg), Atlantic mackerel (0.36 +/- 0.08 mg/kg) and European flying squid (0.25 +/- 0.03 mg/kg). A significant difference (p < 0.01) was found between the levels of total mercury in Norway lobster and those detected in all other species. The 25% of all samples exceeded the maximum limit fixed by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006. The results show that fish and fishery products can exceed the maximum levels and stress the need of more information for consumers in particular for people that eat large amount of fish. PMID:19434348

  18. Mercury storage in surface soils in a central Washington forest and estimated release during the 2001 Rex Creek Fire.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Abir; Blum, Joel D; Keeler, Gerald J

    2008-10-01

    Recent investigations indicate that wildfires provide a significant flux of mercury (Hg) from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere. However, little is known about how geographic location, climate, stand age, and tree species affect Hg accumulation prior to burning and loss during burning. Soil cores collected in sites burned during the summer 2001 Rex Creek Fire in the eastern Cascade Mountains (Washington State, USA) and in adjacent unburned control sites indicate that Hg loss from soils during the Rex Creek Fire averaged 6.7 (+/-2.5) g Hg ha(-1). This soil profile-based estimate of Hg release is higher than a previous estimate for the same fire based on airborne measurements of Hg and CO concentrations in smoke. This study has implications for global estimates of Hg storage in forests and release to the atmosphere during wildfires. PMID:18640702

  19. Levels and potential health risks of mercury in prescription, non-prescription medicines and dietary supplements in Poland.

    PubMed

    Kowalski, Artur; Frankowski, Marcin

    2015-10-01

    Determination of mercury is important in the case of pharmaceuticals for which the European Union regulations have not defined the maximum permissible concentration of this metal. The aim of the study was to determine the levels of mercury in the following groups of drugs (n = 119): analgesics, diuretics, cardiacs, antihypertensives, anti-influenza, antibiotics, anti-allergics, tranquilizers, antibacterials and in dietary supplements (n = 33) available on the Polish market. Mercury was analyzed using cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry CV-AFS. Its content in the samples varied in the range of 0.9-476.1 ng g(-1). Higher mercury concentrations were reported for prescription drugs (Rx): 0.9-476.1 ng g(-1) (median: 7.4 ng g(-1)), lower--for non-prescription medicines (OTC): 1.2-45.8 ng g(-1) (median: 6.0 ng g(-1)). In the analyzed dietary supplements the concentrations were: 0.9-16.7 ng g(-1) (median: 5.9 ng g(-1)). On the basis of the information contained in the leaflet accompanying the medicine, a daily dose of mercury taken into the body with an analyzed medicament was estimated and the health risk posed by using such medicines was assessed. The study indicates that it is justified to carry out measurements of mercury in pharmaceuticals due to its high, potentially harmful. PMID:26260655

  20. Mercury bio-extraction by fungus Coprinus comatus: a possible bioindicator and mycoremediator of polluted soils?

    PubMed

    Falandysz, Jerzy

    2016-04-01

    The Shaggy Ink Cap (Coprinus comatus), which is a common in wild in northern hemisphere was examined in field for potential to be used as possible bio-extractor of Hg from polluted grounds but also as possible bioindicator of urban soils (roadside, barren lands, lawns) pollution with Hg. The contents of Hg in caps and stipes of C. comatus from the grounds examined in this study correlated positively with the levels of soil contamination. Analysis of sets of data available worldwide on Hg in C. comatus and soils beneath-fruiting bodies showed on a positive correlation between degree of soil and mushroom contamination. Hence, C. comatus could be considered as a sensitive species and with bioindication and bioremediation potency for soils polluted with Hg in further studies. Young-fruiting bodies of C. comatus are edible and considered excellent if consumed soon after pick-up. Eating them when foraged from the urban places can provide to a consumer Hg at relatively high dose, while unresolved question is absorption rate of Hg compounds contained in ingested mushroom meal. PMID:26705753

  1. Arsenic and mercury in the soils of an industrial city in the Donets Basin, Ukraine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conko, Kathryn M.; Landa, Edward R.; Kolker, Allan; Kozlov, Kostiantyn; Gibb, Herman J.; Centeno, Jose; Panov, Boris S.; Panov, Yuri B.

    2013-01-01

    Soil and house dust collected in and around Hg mines and a processing facility in Horlivka, a mid-sized city in the Donets Basin of southeastern Ukraine, have elevated As and Hg levels. Surface soils collected at a former Hg-processing facility had up to 1300 mg kg−1 As and 8800 mg kg−1 Hg; 1M HCl extractions showed 74–93% of the total As, and 1–13% of the total Hg to be solubilized, suggesting differential environmental mobility between these elements. In general, lower extractability of As and Hg was seen in soil samples up to 12 km from the Hg-processing facility, and the extractable (1M HCl, synthetic precipitation, deionized water) fractions of As are greater than those for Hg, indicating that Hg is present in a more resistant form than As. The means (standard deviation) of total As and Hg in grab samples collected from playgrounds and public spaces within 12 km of the industrial facility were 64 (±38) mg kg−1 As and 12 (±9.4) mg kg−1 Hg; all concentrations are elevated compared to regional soils. The mean concentrations of As and Hg in dust from homes in Horlivka were 5–15 times higher than dust from homes in a control city. Estimates of possible exposure to As and Hg through inadvertent soil ingestion are provided.

  2. Fate and transport of mercury in soil systems : a numerical model in HP1 and sensitivity analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leterme, Bertrand; Jacques, Diederik

    2013-04-01

    Mercury (Hg) poses threats for human health and the environment, notably due to its persistence and its ability to bioaccumulate in ecosystems. Anthropogenic activities are major contributors of mercury release to soils. Main sources of contamination include manufacturing (chlor-alkali plants, manometer spill), mine tailings from mercury, gold and silver mining industries, wood preservation. The objective of this study was to develop a reactive transport model for simulating mercury fate and transport in the unsaturated zone, and to gain insight in the fate and transport of Hg following anthropogenic soil contamination. The present work is done in the framework of the IMaHg project, which aims at providing recommendations to improve management of sites contaminated by mercury within the SNOWMAN funding framework. A model of mercury fate and transport in soil systems was developed using the reactive transport code HP1 (Jacques and Šimůnek, 2010). The geochemical database THERMODDEM (Blanc et al., 2012) is used, augmented with some speciation data from (Skyllberg, 2012). The main processes accounted for in the model are : Hg aqueous speciation (including complexation with dissolved organic matter (DOM) - humic and fulvic acids, and thiol groups), Hg sorption to solid organic matter (SOM), dissolution of solid phase Hg (e.g. cinnabar HgS(s)), dissolution of Hg non-aqueous liquid phase (NAPL), sunlight-driven Hg(II) reduction to Hg(0), Hg(0) diffusion in the gas phase and volatilization, DOM sorption to soil minerals. Colloid facilitated transport is implicitly accounted for by solute transport of Hg-DOM complexes. Because we focused on soil systems having a high Hg contamination, some processes showing relatively smaller Hg fluxes could be neglected such as vegetation uptake and atmospheric wet and dry deposition. NAPL migration and entrapment is not modelled, as pollution is assumed to be historical and only residual NAPL to be present. Mercury methylation and demethylation was not implemented, because it could be neglected in an oxidising environment. However, if the model is to be tested in more reducing conditions (e.g. shallow groundwater table), methyl- and dimethylmercury formation can be non negligible. Using 50 year time series of daily weather observations in Dessel (Belgium) and a typical sandy soil with deep groundwater (free drainage, oxic conditions), a sensitivity analysis was performed to assess the relative importance of processes and parameters within the model. We used the elementary effects method (Morris, 1991; Campolongo et al., 2007), which draws trajectories across the parameter space to derive information on the global sensitivity of the selected input parameters. The impact of different initial contamination phases (solid, NAPL, aqueous and combinations of these) was also tested. Simulation results are presented in terms of (i) Hg volatilized to the atmosphere; (ii) Hg leached out of the soil profile; (iii) Hg still present in the soil horizon originally polluted; and (iv) Hg still present in the soil profile but below the original contaminated horizon. Processes and parameters identified as critical based on the sensitivity analysis differ from one scenario to the other ; depending on pollution type (cinnabar, NAPL, aqueous Hg), on the indicator assessed and on time (after 5, 25 or 50 years). However, in general DOM in soil water was the most critical parameter. Other important parameters were those related to Hg sorption on SOM (thiols, and humic and fulvic acids), and to Hg complexation with DOM. Initial Hg concentration was also often identified as a sensitive parameter. Interactions between factors and non linear effects as measured by the elementary effect method were generally important, but also dependent on the type of contamination and on time. No model calibration was performed until now. The numerical tool could greatly benefit from partial model calibration and/or validation. Ideally, detailed speciation data on a contaminated sites would be required, together with a good characterization of the pollution source. References : Blanc, P., Lassin, A. and Piantone, P. (2012), THERMODDEM a database devoted to waste minerals, BRGM, Orléans, France. http://thermoddem.brgm.fr Campolongo, F., Cariboni, J. and Saltelli, A. (2007), An effective screening design for sensitivity analysis of large models, Environmental Modelling & Software 22(10): 1509-1518. Jacques, D. and Šimůnek, J. (2010), Notes on HP1 - a software package for simulating variably-saturated water flow, heat transport, solute transport and biogeochemistry in porous media, HP1 Version 2.2 SCK•CEN-BLG-1068, Waste & Disposal Department, SCK•CEN, Mol, Belgium: 113 p. Morris, M. D. (1991), Factorial Sampling Plans for Preliminary Computational Experiments, Technometrics 33(2): 161-174. Skyllberg, U. (2012), Chemical Speciation of Mercury in Soil and Sediment. Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology of Mercury, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: 219-258.

  3. LOCATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN MERCURY AND SELENIUM LEVELS IN 19 SPECIES OF SALTWATER FISH FROM NEW JERSEY

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna; Jeitner, Christian; Gochfeld, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Individuals who fish, and their families that ingest self-caught fish, make decisions about where to fish, what type of fish to eat, and the quantity of fish to eat. While federal and state agencies often issue consumption advisories for some fish with high mercury (Hg) concentrations, advisories seldom provide the actual metal levels to the general public. There are few data for most saltwater fish, and even less information on variations in Hg levels in fish within a state or geographical region. The objective of this study was to provide Hg concentrations from 19 species of fish caught in different locations in New Jersey to (1) test the hypothesis that mean metal levels vary geographically, (2) provide this information to individuals who fish these coastal waters, and (3) provide a range of values for risk assessors who deal with saltwater fish exposure in the Northeastern United States. Selenium (Se) was also examined because of its purported moderating effect on the toxicity of Hg. Hg levels showed significant geographical variation for 10 of 14 species that were caught in more than one region of New Jersey, but there were significant locational differences for Se in only 5 of the fish. Mercury levels were significantly lower in fish collected from northern New Jersey (except for ling, Molva molva), compared to other regions. As might be expected, locational differences in Hg levels were greatest for fish species with the highest Hg concentrations (shark, Isurus oxyrinchus; tuna, Thunnus thynnus and T. albacares; striped bass, Morone saxatilis; bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix). Fishers and their families might reduce their risk from Hg exposure not only by selecting fish generally lower in Hg, but by fishing predominantly in some regions over others, further lowering the potential risk. Health professionals might use these data to advise patients on which fish are safest to consume (in terms of Hg exposure) from particular geographical regions. PMID:21598171

  4. Locational differences in mercury and selenium levels in 19 species of saltwater fish from New Jersey.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Jeitner, Christian; Gochfeld, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Individuals who fish, and their families that ingest self-caught fish, make decisions about where to fish, what type of fish to eat, and the quantity of fish to eat. While federal and state agencies often issue consumption advisories for some fish with high mercury (Hg) concentrations, advisories seldom provide the actual metal levels to the general public. There are few data for most saltwater fish, and even less information on variations in Hg levels in fish within a state or geographical region. The objective of this study was to provide Hg concentrations from 19 species of fish caught in different locations in New Jersey to (1) test the hypothesis that mean metal levels vary geographically, (2) provide this information to individuals who fish these coastal waters, and (3) provide a range of values for risk assessors who deal with saltwater fish exposure in the Northeastern United States. Selenium (Se) was also examined because of its purported moderating effect on the toxicity of Hg. Hg levels showed significant geographical variation for 10 of 14 species that were caught in more than one region of New Jersey, but there were significant locational differences for Se in only 5 of the fish. Mercury levels were significantly lower in fish collected from northern New Jersey (except for ling, Molva molva), compared to other regions. As might be expected, locational differences in Hg levels were greatest for fish species with the highest Hg concentrations (shark, Isurus oxyrinchus; tuna, Thunnus thynnus and T. albacares; striped bass, Morone saxatilis; bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix). Fishers and their families might reduce their risk from Hg exposure not only by selecting fish generally lower in Hg, but by fishing predominantly in some regions over others, further lowering the potential risk. Health professionals might use these data to advise patients on which fish are safest to consume (in terms of Hg exposure) from particular geographical regions. PMID:21598171

  5. Mercury accumulation by lower trophic-level organisms in lentic systems within the Guadalupe River watershed, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuwabara, James S.; Topping, Brent R.; Moon, Gerald E.; Husby, Peter; Lincoff, Andrew; Carter, James L.; Croteau, Marie-Nole

    2005-01-01

    The water columns of four reservoirs (Almaden, Calero, Guadalupe and Lexington Reservoirs) and an abandoned quarry pit filled by Alamitos Creek drainage for recreational purposes (Lake Almaden) were sampled on September 14 and 15, 2004 to provide the first measurements of mercury accumulation by phytoplankton and zooplankton in lentic systems (bodies of standing water, as in lakes and reservoirs) within the Guadalupe River watershed, California. Because of widespread interest in ecosystem effects associated with historic mercury mining within and downgradient of the Guadalupe Riverwatershed, transfer of mercury to lower trophic-level organisms was examined. The propensity of mercury to bioaccumulate, particularly in phytoplankton and zooplankton at the base of the food web, motivated this attempt to provide information in support of developing trophic-transfer and solute-transport models for the watershed, and hence in support of subsequent evaluation of load-allocation strategies. Both total mercury and methylmercury were examined in these organisms. During a single sampling event, replicate samples from the reservoir water column were collected and processed for dissolved-total mercury, dissolved-methylmercury, phytoplankton mercury speciation, phytoplankton taxonomy and biomass, zooplankton mercury speciation, and zooplankton taxonomy and biomass. The timing of this sampling event was coordinated with sampling and analysis of fish from these five water bodies, during a period of the year when vertical stratification in the reservoirs generates a primary source of methylmercury to the watershed. Ancillary data, including dissolved organic carbon and trace-metal concentrations as well as vertical profiles of temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance and pH, were gathered to provide a water-quality framework from which to compare the results for mercury. This work, in support of the Guadalupe River Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study, provides the first measurements of mercury trophic transfer through planktonic communities in this watershed. It is worth reemphasizing that this data set represents a single ?snap shot? of conditions in water bodies within the Guadalupe River watershed to: (1) fill gaps in trophic transfer information, and (2) provide a scientific basis for future process-based studies with enhanced temporal and spatial coverage. This electronic document was unconventionally formatted to enhance the accessibility of information to a wide range of interest groups.

  6. Total mercury in fruiting bodies and underlying soil substrate of Poison Pax Paxillus involutus (Batsch Ex. Fr.) Fr. from various sites in Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brzostowski, A.; Falandysz, J.

    2003-05-01

    The total mercury concentrations were quantified in the caps, stalks and underlying soil substrate of Poison Pax Paxillus involutus collected from 19 spatially distant sites in Poland in 1994-2001 to examine the status of mercury pollution, bioconcentration features as well as bioindication potential of this mushroom species. The mushroom and soil samples were collected from the Mierzeja Wiślana Landscape Park, Wdzydzki Landscape Park, Zaborski Landscape Park, Augustów Forests, Borecka Forests, Wieluńska Upland, Darżlubska Forest, Tucholskie Forest and the counties of Gubin. Kościerzyna, Morag, Koszalin, Gdańsk, Bydgoszcz, Kętrzyn, Żuromin, Włocławek, and Starachowice. The mean concentrations of mercury varied, depending on the sampling site, between 15±9 and 410±200 ng/g dry matter for caps and between 14±26 and 200±130 ng/g dry matter for stalks, The mean soil mercury concentrations varied between 8.8±4.5 and 95±84 ng/g. The mean mercury concentration cap to stalk quotients varied between O.6±0.2 and 1.9±1.5, with exception of the site Morag with 4.4±7.2. The mean values of bioconcentration factor of mercury in caps and stalks of Poison Pax varied in relatively narrow range between 0.7 and 10, and 0.5 and 8.5, respectively.

  7. Projecting the Population-level Effects of Mercury on the Common Loon in the Northeast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evers, D. C.; Mitro, M. G.; Gleason, T. R.

    2001-05-01

    The Common Loon (Gavia immer) is a top-level predator in aquatic systems and is at risk to mercury contamination. This risk is of particular concern in the Northeast, the region of North America in which loons have the highest mean body concentration of methylmercury (MeHg). We used matrix population models to project the population-level effects of mercury on loons in four states in the Northeast (New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine) exhibiting different levels of risk to MeHg. Four categories of risk to MeHg (low, moderate, high, and extra high) were established based on MeHg levels observed in loons and associated effects observed at the individual and population levels in the field (e.g., behavior and reproductive success). We parameterized deterministic matrix population models using survival estimates from a 12-year band-resight data set and productivity estimates from a 25-year data set of nesting loon observations in NH. The juvenile loon survival rate was 0.55 (minimum) and 0.63 (maximum) (ages 1-3), and the adult loon survival rate was 0.95 (ages 4-30). The mean age at first reproduction was 7. The mean fertility was 0.26 fledgelings per individual at low to moderate risk; there were 53% fewer fledged young per individual at high to extra high risk. Productivity was weighted by risk for each state. The portion of the breeding population at high to extra high risk was 10% in NY, 15% in VT, 17% in NH, and 28% in ME. We also constructed a stochastic model in which productivity was randomly selected in each time step from the 25 estimates in the NH data set. Model results indicated a negative population growth rate for some states. There was a decreasing trend in population growth rate as the percentage of the loon population at high to extra high risk increased. The stochastic model showed that the population growth rate varied over a range of about 0.05 from year to year, and this range decreased as the percentage of the loon population at high to extra high risk increased. These results suggest that an increase in risk to mercury that effects a change in reproductive success may have a negative population-level effect on loons.

  8. Mercury in municipal solid wastes and New Jersey mercury prevention and reduction program

    SciTech Connect

    Erdogan, H.; Stevenson, E.

    1994-12-31

    Mercury is a very toxic heavy metal which accumulates in the brain causing neurological damages involving psychasthenic and vegetative syndrome. At high exposure levels it causes behavioral and personality changes, loss of memory and insomnia. Long-term exposure or exposure during pregnancy to mercury or mercury compounds can permanently damage the kidney and fetus. In addition to potential effects on human health, mercury poisoning can also affect other living organisms. Mercury is different than other heavy metals. It consistently biomagnifies and bioaccumulates within the aquatic food chain. Global sources of mercury release are both natural and anthropogenic. Natural sources include volatilization of gaseous-mercury iron soils ana rocks, volcanic releases, evaporation from the ocean and other water bodies. Anthropogenic sources are fuel and coal combustion, mining, smelting, manufacturing activities, disposal of sludge, pesticides, animal and food waste, and incineration of municipal solid waste. Worldwide combustion of municipal solid waste is the second largest source of atmospheric emission of mercury. In New Jersey, incineration of solid waste is the largest source of atmospheric emission of mercury. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy (NJDEPE) has developed a comprehensive program to control and prevent emission of mercury resulting from combustion municipal solid waste.

  9. Successful Characterization and Remedial Contour of Highly Contaminated Mercury Soil at the Y-12 National Security Complex - 13593

    SciTech Connect

    White, Aaron; Rigas, Michael; Birchfield, Joseph W. III

    2013-07-01

    An area known as the 81-10 pad within the footprint of the Y-12 National Security Complex, suspected to be heavily contaminated with mercury, was slated for characterization in support of a Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) milestone to be accomplished by September 30, 2012. A full remedial design report (RDR) required the soil in Exposure Unit -9 (EU-9) to be fully characterized for a number of contaminates of concern including mercury. The goal of this characterization effort was to determine what soil, if any, would need to be removed for the protection of industrial workers and impacts to the surface and ground water. Funding for this project was made available using buy-back scope under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The EU-9 soil unit involved 3 different classifications which were determined as follows: Class 1: Known to have been impacted, contamination is likely; Class 2: Suspected to have been impacted, contamination is unknown; Class 3: Area not known to have been impacted, contamination unlikely. Due to various sampling and analysis events since the 1980's, significant mercury contamination was expected under the concrete pad of an area known as 81-10. Mercury contamination outside of the boundary of this pad within the EU-9 footprint was not known and therefore an original planned estimate of 1,461 cubic meters of material were expected to be heavily contaminated with mercury requiring removal, treatment and disposal. Through the use of a highly effective nature and extent sampling and analysis design that involved a hybrid of statistically-based and judgmental sampling, the actual remedial contour requiring removal was approximately 717 cubic meters, roughly 12% of the original estimate. This characterization approach was executed in full compliance with the Record of Decision (ROD) [1] documents that were agreed upon by the U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. In addition, the RDR was completed ahead of the FFA milestone date of September 30, 2012. (authors)

  10. Review of State Soil Cleanup Levels for Dioxin (December 2009)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This final report summarizes a survey of state soil cleanup levels for dioxin and characterizes the science underlying these values. The objective of this project was to summarize existing state cleanup levels for dioxin in soil, together with their scientific bases where availa...

  11. Methylmercury levels and bioaccumulation in the aquatic food web of a highly mercury-contaminated reservoir.

    PubMed

    Carrasco, Luis; Benejam, Llus; Benito, Josep; Bayona, Josep M; Dez, Sergi

    2011-10-01

    The low Ebro River basin (NE Spain) represents a particular case of chronic and long-term mercury pollution due to the presence of an industrial waste (up to 436 ?g/g of Hg) coming from a chlor-alkali plant Albeit high total mercury (THg) levels have been previously described in several aquatic species from the surveyed area, methylmercury (MeHg) values in fish individuals have never been reported. Accordingly, in order to investigate bioaccumulation patterns at different levels of the aquatic food web of such polluted area, crayfish and various fish species, were analysed for THg and MeHg content. At the hot spot, THg mean values of crayfish muscle tissue and hepatopancreas were 10 and 15 times, respectively, greater than the local background level. Higher mean THg concentrations were detected in piscivorous (THg=0.848 0.476 ?g/g wet weight (ww); MeHg=0.672 0.364 ?g/g ww) than in non-piscivorous fish (THg=0.305 0.163 ?g/g ww; MeHg=0.278 0.239 ?g/g ww). Although these results indicated that THg in fish increased significantly with increasing trophic position, the percentage of the methylated form of Hg was not strongly influenced by differences in relative trophic position. This is an important finding, since the fraction of THg as MeHg in the top fish predator was unexpectedly lower than for other species of the aquatic food chain. Moreover, mean THg concentrations in piscivorous fish exceed the maximum level recommended for human consumption. From our findings, it is clear that for this specific polluted system, speciation becomes almost mandatory when risk assessment is based on MeHg, since single measurements of THg are inadequate and could lead to an over- or under-estimation of contamination levels. PMID:21658770

  12. Electronic characterization of defects in narrow gap semiconductors: Comparison of electronic energy levels and formation energies in mercury cadmium telluride, mercury zinc telluride, and mercury zinc selenide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, James D.; Li, Wei-Gang

    1995-01-01

    The project has evolved to that of using Green's functions to predict properties of deep defects in narrow gap materials. Deep defects are now defined as originating from short range potentials and are often located near the middle of the energy gap. They are important because they affect the lifetime of charge carriers and hence the switching time of transistors. We are now moving into the arena of predicting formation energies of deep defects. This will also allow us to make predictions about the relative concentrations of the defects that could be expected at a given temperature. The narrow gap materials mercury cadmium telluride (MCT), mercury zinc telluride (MZT), and mercury zinc selenide (MZS) are of interest to NASA because they have commercial value for infrared detecting materials, and because there is a good possibility that they can be grown better in a microgravity environment. The uniform growth of these crystals on earth is difficult because of convection (caused by solute depletion just ahead of the growing interface, and also due to thermal gradients). In general it is very difficult to grow crystals with both radial and axial homogeneity.

  13. Electronic characterization of defects in narrow gap semiconductors: Comparison of electronic energy levels and formation energies in mercury cadmium telluride, mercury zinc telluride, and mercury zinc selenide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, James D.; Li, Wei-Gang

    1995-03-01

    The project has evolved to that of using Green's functions to predict properties of deep defects in narrow gap materials. Deep defects are now defined as originating from short range potentials and are often located near the middle of the energy gap. They are important because they affect the lifetime of charge carriers and hence the switching time of transistors. We are now moving into the arena of predicting formation energies of deep defects. This will also allow us to make predictions about the relative concentrations of the defects that could be expected at a given temperature. The narrow gap materials mercury cadmium telluride (MCT), mercury zinc telluride (MZT), and mercury zinc selenide (MZS) are of interest to NASA because they have commercial value for infrared detecting materials, and because there is a good possibility that they can be grown better in a microgravity environment. The uniform growth of these crystals on earth is difficult because of convection (caused by solute depletion just ahead of the growing interface, and also due to thermal gradients). In general it is very difficult to grow crystals with both radial and axial homogeneity.

  14. Scalp hair and saliva as biomarkers in determination of mercury levels in Iranian women: amalgam as a determinant of exposure.

    PubMed

    Fakour, H; Esmaili-Sari, A; Zayeri, F

    2010-05-15

    The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between mercury concentrations in saliva and hair in women with amalgam fillings and its relation with age and number of amalgam fillings. Eighty-two hair and saliva samples were collected randomly from Iranian women who have the same fish consumption pattern and free from occupational exposures. The mean+/-SD age of these women was 29.37+/-8.12 (ranged from 20 to 56). The determination of Hg level in hair samples was carried out by the LECO, AMA 254, Advanced Mercury Analyzer according to ASTM, standard No. D-6722. Mercury concentration in saliva samples was analyzed by PERKIN-ELMER 3030 Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. The mean+/-SD mercury level in the women was 1.28+/-1.38 microg/g in hair and 4.14+/-4.08 microg/l in saliva; and there were positive correlation among them. A significant correlation was also observed between Hg level of saliva (Spearman's rho=0.93, P<0.001) and hair (Spearman's rho=0.92, P<0.001) with number of amalgam fillings. According to the results, we can conclude that amalgam fillings may be an effective source for high Hg concentration in hair and releasing the mercury to the saliva samples. PMID:20034733

  15. DNA barcodes reveal species-specific mercury levels in tuna sushi that pose a health risk to consumers

    PubMed Central

    Lowenstein, Jacob H.; Burger, Joanna; Jeitner, Christian W.; Amato, George; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Gochfeld, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Excessive ingestion of mercury—a health hazard associated with consuming predatory fishes—damages neurological, sensory-motor and cardiovascular functioning. The mercury levels found in Bigeye Tuna (Thunnus obesus) and bluefin tuna species (Thunnus maccoyii, Thunnus orientalis, and Thunnus thynnus), exceed or approach levels permissible by Canada, the European Union, Japan, the US, and the World Health Organization. We used DNA barcodes to identify tuna sushi samples analysed for mercury and demonstrate that the ability to identify cryptic samples in the market place allows regulatory agencies to more accurately measure the risk faced by fish consumers and enact policies that better safeguard their health. PMID:20410032

  16. Soil-Air Mercury Flux near a Large Industrial Emission Source before and after Closure (Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada).

    PubMed

    Eckley, Chris S; Blanchard, Pierrette; McLennan, Daniel; Mintz, Rachel; Sekela, Mark

    2015-08-18

    Prior to its closure, the base-metal smelter in Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada was one of the North America's largest mercury (Hg) emission sources. Our project objective was to understand the exchange of Hg between the soil and the air before and after the smelter closure. Field and laboratory Hg flux measurements were conducted to identify the controlling variables and used for spatial and temporal scaling. Study results showed that deposition from the smelter resulted in the surrounding soil being enriched in Hg (up to 99 μg g(-1)) as well as other metals. During the period of smelter operation, air concentrations were elevated (30 ± 19 ng m(-3)), and the soil was a net Hg sink (daily flux: -3.8 ng m(-2) h(-1)). Following the smelter closure, air Hg(0) concentrations were reduced, and the soils had large emissions (daily flux: 108 ng m(-2) h(-1)). The annual scaling of soil Hg emissions following the smelter closure indicated that the landscape impacted by smelter deposition emitted or re-emitted almost 100 kg per year. Elevated soil Hg concentrations and emissions are predicted to continue for hundreds of years before background concentrations are re-established. Overall, the results indicate that legacy Hg deposition will continue to cycle in the environment long after point-source reductions. PMID:26189758

  17. [Variations of soil fertility level in red soil region under long-term fertilization].

    PubMed

    Yu, Han-qing; Xu, Ming-gang; Lü, Jia-long; Bao, Yao-xian; Sun, Nan; Gao, Ju-sheng

    2010-07-01

    Based on the long-term (1982-2007) field experiment of "anthropogenic mellowing of raw soil" at the Qiyang red soil experimental station under Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and by using numerical theory, this paper studied the variations of the fertility level of granite red soil, quaternary red soil, and purple sandy shale soil under six fertilization patterns. The fertilization patterns included non-fertilization (CK), straw-returning without fertilizers (CKR), chemical fertilization (NPK), NPK plus straw-return (NPKR), rice straw application (M), and M plus straw-return (MR). The soil integrated fertility index (IFI) was significantly positively correlated with relative crop yield, and could better indicate soil fertility level. The IFI values of the three soils all were in the order of NPK, NPKR > M, MR > CK, CKR, with the highest value in treatment NPKR (0.77, 0.71, and 0.71 for granite red soil, quaternary red soil, and purple sandy shale soil, respectively). Comparing with that in the treatments of no straw-return, the IFI value in the treatments of straw return was increased by 6.72%-18.83%. A turning point of the IFI for all the three soils was observed at about 7 years of anthropogenic mellowing, and the annual increasing rate of the IFI was in the sequence of purple sandy shale soil (0.016 a(-1)) > quaternary red clay soil (0.011 a(-1)) > granite red soil (0.006 a(-1)). It was suggested that a combined application of organic and chemical fertilizers and/or straw return could be an effective and fast measure to enhance the soil fertility level in red soil region. PMID:20879536

  18. Can mercury in fish be reduced by water level management? Evaluating the effects of water level fluctuation on mercury accumulation in yellow perch (Perca flavescens).

    PubMed

    Larson, James H; Maki, Ryan P; Knights, Brent C; Gray, Brian R

    2014-10-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of fisheries is a major concern for resource managers of many temperate lakes. Anthropogenic Hg contamination is largely derived from atmospheric deposition within a lake's watershed, but its incorporation into the food web is facilitated by bacterial activity in sediments. Temporal variation in Hg content of fish (young-of-year yellow perch) in the regulated lakes of the Rainy-Namakan complex (on the border of the United States and Canada) has been linked to water level (WL) fluctuations, presumably through variation in sediment inundation. As a result, Hg contamination of fish has been linked to international regulations of WL fluctuation. Here we assess the relationship between WL fluctuations and fish Hg content using a 10-year dataset covering six lakes. Within-year WL rise did not appear in strongly supported models of fish Hg, but year-to-year variation in maximum water levels (∆maxWL) was positively associated with fish Hg content. This WL effect varied in magnitude among lakes: In Crane Lake, a 1 m increase in ∆maxWL from the previous year was associated with a 108 ng increase in fish Hg content (per gram wet weight), while the same WL change in Kabetogama was associated with only a 5 ng increase in fish Hg content. In half the lakes sampled here, effect sizes could not be distinguished from zero. Given the persistent and wide-ranging extent of Hg contamination and the large number of regulated waterways, future research is needed to identify the conditions in which WL fluctuations influence fish Hg content. PMID:25134675

  19. Can mercury in fish be reduced by water level management? Evaluating the effects of water level fluctuation on mercury accumulation in yellow perch (Perca flavescens)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, James H.; Maki, Ryan P.; Knights, Brent C.; Gray, Brian R.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of fisheries is a major concern for resource managers of many temperate lakes. Anthropogenic Hg contamination is largely derived from atmospheric deposition within a lake’s watershed, but its incorporation into the food web is facilitated by bacterial activity in sediments. Temporal variation in Hg content of fish (young-of-year yellow perch) in the regulated lakes of the Rainy–Namakan complex (on the border of the United States and Canada) has been linked to water level (WL) fluctuations, presumably through variation in sediment inundation. As a result, Hg contamination of fish has been linked to international regulations of WL fluctuation. Here we assess the relationship between WL fluctuations and fish Hg content using a 10-year dataset covering six lakes. Within-year WL rise did not appear in strongly supported models of fish Hg, but year-to-year variation in maximum water levels (∆maxWL) was positively associated with fish Hg content. This WL effect varied in magnitude among lakes: In Crane Lake, a 1 m increase in ∆maxWL from the previous year was associated with a 108 ng increase in fish Hg content (per gram wet weight), while the same WL change in Kabetogama was associated with only a 5 ng increase in fish Hg content. In half the lakes sampled here, effect sizes could not be distinguished from zero. Given the persistent and wide-ranging extent of Hg contamination and the large number of regulated waterways, future research is needed to identify the conditions in which WL fluctuations influence fish Hg content.

  20. Soil maturity and planetary regoliths - The Moon, Mercury, and the asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matson, D. L.; Johnson, T. V.; Veeder, G. J.

    1977-01-01

    Observations of the Moon, Mercury and the asteroids provide data which can be used to assess current ideas about the optical maturation of regoliths of bodies without atmospheres. Telescopic data show Mercury's surface to be as optically mature as the Moon's while the asteroids appear to have 'fresh' surfaces. We suggest that these cases illustrate two different paths of regolith evolution caused by differing micrometeoroid impact velocities, gravity, and in some cases composition.

  1. Seasonal, locational and size variations in mercury and selenium levels in striped bass (Morone saxatilis) from New Jersey.

    PubMed

    Gochfeld, Michael; Burger, Joanna; Jeitner, Christian; Donio, Mark; Pittfield, Taryn

    2012-01-01

    We examined total mercury and selenium levels in muscle of striped bass (Morone saxatilis) collected from 2005 to 2008 from coastal New Jersey. Of primary interest was whether there were differences in mercury and selenium levels as a function of size and location, and whether the legal size limits increased the exposure of bass consumers to mercury. We obtained samples mainly from recreational anglers, but also by seine and trawl. For the entire sample (n=178 individual fish), the mean (±standard error) for total mercury was 0.39±0.02 μg/g (=0.39 ppm, wet weight basis) with a maximum of 1.3 μg/g (=1.3 ppm wet weight). Mean selenium level was 0.30±0.01 μg/g (w/w) with a maximum of 0.9 μg/g). Angler-caught fish (n=122) were constrained by legal size limits to exceed 61 cm (24 in.) and averaged 72.6±1.3 cm long; total mercury averaged 0.48±0.021 μg/g and selenium averaged 0.29±0.01 μg/g. For comparable sizes, angler-caught fish had significantly higher mercury levels (0.3 vs 0.21 μg/g) than trawled fish. In both the total and angler-only samples, mercury was strongly correlated with length (Kendall tau=0.37; p<0.0001) and weight (0.38; p<0.0001), but was not correlated with condition or with selenium. In the whole sample and all subsamples, total length yielded the highest r(2) (up to 0.42) of any variable for both mercury and selenium concentrations. Trawled fish from Long Branch in August and Sandy Hook in October were the same size (68.9 vs 70.1cm) and had the same mercury concentrations (0.22 vs 0.21 ppm), but different selenium levels (0.11 vs 0.28 ppm). The seined fish (all from Delaware Bay) had the same mercury concentration as the trawled fish from the Atlantic coast despite being smaller. Angler-caught fish from the North (Sandy Hook) were larger but had significantly lower mercury than fish from the South (mainly Cape May). Selenium levels were high in small fish, low in medium-sized fish, and increased again in larger fish, but overall selenium was correlated with length (tau=0.14; p=0.006) and weight (tau=0.27; p<0.0001). Length-squared contributed significantly to selenium models, reflecting the non-linear relationship. Inter-year differences were explained partly by differences in sizes. The selenium:mercury molar ratio was below 1:1 in 20% of the fish and 25% of the angler-caught fish. Frequent consumption of large striped bass can result in exposure above the EPA's reference dose, a problem particularly for fetal development. PMID:22226733

  2. Seasonal, locational and size variations in mercury and selenium levels in striped bass (Morone saxatilis) from New Jersey

    PubMed Central

    Gochfeld, Michael; Burger, Joanna; Jeitner, Christian; Donio, Mark; Pittfield, Taryn

    2014-01-01

    We examined total mercury and selenium levels in muscle of striped bass (Morone saxatilis) collected from 2005 to 2008 from coastal New Jersey. Of primary interest was whether there were differences in mercury and selenium levels as a function of size and location, and whether the legal size limits increased the exposure of bass consumers to mercury. We obtained samples mainly from recreational anglers, but also by seine and trawl. For the entire sample (n = 178 individual fish), the mean (± standard error) for total mercury was 0.39 ± 0.02 μg/g (= 0.39 ppm, wet weight basis) with a maximum of 1.3 μg/g (= 1.3 ppm wet weight). Mean selenium level was 0.30 ± 0.01 μg/g (w/w) with a maximum of 0.9 μg/g). Angler-caught fish (n = 122) were constrained by legal size limits to exceed 61 cm (24 in.) and averaged 72.6 ± 1.3 cm long; total mercury averaged 0.48 ± 0.021 μg/g and selenium averaged 0.29 ± 0.01 μg/g. For comparable sizes, angler-caught fish had significantly higher mercury levels (0.3 vs 0.21 μg/g) than trawled fish. In both the total and angler-only samples, mercury was strongly correlated with length (Kendall tau = 0.37; p < 0.0001) and weight (0.38; p < 0.0001), but was not correlated with condition or with selenium. In the whole sample and all subsamples, total length yielded the highest r2 (up to 0.42) of any variable for both mercury and selenium concentrations. Trawled fish from Long Branch in August and Sandy Hook in October were the same size (68.9 vs 70.1 cm) and had the same mercury concentrations (0.22 vs 0.21 ppm), but different selenium levels (0.11 vs 0.28 ppm). The seined fish (all from Delaware Bay) had the same mercury concentration as the trawled fish from the Atlantic coast despite being smaller. Angler-caught fish from the North (Sandy Hook) were larger but had significantly lower mercury than fish from the South (mainly Cape May). Selenium levels were high in small fish, low in medium-sized fish, and increased again in larger fish, but overall selenium was correlated with length (tau = 0.14; p = 0.006) and weight (tau = 0.27; p < 0.0001). Length-squared contributed significantly to selenium models, reflecting the non-linear relationship. Inter-year differences were explained partly by differences in sizes. The selenium:mercury molar ratio was below 1:1 in 20% of the fish and 25% of the angler-caught fish. Frequent consumption of large striped bass can result in exposure above the EPA’s reference dose, a problem particularly for fetal development. PMID:22226733

  3. Overview of investigations into mercury in ground water, soils, and septage, New Jersey coastal plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barringer, J.L.; Szabo, Z.

    2006-01-01

    Since the early 1980s, investigations by health departments of eight counties in southern New Jersey, by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and subsequently by the US Geological Survey (USGS), have shown that Hg concentrations in water tapped by about 600 domestic wells exceed the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 2 ??g/L. The wells are finished in the areally extensive unconfined Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system of New Jersey's Coastal Plain; background concentrations of Hg in water from this system are < 0.01 ??g/L. Evidence of contributions from point sources of Hg, such as landfills or commercial and industrial hazardous-waste sites, is lacking. During 1996-2003, the USGS collected water samples from 203 domestic, irrigation, observation, and production wells using ultraclean techniques; septage, leach-field effluent, soils, and aquifer sediments also were sampled. Elevated concentrations of NH4, B, Cl, NO3, and Na and presence of surfactants in domestic-well water indicate that septic-system effluent can affect water quality in unsewered residential areas, but neither septage nor effluent appears to be a major Hg source. Detections of hydrogen sulfide in ground water at a residential area indicate localized reducing conditions; undetectable SO4 concentrations in water from other residential areas indicate that reducing conditions, which could be conducive to Hg methylation, may be common locally. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mostly chlorinated solvents, also are found in ground water at the affected areas, but statistically significant associations between presence of Hg and VOCs were absent for most areas evaluated. Hg concentrations are lower in some filtered water samples than in paired unfiltered samples, likely indicating that some Hg is associated with particles or colloids. The source of colloids may be soils, which, when undisturbed, contain higher concentrations of Hg than do disturbed soils and aquifer sediments. Soil disturbance during residential development and inputs from septic systems are hypothesized to mobilize Hg from soils to ground water. ?? Springer 2006.

  4. Mercury levels in raccoons (Procyon lotor) from the Warta Mouth National Park, northwestern Poland.

    PubMed

    Lanocha, Natalia; Kalisinska, Elzbieta; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta I; Budis, Halina; Podlasinska, Joanna; Jedrzejewska, Ewa

    2014-06-01

    This is the first report on mercury (Hg) levels in the liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, and brain of raccoon in Europe. It studied Hg concentration in 24 raccoons from the Warta Mouth National Park, northwestern Poland by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The highest total Hg concentrations in the raccoon were found in the liver (maximum, 18.45 mg/kg dry weight), while the lowest in the brain (maximum, 0.49 mg/kg dw). In adult raccoons, Hg concentrations in the liver, kidney, and brain were higher than in immature individuals (p<0.001), while similar in skeletal muscle in both age groups. Our results are consistent with studies by other authors conducted in North America in areas with similar environmental conditions. PMID:24736978

  5. Estimates of ground-level mercury vapor concentrations from postulated launch-pad accidents of NASA space transportation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dumbauld, R. K.; Rafferty, J. E.; Saterlie, S. F.

    1978-01-01

    NASA has considered the use of mercury ion bombardment engines as extra-terrestrial propulsion systems where low thrust must be provided for long periods of time. However, the mercury fuel in these engines may pose a hazard if it is accidentally released to the troposphere. A description is presented of diffusion-model estimates of maximum 10-minute and 24-hour ground-level concentrations that could result from the accidental release of mercury from Titan/Centaur and Space Shuttle/Tug transportation systems. Three types of accidental release modes have been considered in the concentration calculations. For all three modes, the diffusion-model calculations were made for a variety of meteorological conditions in an effort to obtain estimates of the maximum credible concentrations under 'worst-case' conditions.

  6. Total mercury, cadmium and lead levels in main export fish of Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Jinadasa, B K K K; Edirisinghe, E M R K B; Wickramasinghe, I

    2014-01-01

    Total mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) levels were determined in the muscle of four commercialised exported fish species Thunnus albacares (yellowfin tuna), Xiphias gladius (swordfish), Makaira indica (black marlin) and Lutjanus sp (red snapper) collected from the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka, during July 2009-March 2010 and measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Results show that swordfish (n=176) contained the highest total Hg (0.900.51mg/kg) and Cd (0.090.13mg/kg) levels, whereas yellowfin tuna (n=140) contained the highest Pb levels (0.110.16mg/kg). The lowest total Hg (0.160.11mg/kg), Cd (0.010.01mg/kg) and Pb (0.040.04mg/kg) levels were found in red snapper (n=28). Black marlin (n=24) contained moderate levels of total Hg (0.490.37), Cd (0.020.02) and Pb (0.050.05). Even though there are some concerns during certain months of the year, this study demonstrates the safety of main export fish varieties in terms of total Hg, Cd and Pb. PMID:25070289

  7. Behavior of mercury in bio-systems. II. Depuration of /sup 203/Hg/sup 2 +/ in various trophic levels

    SciTech Connect

    Hamdy, M.K.; Prabhu, N.V.

    1984-01-01

    Using radiotracer techniques, the depuration rates for methylmercury at three trophic levels in an aquatic ecosystem are examined. Bacteria (decomposers), mosquito larvae (primary consumers), and fish (secondary consumers) were studied. Results indicated that depuration rates for mercury were temperature dependent - the rate of depuration increased with increase in temperature (up to 45/sup 0/C)

  8. Atmospheric mercury incorporation in soils of an area impacted by a chlor-alkali plant (Grenoble, France): contribution of canopy uptake.

    PubMed

    Guédron, Stéphane; Grangeon, Sylvain; Jouravel, Glorianne; Charlet, Laurent; Sarret, Géraldine

    2013-02-15

    This study focused on the fluxes of mercury (Hg) and mechanisms of incorporation into soils surrounding a chlor-alkali plant suspected to have emitted up to ~600 kg Hg year(-1) for decades into the atmosphere. Comparison of vertical Hg soil profiles with As, Cu, Ni and Zn (which were not emitted by the plant) support Hg enrichment in surface horizons due to atmospheric Hg inputs from the chlor-alkali plant. Based on chemical extractions and elemental correlations, Hg was found to be weakly leachable and bio-available for plants, and most probably strongly bound to organic matter. In contrast, other trace elements were probably associated with phyllosilicates, iron oxides or with primary minerals. Hg stocks in the surface horizon of a forested soil (1255 mg Hg m(-3)) were two-fold higher than in an agricultural soil (636 mg Hg m(-3)) at a similar distance to the plant. The difference was attributed to the interception of atmospheric Hg by the canopy (most likely gaseous elemental Hg and reactive gaseous Hg) and subsequent litterfall incorporation. Some differences in the ability to trap atmospheric Hg were observed between tree species. The characterization of the litter showed an increasing Hg concentration in the plant material proportional to their degradation stage. In agricultural soils, very low Hg concentrations found in corn leaves and grains suggested a limited uptake via both the foliar and root pathways. Thus, the short-term risk of Hg transfer to agricultural crops and higher levels of the trophic chain appeared limited. A possible risk which remains to be evaluated is the possible transfer of Hg-rich particles from the forest topsoil to downstream aquatic ecosystems during rain and snowmelt events. PMID:23354376

  9. Total mercury levels in hair, toenail, and urine among women free from occupational exposure and their relations to renal tubular function

    SciTech Connect

    Ohno, Tomoko; Sakamoto, Mineshi; Kurosawa, Tomoko; Dakeishi, Miwako; Iwata, Toyoto; Murata, Katsuyuki . E-mail: winestem@med.akita-u.ac.jp

    2007-02-15

    To investigate the relations among total mercury levels in hair, toenail, and urine, together with potential effects of methylmercury intake on renal tubular function, we determined their levels, and urinary N-acetyl-{beta}-d-glucosaminidase activity (NAG) and {alpha}{sub 1}-microglobulin (AMG) in 59 women free from occupational exposures, and estimated daily mercury intakes from fish and other seafood using a food frequency questionnaire. Mercury levels (mean+/-SD) in the women were 1.51+/-0.91{mu}g/g in hair, 0.59+/-0.32{mu}g/g in toenail, and 0.86+/-0.66{mu}g/g creatinine in urine; and, there were positive correlations among them (P<0.001). The daily mercury intake of 9.15+/-7.84{mu}g/day was significantly correlated with total mercury levels in hair, toenail, and urine (r=0.551, 0.537, and 0.604, P<0.001). Among the women, the NAG and AMG were positively correlated with both the daily mercury intake and mercury levels in hair, toenail, and urine (P<0.01); and, these relations were almost similar when using multiple regression analysis to adjust for possible confounders such as urinary cadmium (0.47+/-0.28{mu}g/g creatinine) and smoking status. In conclusion, mercury resulting from fish consumption can explain total mercury levels in hair, toenail, and urine to some degree (about 30%), partly through the degradation into the inorganic form, and it may confound the renal tubular effect of other nephrotoxic agents. Also, the following equation may be applicable to the population neither with dental amalgam fillings nor with occupational exposures: [hair mercury ({mu}g/g)]=2.44x[toenail mercury ({mu}g/g)].

  10. Mercury cycling in terrestrial watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shanley, James B.; Bishop, Kevin

    2012-01-01

    This chapter discusses mercury cycling in the terrestrial landscape, including inputs from the atmosphere, accumulation in soils and vegetation, outputs in streamflow and volatilization, and effects of land disturbance. Mercury mobility in the terrestrial landscape is strongly controlled by organic matter. About 90% of the atmospheric mercury input is retained in vegetation and organic matter in soils, causing a buildup of legacy mercury. Some mercury is volatilized back to the atmosphere, but most export of mercury from watersheds occurs by streamflow. Stream mercury export is episodic, in association with dissolved and particulate organic carbon, as stormflow and snowmelt flush organic-rich shallow soil horizons. The terrestrial landscape is thus a major source of mercury to downstream aquatic environments, where mercury is methylated and enters the aquatic food web. With ample organic matter and sulfur, methylmercury forms in uplands as well—in wetlands, riparian zones, and other anoxic sites. Watershed features (topography, land cover type, and soil drainage class) are often more important than atmospheric mercury deposition in controlling the amount of stream mercury and methylmercury export. While reductions in atmospheric mercury deposition may rapidly benefit lakes, the terrestrial landscape will respond only over decades, because of the large stock and slow turnover of legacy mercury. We conclude with a discussion of future scenarios and the challenge of managing terrestrial mercury.

  11. Development of novel activated carbon-based adsorbents for the control of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Radisav D. Vidic

    1999-03-01

    In addition to naturally occurring mercury sources, anthropogenic activities increase the mercury loading to the environment. Although not all produced mercury is dissipated directly into the environment, only minor portions of the total production are stocked or recycled, and the rest of the mercury and its compounds is finally released in some way into atmosphere, surface waters and soil, or ends in landfills dumps, and refuse. Since mercury and its compounds are highly toxic, their presence in the environment constitutes potential impact on all living organisms, including man. The first serious consequence of industrial mercury discharges causing neurological disorder even death occurred in Minimata, Japan in 1953. Systematic studies showed that mercury poisoning is mainly found in fish-eating populations. However, various levels of mercury are also found in food other than fish. During the past several decades, research has been conducted on the evaluation of risks due to exposure to mercury and the development of control technologies for mercury emissions. In 1990, the Clean Air Act Amendments listed mercury, along with 10 other metallic species, as a hazardous air pollutant (HAP). This has further stimulated research for mercury control during the past several years. The impact of mercury on humans, sources of mercury in the environment, current mercury control strategies and the objective of this research are discussed in this section.

  12. The role of vegetation and soil in the biogeochemical cycling of mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamenkovic, Jelena

    The major purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the role plants play in regulating atmospheric Hg exchange with vegetated landscapes at an individual plant, and at ecosystem level. Investigation of ecosystem level measurements showed that large mesocosms could not be used for directly quantifying Hg flux from low-Hg containing substrates without a reliable system blank. Designs that minimize the mesocosm (volume)/(area of interest) ratio are recommended (Chapter 2). Smaller scale plant and soil Hg fluxes quantified using dynamic flux chambers were used to determine the air-surface Hg exchange from tallgrass prairie ecosystem housed in mesocosms (Chapter 3). Plant foliage was found to be a sink for atmospheric Hg, with uptake influenced by plant functional type and age. Emissions of Hg from vegetated and litter-covered soil were lower than fluxes from adjacent bare soil and the difference between the two was seasonally dependent and greatest when canopy coverage was greatest. Thus, an index of plant canopy development (canopy greenness) was used to model Hg flux from vegetated soil. Mass balance for the ecosystem housed in mesocosms showed that the tallgrass prairie was a net sink of atmospheric Hg, annually transferring 7.4 mug Hg m-2 to soil pool. Relative importance of stomatal versus non-stomatal routes of the foliar Hg exchange was assessed (Chapter 4). The non-stomatal route was shown to be an important way of Hg uptake into plant tissue in low humidity air, although details of uptake are not understood. The final objective addressed in this dissertation was to model Hg exchange from three biomes with background Hg concentrations using Geographic Information System (GIS) framework, and evaluate their importance in the regional and global Hg exchange (Chapter 5). Without taking into account foliar Hg uptake from the air, Hg emissions from desert, grassland and deciduous forest in the continental US were roughly estimated to be 5-7 tones per year. Plant canopy assimilation of air Hg (17 tones year-1) balanced the emissions, and the modeled domain was a net sink of atmospheric Hg, annually removing 10-12 tons Hg from the atmosphere.

  13. Low-level mercury in children: associations with sleep duration and cytokines TNF-? and IL-6.

    PubMed

    Gump, Brooks B; Gabrikova, Elena; Bendinskas, Kestutis; Dumas, Amy K; Palmer, Christopher D; Parsons, Patrick J; MacKenzie, James A

    2014-10-01

    There is a sizeable literature suggesting that mercury (Hg) exposure affects cytokine levels in humans. In addition to their signaling role in the immune system, some cytokines are also integrally associated with sleep behavior. In this cross-sectional study of 9-11 year old children (N=100), we measured total blood Hg in whole blood, serum levels of tumor necrosis factor ? (TNF-?) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), and objectively measured sleep and activity using actigraphy. Increasing blood Hg was associated with significantly shorter sleep duration and lower levels of TNF-?. IL-6 was not associated with sleep or blood Hg. This study is the first to document an association between total blood Hg and sleep (albeit a small effect), and the first to consider the associations of total blood Hg with cytokines TNF-? and IL-6 in a pediatric sample. Further research using alternative designs (e.g., time-series) is necessary to determine if there is a causal pathway linking low-level Hg exposure to sleep restriction and reduced cytokines. PMID:25173056

  14. Low-Level Mercury in Children: Associations with Sleep Duration and Cytokines TNF-? and IL-6

    PubMed Central

    Gump, Brooks B.; Gabrikova, Elena; Bendinskas, Kestutis; Dumas, Amy K.; Palmer, Christopher D.; Parsons, Patrick J.; MacKenzie, James A.

    2014-01-01

    There is a sizeable literature suggesting that mercury (Hg) exposure affects cytokine levels in humans. In addition to their signaling role in the immune system, some cytokines are also integrally associated with sleep behavior. In this cross-sectional study of 911 year old children (N = 100), we measured total blood Hg in whole blood, serum levels of tumor necrosis factor ? (TNF-?) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), and objectively measured sleep and activity using actigraphy. Increasing blood Hg was associated with significantly shorter sleep duration and lower levels of TNF-?. IL-6 was not associated with sleep or blood Hg. This study is the first to document an association between total blood Hg and sleep (albeit a small effect), and the first to consider the associations of total blood Hg with cytokines TNF-? and IL-6 in a pediatric sample. Further research using alternative designs (e.g., time-series) is necessary to determine if there is a causal pathway linking low-level Hg exposure to sleep restriction and reduced cytokines. PMID:25173056

  15. Evidence of Mercurial Contamination and Denundation Downstream of New Idria Mercury Mine, San Benito County, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Letsinger, H. E.; Sharma, R. K.; Weinman, B.

    2014-12-01

    California's Central Valley water quality and soils are essential to the survival of the valley's communities and agriculture. Therefore, detection of possible contaminants within the valley streams and soils are paramount to the protection of this land and the people that depend upon it. Here we explore the impact of the contaminated stream beds near the New Idria Mercury Mine site, San Benito County, California. Previous work by Ganguli et al. (2000) has been done in this area to determine the mercury levels associated with the water that flows near the ghost town of New Idria. We performed geochemical analyses on the finer bed sediments from channels draining the area, as well as the coarser sediments taken from along the channel banks, to determine mercury transport downriver from the source. Using a novel application of tau, a mass transfer coefficient typically used in critical zone studies or soil production and weathering rates, we determine downstream weathering, accumulation, and transport of mercury. Our initial geochemical data showed higher tau values upstream as well as within the banks of the contaminated streambed and a greater accumulation of mercury near the pollution source (i.e., mine tailings, (τ ~ 103)). Tau results also show elevated mercurial levels existing downstream, with accumulations in mid- (τ ~ 102) and down-stream (τ ~ 10) reaches. Combining tau results with more traditional indices of chemical weathering (CIA) support consistent overall Hg-weathering processes with low levels of chemical weathering and higher dominance of coupled physical-anthropogenic weathering.

  16. Evaluating the spatial variation of total mercury in young-of-year yellow perch (Perca flavescens), surface water and upland soil for watershed-lake systems within the southern Boreal Shield

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gabriel, M.C.; Kolka, R.; Wickman, T.; Nater, E.; Woodruff, L.

    2009-01-01

    The primary objective of this research is to investigate relationships between mercury in upland soil, lake water and fish tissue and explore the cause for the observed spatial variation of THg in age one yellow perch (Perca flavescens) for ten lakes within the Superior National Forest. Spatial relationships between yellow perch THg tissue concentration and a total of 45 watershed and water chemistry parameters were evaluated for two separate years: 2005 and 2006. Results show agreement with other studies where watershed area, lake water pH, nutrient levels (specifically dissolved NO3--N) and dissolved iron are important factors controlling and/or predicting fish THg level. Exceeding all was the strong dependence of yellow perch THg level on soil A-horizon THg and, in particular, soil O-horizon THg concentrations (Spearman ?? = 0.81). Soil B-horizon THg concentration was significantly correlated (Pearson r = 0.75) with lake water THg concentration. Lakes surrounded by a greater percentage of shrub wetlands (peatlands) had higher fish tissue THg levels, thus it is highly possible that these wetlands are main locations for mercury methylation. Stepwise regression was used to develop empirical models for the purpose of predicting the spatial variation in yellow perch THg over the studied region. The 2005 regression model demonstrates it is possible to obtain good prediction (up to 60% variance description) of resident yellow perch THg level using upland soil O-horizon THg as the only independent variable. The 2006 model shows even greater prediction (r2 = 0.73, with an overall 10??ng/g [tissue, wet weight] margin of error), using lake water dissolved iron and watershed area as the only model independent variables. The developed regression models in this study can help with interpreting THg concentrations in low trophic level fish species for untested lakes of the greater Superior National Forest and surrounding Boreal ecosystem. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  17. Investigation of increased mercury levels in the fisheries of Lower East Fork Poplar Creek (Lefpc), Oak Ridge Reservation, Tennessee

    SciTech Connect

    Byrne-Kelly, D.; Cornish, J.; Hart, A.; Southworth, G.; Sims, L.

    2007-07-01

    The DOE Western Environmental Technology Office (WETO) is supporting remediation efforts on the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee by performing this study. MSE Technology Applications, Inc. (MSE) has performed a series of literature reviews and bench-scale testing to further evaluate the mercury problem in the Lower East Fork Poplar Creek (LEFPC) at Oak Ridge. The primary problem is that total mercury (HgT) levels in LEFPC water decrease, while HgT levels in sunfish muscle tissue increase, with distance away from the National Security Complex (NSC), despite extensive source control efforts at the facility and within downstream riparian zones. Furthermore, dissolved methylmercury (d-MeHg) levels increase downstream from the NSC, especially during warm weather and/or high flow events. MSE performed four test series that focused on conversion of aqueous phase elemental mercury (Hg deg. A) to methyl mercury (MeHg) by algal-bacterial bio-films (periphyton) present in the stream-bed of LEFPC. Small (mg/L) quantities of un-sulphured molasses and peptone were added to some of the Hinds Creek samples to stimulate initial bacterial growth. Other Hinds Creek samples either were dosed with glutaraldehyde to preclude microbial growth, or were wrapped in aluminum foil to preclude Hg photochemical redox effects. The bench-scale testing for Phase II was completed August 2006. The final reporting and the planning for Phase III testing are in progress. (authors)

  18. Projecting Fish Mercury Levels in the Province of Ontario, Canada and the Implications for Fish and Human Health.

    PubMed

    Gandhi, Nilima; Bhavsar, Satyendra P; Tang, Rex W K; Arhonditsis, George B

    2015-12-15

    Fish mercury levels appear to be increasing in Ontario, Canada, which covers a wide geographical area and contains about 250 000 lakes including a share of the North American Great Lakes. Here we project 2050 mercury levels in Ontario fish, using the recently measured levels and rates of changes observed during the last 15 years, and present potential implications for fish and human health. Percentage of northern Ontario waterbodies where sublethal effects of mercury on fish can occur may increase by 2050 from 60% to >98% for Walleye (WE), 44% to 59-70% for Northern Pike (NP), and 70% to 76-92% for Lake Trout (LT). Ontario waterbodies with unrestricted fish consumption advisories for the general population may deteriorate from 24-76% to <1-33% for WE, 40-95% to 1-93% for NP, and 39-89% to 18-86% for LT. Similarly, Ontario waterbodies with do not eat advisories for the sensitive population may increase from 32-84% to 73-100% for WE, 9-72% to 12-100% for NP, and 19-71% to 24-89% for LT. Risk to health of Ontario fish and humans consuming these fish may increase substantially over the next few decades if the increasing mercury trend continues and updated advisories based on continued monitoring are not issued/followed. PMID:26592742

  19. Singular and combined effects of blowdown, salvage logging, and wildfire on forest floor and soil mercury pools.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Carl P J; Kolka, Randall K; Fraver, Shawn

    2012-08-01

    A number of factors influence the amount of mercury (Hg) in forest floors and soils, including deposition, volatile emission, leaching, and disturbances such as fire. Currently the impact on soil Hg pools from other widespread forest disturbances such as blowdown and management practices like salvage logging are unknown. Moreover, ecological and biogeochemical responses to disturbances are generally investigated within a single-disturbance context, with little currently known about the impact of multiple disturbances occurring in rapid succession. In this study we capitalize on a combination of blowdown, salvage logging and fire events in the sub-boreal region of northern Minnesota to assess both the singular and combined effects of these disturbances on forest floor and soil total Hg concentrations and pools. Although none of the disturbance combinations affected Hg in mineral soil, we did observe significant effects on both Hg concentrations and pools in the forest floor. Blowdown increased the mean Hg pool in the forest floor by 0.76 mg Hg m(-2) (223%). Salvage logging following blowdown created conditions leading to a significantly more severe forest floor burn during wildfire, which significantly enhanced Hg emission. This sequence of combined events resulted in a mean loss of approximately 0.42 mg Hg m(-2) (68% of pool) from the forest floor, after conservatively accounting for potential losses via enhanced soil leaching and volatile emissions between the disturbance and sampling dates. Fire alone or blowdown followed by fire did not significantly affect the total Hg concentrations or pools in the forest floor. Overall, unexpected consequences for soil Hg accumulation and by extension, atmospheric Hg emission and risk to aquatic biota, may result when combined impacts are considered in addition to singular forest floor and soil disturbances. PMID:22747193

  20. Perchlorate levels in soil and waters from the Atacama Desert.

    PubMed

    Calderón, R; Palma, P; Parker, D; Molina, M; Godoy, F A; Escudey, M

    2014-02-01

    Perchlorate is an anion that originates as a contaminant in ground and surface waters. The presence of perchlorate in soil and water samples from northern Chile (Atacama Desert) was investigated by ion chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry. Results indicated that perchlorate was found in five of seven soils (cultivated and uncultivated) ranging from 290 ± 1 to 2,565 ± 2 μg/kg. The greatest concentration of perchlorate was detected in Humberstone soil (2,565 ± 2 μg/kg) associated with nitrate deposits. Perchlorate levels in Chilean soils are greater than those reported for uncultivated soils in the United States. Perchlorate was also found in superficial running water ranging from 744 ± 0.01 to 1,480 ± 0.02 μg/L. Perchlorate water concentration is 30-60 times greater than levels established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (24.5 μg/L) for drinking. PMID:24165784

  1. The removal of mercury from solid mixed waste using chemical leaching processes

    SciTech Connect

    Gates, D.D.; Chao, K.K.; Cameron, P.A.

    1995-07-01

    The focus of this research was to evaluate chemical leaching as a technique to treat soils, sediments, and glass contaminated with either elemental mercury or a combination of several mercury species. Potassium iodide/iodine solutions were investigated as chemical leaching agents for contaminated soils and sediments. Clean, synthetic soil material and surrogate storm sewer sediments contaminated with mercury were treated with KI/I{sub 2} solutions. It was observed that these leaching solutions could reduce the mercury concentration in soil and sediments by 99.8%. Evaluation of selected posttreatment sediment samples revealed that leachable mercury levels in the treated solids exceeded RCRA requirements. The results of these studies suggest that KI/I{sub 2} leaching is a treatment process that can be used to remove large quantities of mercury from contaminated soils and sediments and may be the only treatment required if treatment goals are established on Hg residual concentrations in solid matrices. Fluorescent bulbs were used to simulate mercury contaminated glass mixed waste. To achieve mercury contamination levels similar to those found in larger bulbs such as those used in DOE facilities a small amount of Hg was added to the crushed bulbs. The most effective agents for leaching mercury from the crushed fluorescent bulbs were KI/I{sub 2}, NaOCl, and NaBr + acid. Radionuclide surrogates were added to both the EPA synthetic soil material and the crushed fluorescent bulbs to determine the fate of radionuclides following chemical leaching with the leaching agents determined to be the most promising. These experiments revealed that although over 98% of the dosed mercury solubilized and was found in the leaching solution, no Cerium was measured in the posttreatment leaching solution. This finding suggest that Uranium, for which Ce was used as a surrogate, would not solubilize during leaching of mercury contaminated soil or glass.

  2. DEVELOPMENT AND TEST APPLICATION A SCREENING-LEVEL MERCURY FATE MODEL AND TOOL FOR EVALUATING WILDLIFE EXPOSURE RISK FOR SURFACE WATERS WITH MERCURY-CONTAMINATED SEDIMENTS (SERAFM)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Complex chemical cycling of mercury in aquatic ecosystems means that tracing the linkage between anthropogenic and natural loadings of mercury to watersheds and water bodies and associated concentrations in the environment are difficult to establish without the assistance of nume...

  3. Mercury pollution in fish from South China Sea: levels, species-specific accumulation, and possible sources.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jinling; Xu, Xiangrong; Yu, Shen; Cheng, Hefa; Hong, Yiguo; Feng, Xinbin

    2014-05-01

    Both total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) levels in fish collected from South China Sea (SCS) were studied to understand Hg pollution in Chinese tropical marine ecosystems. The average THg concentrations in fish species ranged from 39.6 μg/kg for rabbitfish (Siganus fuscessens) to 417 μg/kg for thornfish (Terapon jarbua), while those of MeHg varied from 13 μg/kg (rabbitfish) to 176 μg/kg (thornfish). The median values of MeHg/THg ratios in different fish species ranged from 36 to 85%. Significant inter-species differences of THg and MeHg in fish were observed due to feeding habits and fish sizes. Overall, carnivorous fish had higher levels of THg, MeHg and MeHg/THg ratios than omnivorous and herbivorous fish. High Hg levels in fish of the SCS were probably related to Hg input from atmospheric deposition and anthropogenic activities. PMID:24721134

  4. Factors Affecting Mercury and Selenium Levels-in New Jersey Flatfish: Low Risk to Human Consumers

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna; Jeitner, Christian; Donio, Mark; Shukla, Sheila; Gochfeld, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Some fish contain high levels of mercury (Hg), which could pose a risk to fish eaters themselves or their children. In making decisions about fish consumption, people must decide whether to eat fish, how much to eat, what species to eat, and what size fish to eat, as well as suitable (or unsuitable) locations, among other factors. Yet to make sound decisions, people need to know the levels of Hg in fish as a function of species, size, and location of capture. Levels of Hg and selenium (Se) were examined in three species of flatfish (fluke or summer flounder [Paralichthys dentatus], winter flounder [Pseudopleuronectes americanus], and windowpane [Scophthalmus aquosus]) from New Jersey as a function of species, fish size, season, and location. Flatfish were postulated to have low levels of Hg because they are low on the food chain and are bottom feeders, and data were generated to provide individuals with information on a species that might be safe to eat regularly. Although there were interspecific differences in Hg levels in the 3 species, total Hg levels averaged 0.18, 0.14, and 0.06 ppm (?g/g, wet weigh) in windowpane, fluke, and winter flounder, and selenium levels averaged 0.36, 0.35, and 0.25 ppm, respectively. For windowpane, 15% had Hg levels above 0.3 ppm, but no individual fish had Hg levels over 0.5 ppm. There were no significant seasonal differences in Hg levels, although Se was significantly higher in fluke in summer compared to spring. There were few geographical differences among New Jersey locations. Correlations between Hg and Se levels were low. Data, based on 464 fish samples, indicate that Hg levels are below various advisory levels and pose little risk to typical New Jersey fish consumers. A 70-kg person eating 1 meal (8 oz or 227 g) per week would not exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reference dose of 0.1 ?g/kg body weight/d of methylmercury (MeHg). However, high-end fish eaters consuming several such meals per week may exceed recommended levels. PMID:19557613

  5. Influence of socio-demographic and diet determinants on the levels of mercury in preschool children from a Mediterranean island.

    PubMed

    Garí, Mercè; Grimalt, Joan O; Torrent, Maties; Sunyer, Jordi

    2013-11-01

    Mercury levels measured in 302 hair samples of 4 year-old children from Menorca (western Mediterranean Sea) are reported. Their concentrations, arithmetic mean 1.4 μg/g, ranging between 0.040 μg/g and 10 μg/g, were higher than in other children inland populations but lower than in previously studied island cohorts, e.g. Faroe, Madeira and Seychelles. 20% of the samples were above the WHO recommended values. Higher concentrations in females than males were observed. Frequent consumption of fish and other seafood were significantly related to the observed mercury concentrations. Oily fish was the main source of this pollutant but shellfish and squid consumption were also associated with high mercury concentrations. Maternal smoking, occupational status or previous siblings were also found to significantly influence the levels of this pollutant. McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities used to assess children's motor and cognitive abilities did not show association with mercury concentrations at 4 years of age. PMID:23959058

  6. A pilot study of the effect of low level exposure to mercury on the health of dental surgeons.

    PubMed Central

    Ritchie, K A; Macdonald, E B; Hammersley, R; O'Neil, J M; McGowan, D A; Dale, I M; Wesnes, K

    1995-01-01

    OBJECTIVES--This project was conducted to examine whether the computerised analysis of psychomotor responses available from Cognitive Drug Research is appropriate for measuring an effect of low level exposure to mercury in dentists. METHODS--A computerised battery of psychomotor tests was given to two groups of dentists (older dentists and trainees) and to two age matched control groups. As well as the psychomotor tests, volunteers were required to complete a questionnaire to identify potential influences on psychomotor performance and to provide a sample for analysis of urinary mercury. RESULTS--Statistical analysis of the results showed that the older dentists had slightly higher concentrations of urinary mercury although most were around background levels and they were all within occupational limits. Five of the psychomotor tests showed no differences between the performance of the four groups. The older dentists showed significantly better performance on the simple reaction time test and significantly poorer performance in the immediate word recall and delayed word recall tests. CONCLUSIONS--Poorer performance in memory recall tests confirms previously reported studies. This together with the confirmation that this test system is a practical tool in the occupational setting suggests that a larger study of the effects of mercury exposure on dentists would be appropriate. PMID:8563844

  7. Level and extent of mercury contamination in Oregon, USA, lotic fish.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Spencer A; Herlihy, Alan T; Hughes, Robert M; Motter, Kathryn L; Robbins, James M

    2002-10-01

    We conducted a probability survey of 154 Oregon, USA, stream and river sites to assess the spatial extent of mercury (Hg) contamination in fish tissue. Samples consisted of whole-fish analyses of both small (<120 mm) and large (>120 mm) fish at each site, when both were present. Overall, Hg levels (microgram/g) in small fish (mean = 0.031; standard deviation [SD] = 0.029), large piscivores (mean = 0.284; SD = 0.175), and large invertivores (mean = 0.055; SD = 0.047) were found within fairly narrow ranges; always above detection (0.0025 microgram/g) and almost always below 0.4 microgram/g. Given the great ecoregion diversity across Oregon, the narrow range in fish tissue Hg levels suggests that atmospheric transport is an important vehicle for Hg distribution. In small fish, Hg levels were almost always low and showed little meaningful difference among fish taxa. In large fish, Hg levels were significantly related to fish length. Piscivores (pikeminnow and bass) had significantly higher Hg levels, and the slope of their Hg level/length relationship was much steeper than for invertivores. Salmonids, the most commonly occurring fish taxon in Oregon, exceeded 0.1 microgram Hg/g (deemed protective for fish-eating mammals) in an inferred 15% of stream lengths where they occurred. Pikeminnows and bass were found at fewer sites, but they exceeded 0.1 microgram Hg/g in an inferred 96 and 70%, respectively, of stream lengths where they occurred. PMID:12371492

  8. Mercury Concentrations in Plant Tissues as Affected by FGDG Application to Soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flue Gas Desulfurization Gypsum (FGDG) is produced by reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from themo-electric coal-fired power plants. The most common practice of FGDG production may trap some of the Mercury (Hg) present in the coal that normally would escape as vapor in the stack gases. Concern for t...

  9. [Distribution and species of mercury in water and sediments from Xiangjiang River section flowing through Zhuzhou, Xiangtan, Changsha].

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhen-Hua; Peng, Qing-Lin; Liu, Chun-Hua; Liu, Zhi-Hua

    2011-01-01

    Total mercury content in water in dry season is (1.881 +/- 1.854) microg x L(-1) in Xiangjiang River section flowing through Zhuzhou, Xiangtan, Changsha. Mercury in water is mainly in the form of particle mercury. The maxima of total mercury and soluble mercury content discovered in Xiawan attenuating rapidly in section of Xiawan-Xiangtan but slowly in section of Xiangtan-Lake Dongting. The average content of total mercury in sediment is 0.846 mg x kg(-1) up to the highest level in rivers of China. The highest content of total mercury discovered in Xiawan is 3.268 mg x kg(-1) which far more exceeds III-level soil pollution norms of China. In the section of Xiawan-Majiahe mercury mainly exists in sediment and average content total mercury (in sediments) is 2.218 mg x kg(-1). With coming down by a big margin total mercury content is 0.442 mg x kg(-1) in section of Yijiawan-Juzizhou. In the downstream of Changsha total mercury attenuating slowly. The mercury average content in pore-water of sediments is 0.035 microg x L(-1). There is no significant correlation between pore-water mercury and total mercury. Mercury (in sediments) is mainly in the form of residue, soluble plus exchangeable ions,and organic matter bound that will become active and pollution again. From upstream to downstream the fraction bound to organic matter decreases, but residue mercury increases to a small extent that indicates the change of mercury form from the organic matter bounded to the form of residue. In the section analysis of mercury (in sediments), Hg reaches 65 cm deep. As the locations close to sediments top, total mercury content increases until the distance to sediment top is 30-25 cm. PMID:21404673

  10. Impact of closing Canada's largest point-source of mercury emissions on local atmospheric mercury concentrations.

    PubMed

    Eckley, Chris S; Parsons, Matthew T; Mintz, Rachel; Lapalme, Monique; Mazur, Maxwell; Tordon, Robert; Elleman, Robert; Graydon, Jennifer A; Blanchard, Pierrette; St Louis, Vincent

    2013-09-17

    The Flin Flon, Manitoba copper smelter was Canada's largest point source of mercury emissions until its closure in 2010 after ~80 years of operation. The objective of this study was to understand the variables controlling the local ground-level air mercury concentrations before and after this major point source reduction. Total gaseous mercury (TGM) in air, mercury in precipitation, and other ancillary meteorological and air quality parameters were measured pre- and postsmelter closure, and mercury speciation measurements in air were collected postclosure. The results showed that TGM was significantly elevated during the time period when the smelter operated (4.1 ± 3.7 ng m(-3)), decreased only 20% during the year following its closure, and remained ~2-fold above background levels. Similar trends were observed for mercury concentrations in precipitation. Several lines of evidence indicated that while smelter stack emissions would occasionally mix down to the surface resulting in large spikes in TGM concentrations (up to 61 ng m(-3)), the largest contributor to elevated TGM concentrations before and after smelter closure was from surface-air fluxes from mercury-enriched soils and/or tailings. These findings highlight the ability of legacy mercury, deposited to local landscapes over decades from industrial activities, to significantly affect local air concentrations via emissions/re-emissions. PMID:23978035

  11. A coupled monitoring network to conduct an assessment of mercury transformation and mobilization in floodplain soils: South River, Virginia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazareva, O.; Sparks, D. L.; Landis, R.; Ptacek, C. J.; Hicks, S.; Montgomery, D.

    2013-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) was used between 1929 and 1950 by the DuPont plant in the production of rayon acetate fiber in Waynesboro, Virginia and released into the South River. The contamination of Hg was discovered in the 1970s and remained elevated in water, soil, sediments, and biota. The primary goal of this study is to investigate the processes that govern biogeochemical transformation and mobilization of Hg in floodplain soils at South River Mile 3.5, characterize geochemical gradients in soils and how they change over time, and to enable targeted sampling at Hg loading hot spots. The biogeochemical data will play a supporting role and be used to further develop our understanding of the processes controlling the leaching of Hg and our conceptual model. Our over-arching hypothesis is to test if leaching of bank soils is a significant source of dissolved or colloidal inorganic Hg. This effort requires an interdisciplinary geochemical approach and sensor technology to understand the interactions between floodplain soil, groundwater, and river. Our investigation will include 10 months' worth data from a number of state-of-the-art in-situ monitoring sensors, such as custom-designed redox probes, soil moisture, temperature, pressure, and conductivity installed at the site. Our preliminary results showed that the concentration of total Hg in soils was up to 900 mg/kg (wet weight).There is a significant redox gradient across the floodplain soil profile. Within the top 40 -70 cm, major changes in redox conditions from oxidizing (Eh ≈+600 mV) to very reducing (Eh ≈-300 mV) corresponded to heavy rainfall and overbank flooding events. High variations in stream stage may govern the surface water - groundwater exchange facilitating the downward or upward movement of the capillary fringe and saturated zone through the soil horizons, affecting soil redox potential, stability of Hg-bearing minerals and leaching of inorganic Hg into dissolved and colloidal phases. These phases may be directly transported to the South River or methylated within the saturated zone of the bank and subsequently released.

  12. Mercury in Orange Birch Bolete Leccinum versipelle and soil substratum: bioconcentration by mushroom and probable dietary intake by consumers.

    PubMed

    Krasińska, Grażyna; Falandysz, Jerzy

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the contamination, accumulation, and distribution of mercury in fruiting bodies by Leccinum versipelle fungus collected from distant sites across Poland. Mercury was determined using validated method by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy after direct sample matrix combustion. A large set of data gained using 371 fruiting bodies and 204 soil samples revealed the susceptibility of L. versipelle to Hg contamination and permitted the estimation of probable intake of Hg contaminant by consumers foraging for this species. The range of median values of Hg determined in caps of L. versipelle was from 0.20 to 2.0 mg kg(-1) dry biomass, and the median for 19 localities was 0.65 mg kg(-1) dry biomass. The values of the Hg bioconcentration factor (BCF) determined for L. versipelle correlated negatively with Hg contents. Mercury in topsoil beneath L. versipelle ranged from 0.019 to 0.041 mg kg(-1) dry matter for less-contaminated locations (BCF of 17 to 65 for caps) and from 0.076 to 0.39 mg kg(-1) dry matter for more contaminated locations (BCF of 1.9 to 22). Fruiting bodies of L. versipelle collected in some regions of Poland if consumed in amount of 300 g in one meal in a week could provide Hg doses above the provisionally tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) value of 0.004 mg Hg kg(-1) body mass, while regular consumptions for most of the locations were below the limit even with more frequent consumption. Also summarized are available data on Hg for three species of fungi of genus Leccinum foraged in Europe. PMID:26347421

  13. Mercury and selenium levels in 19 species of saltwater fish from New Jersey as a function of species, size, and season

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2014-01-01

    There are few data on risks to biota and humans from mercury levels in saltwater fish. This paper examines mercury and selenium levels in muscle of 19 species of fish caught by recreational fisherfolk off the New Jersey shore, as a function of species of fish, size, and season, and risk of mercury to consumers. Average mercury levels ranged from 0.01 ppm (wet weight) (Menhaden Brevoortia tyrannus) to 1.83 ppm (Mako Shark Isurus oxyrinchus). There were four categories of mercury levels: very high (only Mako), high (averaging 0.3–0.5 ppm, 3 species), medium (0.14–0.20 ppm, 10 species), and low (below 0.13 ppm, 5 species). Average selenium levels for the fish species ranged from 0.18 ppm to 0.58 ppm, and had lower variability than mercury (coefficient of variation=38.3 vs 69.1%), consistent with homeostatic regulation of this essential element. The correlation between mercury and selenium was significantly positive for five and negative for two species. Mercury levels showed significant positive correlations with fish size for ten species. Size was the best predictor of mercury levels. Selenium showed no consistent relationship to fish length. Over half of the fish species had some individual fish with mercury levels over 0.3 ppm, and a third had fish with levels over 0.5 ppm, levels that pose a human health risk for high end consumers. Conversely several fish species had no individuals above 0.5 ppm, and few above 0.3 ppm, suggesting that people who eat fish frequently, can reduce their risk from mercury by selecting which species (and which size) to consume. Overall, with the exception of shark, Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus), Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) and Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis), the species sampled are generally medium to low in mercury concentration. Selenium:mercury molar ratios were generally above 1:1, except for the Mako shark. PMID:21292311

  14. Measurements of Mercury Released from Solidified/Stabilized Waste Forms

    SciTech Connect

    Mattus, C.H.

    2001-04-19

    This report covers work performed during FY 1999-2000 in support of treatment demonstrations conducted for the Mercury Working Group of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Mixed Waste Focus Area. In order to comply with the requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DOE must use one of these procedures for wastes containing mercury at levels above 260 ppm: a retorting/roasting treatment or an incineration treatment (if the wastes also contain organics). The recovered radioactively contaminated mercury must then be treated by an amalgamation process prior to disposal. The DOE Mixed Waste Focus Area and Mercury Working Group are working with the EPA to determine if some alternative processes could treat these types of waste directly, thereby avoiding for DOE the costly recovery step. They sponsored a demonstration in which commercial vendors applied their technologies for the treatment of two contaminated waste soils from Brookhaven National Laboratory. Each soil was contaminated with {approx}4500 ppm mercury; however, one soil had as a major radioelement americium-241, while the other contained mostly europium-152. The project described in this report addressed the need for data on the mercury vapor released by the solidified/stabilized mixed low-level mercury wastes generated during these demonstrations as well as the comparison between the untreated and treated soils. A related work began in FY 1998, with the measurement of the mercury released by amalgamated mercury, and the results were reported in ORNL/TM-13728. Four treatments were performed on these soils. The baseline was obtained by thermal treatment performed by SepraDyne Corp., and three forms of solidification/stabilization were employed: one using sulfur polymer cement (Brookhaven National Laboratory), one using portland cement [Allied Technology Group (ATG)], and a third using proprietary additives (Nuclear Fuel Services).

  15. Landscape-level patterns of mercury contamination of fish in North Texas, USA.

    PubMed

    Drenner, Ray W; Chumchal, Matthew M; Wente, Stephen P; McGuire, Mandy; Drenner, S Matthew

    2011-09-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic metal that is found in aquatic food webs and is hazardous to humans. An emerging conceptual model predicts that the areas of the landscape that have the potential to contain food webs with elevated concentrations of Hg are those that receive high amounts of Hg and sulfate deposition and have high coverage of forests and wetlands and low coverage of agriculture. The objective of the present study was to test this conceptual model using concentrations of Hg in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) from 145 reservoirs in four ecoregions of North Texas. The highest level of Hg contamination in fish was in the South Central Plains, the ecoregion that receives the highest levels of Hg and sulfate deposition and contains extensive forest and wetland habitat and little agriculture. The present study has important implications for other areas of the United States, because the South Central Plains extend into parts of Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas, covering a total area of 152,132 km(2) of the southern United States. PMID:21647946

  16. Mercury, Cadmium, and Lead Levels in Human Placenta: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Esteban-Vasallo, María D.; Aragonés, Nuria; Pollan, Marina; López-Abente, Gonzalo

    2012-01-01

    Background: Placental tissue may furnish information on the exposure of both mother and fetus. Mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) are toxicants of interest in pregnancy because they are associated with alterations in child development. Objectives: The aim of this study was to summarize the available information regarding total Hg, Cd, and Pb levels in human placenta and possible related factors. Methods: We performed a systematic search of PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Lilacs, OSH, and Web of Science for original papers on total Hg, Cd, or Pb levels in human placenta that were published in English or Spanish (1976–2011). Data on study design, population characteristics, collection and analysis of placenta specimens, and main results were extracted using a standardized form. Results: We found a total of 79 papers (73 different studies). Hg, Cd, and Pb levels were reported in 24, 46, and 46 studies, respectively. Most studies included small convenience samples of healthy pregnant women. Studies were heterogeneous regarding populations selected, processing of specimens, and presentation of results. Hg concentrations > 50 ng/g were found in China (Shanghai), Japan, and the Faroe Islands. Cd levels ranged from 1.2 ng/g to 53 ng/g and were highest in the United States, Japan, and Eastern Europe. Pb showed the greatest variability, with levels ranging from 1.18 ng/g in China (Shanghai) to 500 ng/g in a polluted area of Poland. Conclusion: The use of the placenta as a biomarker to assess heavy metals exposure is not properly developed because of heterogeneity among the studies. International standardized protocols are needed to enhance comparability and increase the usefulness of this promising tissue in biomonitoring studies. PMID:22591711

  17. Soil properties discriminating Araucaria forests with different disturbance levels.

    PubMed

    Bertini, Simone Cristina Braga; Azevedo, Lucas Carvalho Basilio; Stromberger, Mary E; Cardoso, Elke Jurandy Bran Nogueira

    2015-04-01

    Soil biological, chemical, and physical properties can be important for monitoring soil quality under one of the most spectacular vegetation formation on Atlantic Forest Biome, the Araucaria Forest. Our aim was to identify a set of soil variables capable of discriminating between disturbed, reforested, and native Araucaria forest soils such that these variables could be used to monitor forest recovery and maintenance. Soil samples were collected at dry and rainy season under the three forest types in two state parks at São Paulo State, Brazil. Soil biological, chemical, and physical properties were evaluated to verify their potential to differentiate the forest types, and discriminant analysis was performed to identify the variables that most contribute to the differentiation. Most of physical and chemical variables were sensitive to forest disturbance level, but few biological variables were significantly different when comparing native, reforested, and disturbed forests. Despite more than 20 years following reforestation, the reforested soils were chemically and biologically distinct from native and disturbed forest soils, mainly because of the greater acidity and Al3+ content of reforested soil. Disturbed soils, in contrast, were coarser in texture and contained greater concentrations of extractable P. Although biological properties are generally highly sensitive to disturbance and amelioration efforts, the most important soil variables to discriminate forest types in both seasons included Al3+, Mg2+, P, and sand, and only one microbial attribute: the NO2- oxidizers. Therefore, these five variables were the best candidates, of the variables we employed, for monitoring Araucaria forest disturbance and recovery. PMID:25792021

  18. Total mercury, methylmercury, and selected elements in soils of the Fishing Brook watershed, Hamilton County, New York, and the McTier Creek watershed, Aiken County, South Carolina, 2008

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodruff, Laurel G.; Cannon, William F.; Knightes, Christopher D.; Chapelle, Francis H.; Bradley, Paul M.; Burns, Douglas A.; Brigham, Mark E.; Lowery, Mark A.

    2010-01-01

    Mercury is an element of on-going concern for human and aquatic health. Mercury sequestered in upland and wetland soils represents a source that may contribute to mercury contamination in sensitive ecosystems. An improved understanding of mercury cycling in stream ecosystems requires identification and quantification of mercury speciation and transport dynamics in upland and wetland soils within a watershed. This report presents data for soils collected in 2008 from two small watersheds in New York and South Carolina. In New York, 163 samples were taken from multiple depths or soil horizons at 70 separate locations near Fishing Brook, located in Hamilton County. At McTier Creek, in Aiken County, South Carolina, 81 samples from various soil horizons or soil depths were collected from 24 locations. Sample locations within each watershed were selected to characterize soil geochemistry in distinct land-cover compartments. Soils were analyzed for total mercury, selenium, total and carbonate carbon, and 42 other elements. A subset of the samples was also analyzed for methylmercury.

  19. Visually assessing the level of development and soil surface stability of cyanobacterially dominated biological soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Witwicki, D.L.; Miller, M.E.

    2008-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an integral part of dryland ecosystems and often included in long-term ecological monitoring programs. Estimating moss and lichen cover is fairly easy and non-destructive, but documenting cyanobacterial level of development (LOD) is more difficult. It requires sample collection for laboratory analysis, which causes soil surface disturbance. Assessing soil surface stability also requires surface disturbance. Here we present a visual technique to assess cyanobacterial LOD and soil surface stability. We define six development levels of cyanobacterially dominated soils based on soil surface darkness. We sampled chlorophyll a concentrations (the most common way of assessing cyanobacterial biomass), exopolysaccharide concentrations, and soil surface aggregate stability from representative areas of each LOD class. We found that, in the laboratory and field, LOD classes were effective at predicting chlorophyll a soil concentrations (R2=68-81%), exopolysaccharide concentrations (R2=71%), and soil aggregate stability (R2=77%). We took representative photos of these classes to construct a field guide. We then tested the ability of field crews to distinguish these classes and found this technique was highly repeatable among observers. We also discuss how to adjust this index for the different types of BSCs found in various dryland regions.

  20. Sequencing Bands of Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis Fingerprints for Characterization and Microscale Distribution of Soil Bacterium Populations Responding to Mercury Spiking

    PubMed Central

    Ranjard, Lionel; Brothier, Elisabeth; Nazaret, Sylvie

    2000-01-01

    Two major emerging bands (a 350-bp band and a 650-bp band) within the RISA (ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis) profile of a soil bacterial community spiked with Hg(II) were selected for further identification of the populations involved in the response of the community to the added metal. The bands were cut out from polyacrylamide gels, cloned, characterized by restriction analysis, and sequenced for phylogenetic affiliation of dominant clones. The sequences were the intergenic spacer between the rrs and rrl genes and the first 130 nucleotides of the rrl gene. Comparison of sequences derived from the 350-bp band to The GenBank database permitted us to identify the bacteria as being mostly close relatives to low G+C firmicutes (Clostridium-like genera), while the 650-bp band permitted us to identify the bacteria as being mostly close relatives to β-proteobacteria (Ralstonia-like genera). Oligonucleotide probes specific for the identified dominant bacteria were designed and hybridized with the RISA profiles derived from the control and spiked communities. These studies confirmed the contribution of these populations to the community response to the metal. Hybridization of the RISA profiles from subcommunities (bacterial pools associated with different soil microenvironments) also permitted to characterize the distribution and the dynamics of these populations at a microscale level following mercury spiking. PMID:11097911

  1. The processing of simulated high-level radioactive waste sludges containing nitrites and mercury

    SciTech Connect

    Zamecnik, J.R.; Hutson, N.D.; Ritter, J.A.; Carter, J.T.

    1991-01-01

    The reaction of formic acid with simulated alkaline sludge containing mercury and nitrite was studied in an engineering-scale facility. Quantification of offgas production was performed, with the major offgases being CO{sub 2} and NO{sub x}. A small amount of CO was also found. The NO{sub x} was scrubbed in the offgas condenser and formed very acidic solutions of nitrous and nitric acids. These acids dissolved mercury that was stripped from the sludge. However, the overall efficiency of mercury stripping was greater than expected, and the final mercury concentration in the sludge was lower than expected. The NO{sub x} in the offgas also caused large temperature rises in the offgas system due to the exothermic reaction of NO with O{sub 2}. This temperature rise had a detrimental effect on the performance of the Formic Acid Vent Condenser, such that redesign is being contemplated. 6 refs., 6 figs., 3 tabs.

  2. Landscape influence on soil carbon and nutrient levels

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Past runoff, erosion, and management practices influence nutrient levels on the landscape. These starting levels affect future nutrient transport due to runoff, erosion, and leaching events. The purpose of this study was to examine closed-depression landscape effects on surface soil organic matter, ...

  3. Feathers as a Tool to Assess Mercury Contamination in Gentoo Penguins: Variations at the Individual Level.

    PubMed

    Pedro, Sara; Xavier, José C; Tavares, Sílvia; Trathan, Phil N; Ratcliffe, Norman; Paiva, Vitor H; Medeiros, Renata; Pereira, Eduarda; Pardal, Miguel A

    2015-01-01

    Feathers have been widely used to assess mercury contamination in birds as they reflect metal concentrations accumulated between successive moult periods: they are also easy to sample and have minimum impact on the study birds. Moult is considered the major pathway for mercury excretion in seabirds. Penguins are widely believed to undergo a complete, annual moult during which they do not feed. As penguins lose all their feathers, they are expected to have a low individual-variability in feather mercury concentration as all feathers are formed simultaneously from the same somatic reserves. This assumption is central to penguin studies that use feathers to examine the annual or among-individual variation in mercury concentrations in penguins. To test this assumption, we measured the mercury concentrations in 3-5 body feathers of 52 gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) breeding at Bird Island, South Georgia (54°S 38°W). Twenty-five percent of the penguins studied showed substantial within-individual variation in the amount of mercury in their feathers (Coefficient of Variation: 34.7-96.7%). This variation may be caused by differences in moult patterns among individuals within the population leading to different interpretations in the overall population. Further investigation is now needed to fully understand individual variation in penguins' moult. PMID:26352664

  4. Feathers as a Tool to Assess Mercury Contamination in Gentoo Penguins: Variations at the Individual Level

    PubMed Central

    Pedro, Sara; Xavier, José C.; Tavares, Sílvia; Trathan, Phil N.; Ratcliffe, Norman; Paiva, Vitor H.; Medeiros, Renata; Pereira, Eduarda; Pardal, Miguel A.

    2015-01-01

    Feathers have been widely used to assess mercury contamination in birds as they reflect metal concentrations accumulated between successive moult periods: they are also easy to sample and have minimum impact on the study birds. Moult is considered the major pathway for mercury excretion in seabirds. Penguins are widely believed to undergo a complete, annual moult during which they do not feed. As penguins lose all their feathers, they are expected to have a low individual-variability in feather mercury concentration as all feathers are formed simultaneously from the same somatic reserves. This assumption is central to penguin studies that use feathers to examine the annual or among-individual variation in mercury concentrations in penguins. To test this assumption, we measured the mercury concentrations in 3–5 body feathers of 52 gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) breeding at Bird Island, South Georgia (54°S 38°W). Twenty-five percent of the penguins studied showed substantial within-individual variation in the amount of mercury in their feathers (Coefficient of Variation: 34.7–96.7%). This variation may be caused by differences in moult patterns among individuals within the population leading to different interpretations in the overall population. Further investigation is now needed to fully understand individual variation in penguins’ moult. PMID:26352664

  5. Linking cellulose fiber sediment methyl mercury levels to organic matter decay and major element composition.

    PubMed

    Regnell, Olof; Elert, Mark; Hglund, Lars Olof; Falk, Anna Helena; Svensson, Anders

    2014-11-01

    Methylation of mercury (Hg) to highly toxic methyl Hg (MeHg), a process known to occur when organic matter (OM) decomposition leads to anoxia, is considered a worldwide threat to aquatic ecosystems and human health. We measured temporal and spatial variations in sediment MeHg, total Hg (THg), and major elements in a freshwater lagoon in Sweden polluted with Hg-laden cellulose fibers. Fiber decomposition, confined to a narrow surface layer, resulted in loss of carbon (C), uptake of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and sulfur (S), and increased MeHg levels. Notably, fiber decomposition and subsequent erosion of fiber residues will cause buried contaminants to gradually come closer to the sediment-water interface. At an adjacent site where decomposed fiber accumulated, there was a gain in C and a loss of S when MeHg increased. As evidenced by correlation patterns and vertical chemical profiles, reduced S may have fueled C-fixation and Hg methylation at this site. PMID:24420263

  6. Inter- and intraclutch variation in egg mercury levels in marine bird species from the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Akearok, Jason A; Hebert, Craig E; Braune, Birgit M; Mallory, Mark L

    2010-01-15

    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic metal that has been of increasing concern in the Canadian Arctic. We measured total Hg in eggs of three marine birds (Arctic terns Sterna paradisaea, common eiders Somateria mollissima borealis, long-tailed ducks Clangula hyemalis) that breed in the Canadian Arctic, to compare Hg laying order effects from the same clutch and to examine Hg among species. Early-laid eggs of all three species had 24-48% higher Hg concentrations than late laid eggs. Arctic terns had approximately twice the concentration of Hg in their eggs as the two duck species, and Hg in eider eggs from the High Arctic was higher than Hg in eggs from the Low Arctic. Higher Hg in tern eggs was consistent with this species occupying a higher trophic position in marine food webs, as indicated by stable nitrogen isotope (delta(15)N) values. The egg-laying sequence may need to be considered for Hg biomonitoring studies where small samples sizes are planned, and early eggs may be preferable for such studies since early eggs may be more representative of potential maximum levels of Hg in the marine food webs. PMID:19962722

  7. Method for fixating sludges and soils contaminated with mercury and other heavy metals

    DOEpatents

    Broderick, Thomas E.; Roth, Rachel L.; Carlson, Allan L.

    2005-06-28

    The invention relates to a method, composition and apparatus for stabilizing mercury and other heavy metals present in a particulate material such that the metals will not leach from the particulate material. The method generally involves the application of a metal reagent, a sulfur-containing compound, and the addition of oxygen to the particulate material, either through agitation, sparging or the addition of an oxygen-containing compound.

  8. Nematode and mercury content in freshwater fish belonging to different trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Olivero-Verbel, Jesus; Caballero-Gallardo, Karina

    2013-06-01

    Fish are a protein source for many people in Colombia. However, environmental pollution of some aquatic ecosystems may pose health risks to humans. The aim of this study was to assess the levels of total mercury (T-Hg) in muscle and their relationship with nematode infections in fish from Dique Channel, a freshwater ecosystem located Northern Colombia. Eight hundred ninety fish specimens belonging to 13 different species were collected. T-Hg concentration was measured using atomic absorption spectroscopy, previous electrothermal atomization. Nematodes were identified as Contracaecum sp. Species such as Hoplias malabaricus and Sorubim cuspicaudus presented the highest values for Hg and parasite infection (0.09 ± 0.01, 0.12 ± 0.02 μg/g; prevalence 100, 100 %, respectively), whereas the lowest were detected in Prochilodus magdalenae (0.02 ± 0.002 μg/g; 0 %). Pooled data revealed a high correlation between trophic level and parasite abundance (ρ = 0.771; P = 0.002) as well as with T-Hg (ρ = 0.786; P < 0.001). The overall correlation between parasite abundance and T-Hg was moderately to low but positive (ρ = 0.217; P < 0.001). However, when individual species were considered, pair relationships between parasite abundance, morphometric parameters, and Hg concentration, varied between positive and negative values. These data suggest the presence of nematodes is determined by the trophic level of the fish species, similarly to what occurs with Hg. Moreover, the co-occurrence of these two stressors involves different types of interactions with morphometric variables that are species-specific. These observations open new doors to the understanding of the interaction between chemical pollutants and organisms. PMID:23494159

  9. IMPACT OF ELIMINATING MERCURY REMOVAL PRETREATMENT ON THE PERFORMANCE OF A HIGH LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MELTER OFFGAS SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Zamecnik, J; Alexander Choi, A

    2009-03-17

    The Defense Waste Processing Facility at the Savannah River Site processes high-level radioactive waste from the processing of nuclear materials that contains dissolved and precipitated metals and radionuclides. Vitrification of this waste into borosilicate glass for ultimate disposal at a geologic repository involves chemically modifying the waste to make it compatible with the glass melter system. Pretreatment steps include removal of excess aluminum by dissolution and washing, and processing with formic and nitric acids to: (1) adjust the reduction-oxidation (redox) potential in the glass melter to reduce radionuclide volatility and improve melt rate; (2) adjust feed rheology; and (3) reduce by steam stripping the amount of mercury that must be processed in the melter. Elimination of formic acid pretreatment has been proposed to eliminate the production of hydrogen in the pretreatment systems; alternative reductants would be used to control redox. However, elimination of formic acid would result in significantly more mercury in the melter feed; the current specification is no more than 0.45 wt%, while the maximum expected prior to pretreatment is about 2.5 wt%. An engineering study has been undertaken to estimate the effects of eliminating mercury removal on the melter offgas system performance. A homogeneous gas-phase oxidation model and an aqueous phase model were developed to study the speciation of mercury in the DWPF melter offgas system. The model was calibrated against available experimental data and then applied to DWPF conditions. The gas-phase model predicted the Hg{sub 2}{sup 2-}/Hg{sup 2+} ratio accurately, but some un-oxidized Hg{sup 0} remained. The aqueous model, with the addition of less than 1 mM Cl{sub 2} showed that this remaining Hg{sup 0} would be oxidized such that the final Hg{sub 2}{sup 2+}/Hg{sup 2+} ratios matched the experimental data. The results of applying the model to DWPF show that due to excessive shortage of chloride, only 6% of the mercury fed is expected to be chlorinated, mostly as Hg{sub 2}Cl{sub 2}, while the remaining mercury would exist either as elemental mercury (90%) or HgO (4%).

  10. Sensitivity of Soil Carbon Stock Estimates in Alaska to Soil Taxonomic Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bliss, N. B.; Maursetter, J.

    2006-12-01

    Soil carbon stock estimates will help calibrate models of soil carbon change, including fluxes of carbon between the land and the atmosphere. Warming in Alaska in the last several decades has been more rapid than global averages, and is leading to a variety of ecological changes. In particular, increased respiration of soil carbon may lead to a positive feedback for climate change by releasing carbon dioxide and methane from the land to the atmosphere. Better estimates of carbon stocks are needed to more accurately model fluxes of greenhouse gases between the land and the atmosphere. New estimates of the stocks of soil organic carbon in Alaska were made by linking spatial and field data developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. The spatial data are from the State Soil Geographic (STATSGO) database, and the field data are from the Soil Characterization Database, also known as the pedon database. Many more sampled pedons are available now than when the original STATSGO data were compiled. Analysis of the STATSGO data alone, as distributed in 1994, provides a soil carbon stock estimate for Alaska of less than 20 petagrams. The new estimates range from 35 to 50 petagrams of soil organic carbon for Alaska, depending on the choice of methods for linking the spatial and pedon data. The higher estimates are based on linking at more generalized taxonomic levels such as soil order or suborder. The lower estimates are based on linking at more detailed soil taxonomic levels, and are likely more precise for the areas that match, but have larger areas with no match between the pedon and spatial databases. The carbon estimates are summarized by soil taxonomic unit, by regions with similar geomorphic processes, by elevation, and by land cover type.

  11. [Effect of fertilization levels on soil microorganism amount and soil enzyme activities].

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei-Ling; Du, Jun-Bo; Xu, Fu-Li; Zhang, Xiao-Hu

    2013-11-01

    Field experiments were conducted in Shangluo pharmaceutical base in Shaanxi province to study the effect of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in different fertilization levels on Platycodon grandiflorum soil microorganism and activities of soil enzyme, using three-factor D-saturation optimal design with random block design. The results showed that N0P2K2, N2P2K0, N3P1K3 and N3P3K1 increased the amount of bacteria in 0-20 cm of soil compared with N0P0K0 by 144.34%, 39.25%, 37.17%, 53.58%, respectively. The amount of bacteria in 2040 cm of soil of N3P1K3 increased by 163.77%, N0P0K3 increased the amount of soil actinomycetes significantly by 192.11%, while other treatments had no significant effect. N2P0K2 and N3P1K3 increased the amounts of fungus significantly in 0-20 cm of soil compared with N0P0K0, increased by 35.27% and 92.21%, respectively. N3P0K0 increased the amounts of fungus significantly in 20-40 cm of soil by 165.35%, while other treatments had no significant effect. All treatments decrease soil catalase activity significantly in 0-20 cm of soil except for N2P0K2, and while N2P2K0 and NPK increased catalase activity significantly in 2040 cm of soil. Fertilization regime increased invertase activity significantly in 2040 cm of soil, and decreased phosphatase activity inordinately in 0-20 cm of soil, while increased phosphatase activity in 2040 cm of soil other than N1P3K3. N3P0K0, N0P0K3, N2P0K2, N2P2K0 and NPK increased soil urease activity significantly in 0-20 cm of soil compared with N0P0K0 by 18.22%, 14.87%,17.84%, 27.88%, 24.54%, respectively. Fertilization regime increased soil urease activity significantly in 2040 cm of soil other than N0P2K2. PMID:24558863

  12. Hair Mercury Levels in U.S. Children and Women of Childbearing Age: Reference Range Data from NHANES 1999–2000

    PubMed Central

    McDowell, Margaret A.; Dillon, Charles F.; Osterloh, John; Bolger, P. Michael; Pellizzari, Edo; Fernando, Reshan; de Oca, Ruben Montes; Schober, Susan E.; Sinks, Thomas; Jones, Robert L.; Mahaffey, Kathryn R.

    2004-01-01

    Exposure to methyl mercury, a risk factor for neurodevelopmental toxicity, was assessed in U.S. children 1–5 years of age (n = 838) and women 16–49 years of age (n = 1,726) using hair mercury analysis during the 1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The data are nationally representative and are based on analysis of cross-sectional data for the non-institutionalized, U.S. household population. The survey consisted of interviews conducted in participants’ homes and standardized health examinations conducted in mobile examination centers. Distributions of total hair mercury levels expressed as micrograms per gram hair Hg and the association of hair Hg levels with sociodemographic characteristics and fish consumption are reported. Geometric mean (standard error of the geometric mean) hair mercury was 0.12 μg/g (0.01 μg/g) in children, and 0.20 μg/g (0.02 μg/g) in women. Among frequent fish consumers, geometric mean hair mercury levels were 3-fold higher for women (0.38 vs. 0.11 μg/g) and 2-fold higher for children (0.16 vs. 0.08 μg/g) compared with nonconsumers. The NHANES 1999–2000 data provide population-based data on hair mercury concentrations for women and children in the United States. Hair mercury levels were associated with age and fish consumption frequency. PMID:15289161

  13. Selenium speciation analysis at trace level in soils.

    PubMed

    Tolu, Julie; Le Hécho, Isabelle; Bueno, Maïté; Thiry, Yves; Potin-Gautier, Martine

    2011-01-17

    This paper describes the development of an analytical methodology to determine speciation of selenium present in soils at trace level (μg kg(-1)). The methodology was based on parallel single extractions and high performance liquid chromatography hyphenated to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICPMS). Two complementary chromatographic separations were used to confirm Se species identity. Different extractants, selected on the basis of sequential extraction schemes, were compared. Ultrapure water, 0.1 molL(-1) phosphate buffer (KH(2)PO(4)/K(2)HPO(4)) at pH 7 and 0.1 molL(-1) sodium hydroxide extractants were finally chosen owing to their efficiency in extracting Se and compatibility with Se species stability. These extractants allow also assessing respectively water-soluble Se (i.e. the most mobile Se fraction), exchangeable Se (i.e. sorbed onto soil component surface) and Se bound to soil organic matter. This methodology gives thus information on Se mobility related to its distribution in soil with preservation of original Se speciation. Detection limits range from 3 to 29ng(Se)L(-1) and from 0.1 to 10 μg(Se)kg(-1), allowing determination of Se species concentrations in extracts from soils containing native Se at trace level. The methodology was applied to three soils with total Se concentrations between 210 and 1560 μg(Se)kg(-1). PMID:21167994

  14. Inhibition of mercury release from forest soil by high atmospheric deposition of Ca²⁺ and SO₄²⁻.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yao; Duan, Lei; Xu, Guangyi; Hao, Jiming

    2015-09-01

    As one of the most important natural mercury (Hg) sources, soil release (emission to the atmosphere or leaching to soil water) depends on various factors, some of which can be affected by atmospheric deposition. We studied the effect of flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG) addition on soil Hg release in a Masson pine (Pinus massoniana) forest in southwestern China. FGDG addition simulated atmospheric deposition of Ca(2+), SO4(2-) and Hg, which are commonly high in China. Results showed that Hg concentration in soil water decreased with the gypsum treatment, suggesting that the mobility of Hg in mineral soil was reduced. Moreover, the application of gypsum also seems to have decreased Hg emission from the soil, shown by the lower Hg contents in leaf tissues of ground vegetation in the treated plots than in the reference. Both Hg mobility in the soil and Hg emission to the atmosphere were decreased despite the additional Hg input from FGDG. The decreased DOC concentration in soil water and the elevated organic sulfur content in the soil Oe & Oa horizons were speculated to result in an enhanced capacity of surface soil to bind Hg, and thus to reduce Hg release from the soil. However, with the increasingly stringent control of particulate matter (PM) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions in China, the deposition of Ca(2+) and SO4(2-) is expected to decrease, and their ability to inhibit soil Hg release is likely to decline in the future. PMID:25935601

  15. Effects of reservoir drawdown and refill on mercury levels in fish and other biota

    SciTech Connect

    Jagoe, C.H.; Salice, C.; Yabnochko, G.; Grasman, B.T.; Youngblood, T.

    1995-12-31

    Mercury bioavailability from contaminated sediments is controlled by methylation, related to bacterial activity and degradable organic material. These variables may be affected by large changes in water level and chemistry in a reservoir. At Par Pond, a 1,200 ha impoundment on the USDOE Savannah River Site, South Carolina, potential failure of an earthen dam prompted lowering the reservoir by 3 meters over a two month period in 1991, decreasing water volume about 70%. The reservoir was refilled over a two month period in 1995. Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were sampled at quarterly intervals before, during and after the drawdown. Length and weight were determined, and liver and muscle analyzed for total Hg. Hg was also measured in top level predators (alligators), forage fish, macrophytes and invertebrates. From Fall 1991 Winter 1994--5, Hg ranged from 0.05 to 2.0 ug/g wet mass in bass muscle, and was strongly related to fish size, based on about 400 fish. Condition factor rose soon after drawdown, then declined as forage populations collapsed. Using fish size as covariate, bass muscle Hg was greater in spring 1992 than all other sampling dates. However, after 3 years of drawdown, there was no overall trend in bass Hg. Forage species differed in Hg, with highest concentrations in brook silversides (0.13 {micro}g Hg/g wet mass in 2 g fish). Alligators contained up to 20 {micro}g Hg/g dry mass in liver. Refill caused inundation of terrestrial plants on exposed sediments, and microbial action associated with the decay of these may enhance Hg methylation. Experiments with caged fish are underway to measure uptake rates.

  16. Estimation and mapping of wet and dry mercury deposition across northeastern North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, E.K.; Vanarsdale, A.; Keeler, G.J.; Chalmers, A.; Poissant, L.; Kamman, N.C.; Brulotte, R.

    2005-01-01

    Whereas many ecosystem characteristics and processes influence mercury accumulation in higher trophic-level organisms, the mercury flux from the atmosphere to a lake and its watershed is a likely factor in potential risk to biota. Atmospheric deposition clearly affects mercury accumulation in soils and lake sediments. Thus, knowledge of spatial patterns in atmospheric deposition may provide information for assessing the relative risk for ecosystems to exhibit excessive biotic mercury contamination. Atmospheric mercury concentrations in aerosol, vapor, and liquid phases from four observation networks were used to estimate regional surface concentration fields. Statistical models were developed to relate sparsely measured mercury vapor and aerosol concentrations to the more commonly measured mercury concentration in precipitation. High spatial resolution deposition velocities for different phases (precipitation, cloud droplets, aerosols, and reactive gaseous mercury (RGM)) were computed using inferential models. An empirical model was developed to estimate gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) deposition. Spatial patterns of estimated total mercury deposition were complex. Generally, deposition was higher in the southwest and lower in the northeast. Elevation, land cover, and proximity to urban areas modified the general pattern. The estimated net GEM and RGM fluxes were each greater than or equal to wet deposition in many areas. Mercury assimilation by plant foliage may provide a substantial input of methyl-mercury (MeHg) to ecosystems. ?? 2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

  17. Concentration and spatial variability of mercury and other heavy metals in surface soil samples of periurban waste mine tailing along a transect in the Almadén mining district (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bueno, P. Conde; Bellido, E.; Rubí, J. A. Martín; Ballesta, R. Jiménez

    2009-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is one of the elements with increasing environmental significance. A total of 22 samples (soils, rocks and gels) were collected along a 6 km transect around the Valdeazogues River valley in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula (Almadén, Spain). Samples were characterized by different soil types of depositional sequences associated with mining tailings, type and system tracts: 15 surface soil samples included in the transect; 3 of a Haploxerept soil profile developed on slates; 2 of quartzite and slates rocks (reference rocks in the area). Moreover, two of a gel substance (in the lower tract of the river). Soil samples were analyzed for Hg, Cu, Ni, Cr, V, Pb, Cd and As, as well as for organic matter, pH abrasion and calcium carbonate content. All samples were collected from the Almadén mining district. The level of occurrence of the elements (especially Hg) and the effect of some properties on its concentration distributions were investigated. The total mercury contents varied in the range 7,315-3.44 mg kg-1. The mean concentration of total mercury in soils and rocks was 477.03 mg kg-1dry mass. This value is very high compared to the regional background value of other areas. Only rarely is it higher than 1%: in one sample (7,315 mg kg-1) it was almost eight times in comparison with the affected zones, with a high value of 1,000 mg kg-1. Significant differences between samples were found in the total content of mercury. A large percentage of the samples registered detectable levels of V, Cr, Ni, Pb, As and Cu. Cd readings were below the detectable range for all samples tested. Cr mean concentration was 216.95 mg kg-1 (minimun concentration 86, maximun 358); V mean concentration was 119.09 mg kg-1 (minimun concentration 69, maximun 1,209); As mean concentration was 51.24 mg kg-1 (minimun 13.3 and maximun 319.4); Ni mean concentration was 45.64 mg kg-1 (minimun concentration 21.2 and maximun 125.6); Cu mean concentration was 33.25 mg kg-1 (minimun concentration 19.3 and maximun 135); Pb mean concentration was 15.19 mg kg-1 (minimun 1.12 and maximun 1013). Metal distribution generally showed spatial variability ascribed to significant anthropogenic perturbation by mining tailing type. Hg showed vertical profile characterized by surface enrichment, with concentrations in the upper layer (93.7-82.2 mg kg-1 in front of 3.4 of the rock value) exceeding, in several occasions, the background value. The results obtained denote a potential toxicity of some heavy metals in some of the studied samples. Water-soluble mercury could enter the aquatic system and accumulate in sediments. Mercury and other heavy metals contamination depended on the duration and intensity of mining activities.

  18. Goldilocks and three factors that make mercury in fish more than just mercury deposition: sulfur, land use and climate (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, K. H.; Eklöf, K.; Nilsson, M. B.; Osterwalder, S.; Åkerblom, S.

    2013-12-01

    The problem of mercury in fish is often framed as a problem created by anthropogenic emissions of mercury increasing the levels of mercury in the environment. But the methylation step that is crucial to making mercury available for bioaccumulation in the aquatic food web is influenced by more than just the concentration of mercury in the environment. Redox conditions, the quality of organic matter, and, in the case of methylation by sulfur reducing bacteria, the availability of sulfur, have all been shown to influence methylmercury concentrations in surface waters and/or mercury in the biota. This creates many possibilities for human influence on mercury bioaccumulation in freshwater fish. But it also creates possibilities for mitigating those human influences, if we can understand them. Forest harvest is one type of land use with a documented human influence on mercury levels in fish. Atmospheric deposition of sulfur is another potential influence on the mercury cycle, as is warming of the climate. Some for the possibilities for controlling the mercury problem may be overlooked by too much focus on mercury deposition and concentrations of total mercury in the landscape relative to these other factors. A range of field studies in FennoScandia published over the last 15 years were analyzed to explore the relative contribution of these different anthropogenic factors on the cycling of mercury. The studies included synoptic surveys across gradients of atmospheric deposition and land use (clear felling, site preparation and stump harvest) in relation to either fish mercury, sediment mercury, peat methylation potential or methylmercury concentrations in water. Long-term field manipulations (6-15 years) of land use (forest harvest) or combinations of sulphur deposition, nitrogen deposition and well greenhouse warming on peatland were also studied. The results suggest that the variation of total mercury in soils or water is less important than several of the other factors influenced by human activity. Two of the most important of these other factors are sulphur deposition and forest harvest. But these influences can also be neutralized by yet other factors (such as greenhouse warming in the case of sulphur deposition). This helps explain why different types of human influence have been so hard to discern from spatial and temporal patterns of mercury in fish, even though there is good reason to suggestion that forestry and atmospheric sulfur deposition are major factors in the mercury problem with regards to fish in FennoScandia and other high-latitude regions.

  19. New Jersey mercury regulations

    SciTech Connect

    Elias, D.F.; Corbin, W.E.

    1996-12-31

    Mercury, or quicksilver, and its major ore cinnabar (HgS) have been known for thousands of years. Health effects from mercury such as dementia were known as early as the late 19th century ({open_quotes}mad as a hatter{close_quotes}). In the 1960`s and 1970`s, reported levels of mercury in tuna reawakened public awareness of mercury pollution. In the 1970`s, major epidemics of acute mercury poisoning were reported in Japan and Iraq. These incidents highlighted the extreme health risks, such as kidney damage, birth defects, and death, associated with severe mercury poisoning. Fetuses and young children are particularly vulnerable since mercury poisoning can damage growing neural tissues. Recently, the perception of mercury as a dangerous pollutant has been on the rise. Advisories warning the public to avoid or reduce the consumption of freshwater fish caught in specific waterbodies due to mercury contamination have been issued in numerous states. The discovery of mercury in {open_quotes}pristine{close_quotes} lakes in the United States, Canada, and Scandinavia, remote from industry and any known mercury sources, has focused attention on atmospheric emissions of mercury as potential significant sources of mercury.

  20. Bioconcentration of mercury by mushroom Xerocomus chrysenteron from the spatially distinct locations: levels, possible intake and safety.

    PubMed

    Dryżałowska, Anna; Falandysz, Jerzy

    2014-09-01

    Concentrations of mercury were determined in specimens of Red Cracking Bolete (Xerocomus chrysenteron) (Bull.) Quél. and overlying soil (0-10cm) collected from 22 spatially distributed sites in Poland during 1996-2013 to assess the potential of this species to bioconcentrate Hg and possible intake by humans. The mean Hg concentrations ranged from 80 to 630 for caps and from 28 to 380ng/g dry matter (dm) for stipes. Decrease in the potential of this mushroom species to bioconcentrate Hg both in caps and stipes was observed when the Hg content in soil substratum increased from 15 to 75-94ng/g dm. A maximum median value for bioconcentration factor (BCF) of Hg determined for caps was 18 for soil with Hg content at 15ng/g dm and decreased to 0.97-3.8 for soils that contained Hg at 37-94ng/g dm. Caps of X. chrysenteron consumed at a volume of 300g daily in a week can yield an exposure amount of Hg at 0.0168-0.1323mg (0.00024 to 0.00189mg/kg body mass); these values are well below the provisionally tolerated weekly intake (PTWI) for inorganic Hg. PMID:24927386

  1. Sources of Mercury to East Fork Poplar Creek Downstream from the Y-12 National Security Complex: Inventories and Export Rates

    SciTech Connect

    Southworth, George R; Greeley Jr, Mark Stephen; Peterson, Mark J; Lowe, Kenneth Alan; Ketelle, Richard H; Floyd, Stephanie B

    2010-02-01

    East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, has been heavily contaminated with mercury (also referred to as Hg) since the 1950s as a result of historical activities at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Y-12 National Security Complex (formerly the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant and hereinafter referred to as Y-12). During the period from 1950 to 1963, spills and leaks of elemental mercury (Hg{sup 0}) contaminated soil, building foundations, and subsurface drainage pathways at the site, while intentional discharges of mercury-laden wastewater added 100 metric tons of mercury directly to the creek (Turner and Southworth 1999). The inventory of mercury estimated to be lost to soil and rock within the facility was 194 metric tons, with another estimated 70 metric tons deposited in floodplain soils along the 25 km length of EFPC (Turner and Southworth 1999). Remedial actions within the facility reduced mercury concentrations in EFPC water at the Y-12 boundary from > 2500 ng/L to about 600 ng/L by 1999 (Southworth et al. 2000). Further actions have reduced average total mercury concentration at that site to {approx}300 ng/L (2009 RER). Additional source control measures planned for future implementation within the facility include sediment/soil removal, storm drain relining, and restriction of rainfall infiltration within mercury-contaminated areas. Recent plans to demolish contaminated buildings within the former mercury-use areas provide an opportunity to reconstruct the storm drain system to prevent the entry of mercury-contaminated water into the flow of EFPC. Such actions have the potential to reduce mercury inputs from the industrial complex by perhaps as much as another 80%. The transformation and bioaccumulation of mercury in the EFPC ecosystem has been a perplexing subject since intensive investigation of the issue began in the mid 1980s. Although EFPC was highly contaminated with mercury (waterborne mercury exceeded background levels by 1000-fold, mercury in sediments by more than 2000-fold) in the 1980s, mercury concentrations in EFPC fish exceeded those in fish from regional reference sites by only a little more than 10-fold. This apparent low bioavailability of mercury in EFPC, coupled with a downstream pattern of mercury in fish in which mercury decreased in proportion to dilution of the upstream source, lead to the assumption that mercury in fish would respond to decreased inputs of dissolved mercury to the stream's headwaters. However, during the past two decades when mercury inputs were decreasing, mercury concentrations in fish in Lower EFPC (LEFPC) downstream of Y-12 increased while those in Upper EFPC (UEFPC) decreased. The key assumption of the ongoing cleanup efforts, and concentration goal for waterborne mercury were both called into question by the long-term monitoring data. The large inventory of mercury within the watershed downstream presents a concern that the successful treatment of sources in the headwaters may not be sufficient to reduce mercury bioaccumulation within the system to desired levels. The relative importance of headwater versus floodplain mercury sources in contributing to mercury bioaccumulation in EFPC is unknown. A mercury transport study conducted by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1984 estimated that floodplain sources contributed about 80% of the total annual mercury export from the EFPC system (ORTF 1985). Most of the floodplain inputs were associated with wet weather, high flow events, while much of the headwater flux occurred under baseflow conditions. Thus, day-to-day exposure of biota to waterborne mercury was assumed to be primarily determined by the Y-12 source. The objective of this study was to evaluate the results of recent studies and monitoring within the EFPC drainage with a focus on discerning the magnitude of floodplain mercury sources and how long these sources might continue to contaminate the system after headwater sources are eliminated or greatly reduced.

  2. Correlates between Feeding Ecology and Mercury Levels in Historical and Modern Arctic Foxes (Vulpes lagopus)

    PubMed Central

    Krone, Oliver; Stefanski, Volker; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester Rut; Hersteinsson, Páll; Schares, Gereon; Doronina, Lilia; Goltsman, Mikhail; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype (‘coastal’ or ‘inland’) for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet. PMID:23671561

  3. Correlates between feeding ecology and mercury levels in historical and modern arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Bocharova, Natalia; Treu, Gabriele; Czirják, Gábor Árpád; Krone, Oliver; Stefanski, Volker; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester Rut; Hersteinsson, Páll; Schares, Gereon; Doronina, Lilia; Goltsman, Mikhail; Greenwood, Alex D

    2013-01-01

    Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype ('coastal' or 'inland') for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet. PMID:23671561

  4. Zinc movement in sewage-sludge-treated soils as influenced by soil properties, irrigation water quality, and soil moisture level

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welch, J.E.; Lund, L.J.

    1989-01-01

    A soil column study was conducted to assess the movement of Zn in sewage-sludge-amended soils. Varables investigated were soil properties, irrigation water quality, and soil moisture level. Bulk samples of the surface layer of six soil series were packed into columns, 10.2 cm in diameter and 110 cm in length. An anaerobically digested municipal sewage sludge was incorporated into the top 20 cm of each column at a rate of 300 mg ha-1. The columns were maintained at moisture levels of saturation and unsaturation and were leached with two waters of different quality. At the termination of leaching, the columns were cut open and the soil was sectioned and analyzed. Zinc movement was evaluated by mass balance accounting and correlation and regression analysis. Zinc movement in the unsaturated columns ranged from 3 to 30 cm, with a mean of 10 cm. The difference in irrigation water quality did not have an effect on Zn movement. Most of the Zn applied to the unsaturated columns remained in the sludge-amended soil layer (96.1 to 99.6%, with a mean of 98.1%). The major portion of Zn leached from the sludge-amended soil layer accumulated in the 0- to 3-cm depth (35.7 to 100%, with a mean of 73.6%). The mean final soil pH values decreased in the order: saturated columns = sludge-amended soil layer > untreated soils > unsaturated columns. Total Zn leached from the sludge-amended soil layer was correlated negatively at P = 0.001 with final pH (r = -0.85). Depth of Zn movement was correlated negatively at P = 0.001 with final pH (r = -0.91). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that the final pH accounted for 72% of the variation in the total amounts of Zn leached from the sludge-amended soil layer of the unsaturated columns and accounted for 82% of the variation in the depth of Zn movement among the unsaturated columns. A significant correlation was not found between Zn and organic carbon in soil solutions, but a negative correlation significant at P = 0.001 was found between pH and Zn (r = -0.61).

  5. Lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic levels in eggs, feathers, and tissues of Canada geese of the New Jersey Meadowlands

    SciTech Connect

    Tsipoura, Nellie; Burger, Joanna; Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854 ; Newhouse, Michael; Jeitner, Christian; Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854 ; Gochfeld, Michael; Environmental and Occupational Medicine. Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 170 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854 ; Mizrahi, David

    2011-08-15

    The New Jersey Meadowlands are located within the heavily urbanized New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary and have been subject to contamination due to effluent and runoff from industry, traffic, and homes along the Hackensack River and nearby waterways. These extensive wetlands, though heavily impacted by development and pollution, support a wide array of bird and other wildlife species. Persistent contaminants may pose threats to birds in these habitats, affecting reproduction, egg hatchability, nestling survival, and neurobehavioral development. Metals of concern in the Meadowlands include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury. These metals were analyzed in eggs, feathers, muscle, and liver of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) breeding in four wetland sites. We sampled geese collected during control culling (n=26) and collected eggs from goose nests (n=34). Levels of arsenic were below the minimum quantification level (MQL) in most samples, and cadmium and mercury were low in all tissues sampled. Chromium levels were high in feather samples. Mercury levels in eggs of Canada geese, an almost exclusively herbivorous species, were lower (mean {+-}SE 4.29{+-}0.30 {mu}g/g wet weight) than in eggs of omnivorous mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and insectivorous red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and marsh wrens (Cistothorus palustris) from the Meadowlands, consistent with trophic level differences. However, lead levels were higher in the goose eggs (161{+-}36.7 ng/g) than in the other species. Geese also had higher levels of lead in feathers (1910{+-}386 ng/g) than those seen in Meadowlands passerines. By contrast, muscle and liver lead levels were within the range reported in waterfowl elsewhere, possibly a reflection of metal sequestration in eggs and feathers. Elevated lead levels may be the result of sediment ingestion or ingestion of lead shot and sinkers. Finally, lead levels in goose liver (249{+-}44.7 ng/g) and eggs (161{+-}36.7 ng/g) may pose a risk if consumed frequently by humans. Mill Creek, the site with the most documented prior contamination, had significantly elevated cadmium, chromium, mercury, and lead in goose tissues. - Highlights: {yields} The NJ Meadowlands include extensive wetlands in the urban NYC metropolitan area. {yields} We analyzed eggs, feathers, muscle, and liver of Canada geese at 4 Meadowlands sites. {yields} As, Cd, and Hg were low in all tissues sampled, while Cr was high in feathers. {yields} Pb was higher in goose eggs and feathers than in other Meadowlands bird species. {yields} Pb in muscle and liver was lower and within the range seen in waterfowl elsewhere.

  6. Lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic levels in eggs, feathers, and tissues of Canada geese of the New Jersey Meadowlands.

    PubMed

    Tsipoura, Nellie; Burger, Joanna; Newhouse, Michael; Jeitner, Christian; Gochfeld, Michael; Mizrahi, David

    2011-08-01

    The New Jersey Meadowlands are located within the heavily urbanized New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary and have been subject to contamination due to effluent and runoff from industry, traffic, and homes along the Hackensack River and nearby waterways. These extensive wetlands, though heavily impacted by development and pollution, support a wide array of bird and other wildlife species. Persistent contaminants may pose threats to birds in these habitats, affecting reproduction, egg hatchability, nestling survival, and neurobehavioral development. Metals of concern in the Meadowlands include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury. These metals were analyzed in eggs, feathers, muscle, and liver of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) breeding in four wetland sites. We sampled geese collected during control culling (n=26) and collected eggs from goose nests (n=34). Levels of arsenic were below the minimum quantification level (MQL) in most samples, and cadmium and mercury were low in all tissues sampled. Chromium levels were high in feather samples. Mercury levels in eggs of Canada geese, an almost exclusively herbivorous species, were lower (mean ±SE 4.29±0.30μg/g wet weight) than in eggs of omnivorous mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and insectivorous red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and marsh wrens (Cistothorus palustris) from the Meadowlands, consistent with trophic level differences. However, lead levels were higher in the goose eggs (161±36.7ng/g) than in the other species. Geese also had higher levels of lead in feathers (1910±386ng/g) than those seen in Meadowlands passerines. By contrast, muscle and liver lead levels were within the range reported in waterfowl elsewhere, possibly a reflection of metal sequestration in eggs and feathers. Elevated lead levels may be the result of sediment ingestion or ingestion of lead shot and sinkers. Finally, lead levels in goose liver (249±44.7ng/g) and eggs (161±36.7ng/g) may pose a risk if consumed frequently by humans. Mill Creek, the site with the most documented prior contamination, had significantly elevated cadmium, chromium, mercury, and lead in goose tissues. PMID:21679937

  7. Disparities in Children’s Blood Lead and Mercury Levels According to Community and Individual Socioeconomic Positions

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Sinye; Ha, Mina; Hwang, Seung-Sik; Son, Mia; Kwon, Ho-Jang

    2015-01-01

    We aimed to examine the associations between blood lead and mercury levels and individual and community level socioeconomic positions (SEPs) in school-aged children. A longitudinal cohort study was performed in 33 elementary schools in 10 cities in Korea. Among a total of 6094 children included at baseline, the final study population, 2281 children followed-up biennially, were analyzed. The geometric mean (GM) levels of blood lead were 1.73 μg/dL (range 0.02–9.26) and 1.56 μg/dL (range 0.02–6.83) for male and female children, respectively. The blood lead levels were significantly higher in males, children living in rural areas, and those with lower individual SEP. The GM levels of blood mercury were 2.07 μg/L (range 0.09–12.67) and 2.06 μg/L (range 0.03–11.74) for males and females, respectively. Increased blood mercury levels were significantly associated with urban areas, higher individual SEP, and more deprived communities. The risk of high blood lead level was significantly higher for the lower individual SEP (odds ratio (OR) 2.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.36–3.50 in the lowest educational attainment of the father), with a significant dose-response relationship observed after adjusting for the community SEP. The association between high blood lead levels and lower individual SEP was much stronger in the more deprived communities (OR 2.88, 95% CI 1.27–6.53) than in the less deprived communities (OR 1.40, 95% CI 0.76–2.59), and showed a significant decreasing trend during the follow-up only in the less deprived communities. The risk of high blood mercury levels was higher in higher individual SEP (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.40–1.03 in the lowest educational attainment of the father), with a significant dose-response relationship noted. Significant decreasing trends were observed during the follow-up both in the less and more deprived communities. From a public health point-of-view, community level intervention with different approaches for different metals is warranted to protect children from environmental exposure. PMID:26035667

  8. Reactivity and mobility of new and old mercury deposition in a boreal forest ecosystem during the first year of the METAALICUS study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hintelmann, H.; Harris, R.; Heyes, A.; Hurley, J.P.; Kelly, C.A.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.; Lindberg, S.; Rudd, J.W.M.; Scott, K.J.; St. Louis, V.L.

    2002-01-01

    The METAALICUS (Mercury Experiment To Assess Atmospheric Loading In Canada and the US) project is a whole ecosystem experiment designed to study the activity, mobility, and availability of atmospherically deposited mercury. To investigate the dynamics of mercury newly deposited onto a terrestrial ecosystem, an enriched stable isotope of mercury (202Hg) was sprayed onto a Boreal forest subcatchment in an experiment that allowed us, for the first time, to monitor the fate of "new" mercury in deposition and to distinguish it from native mercury historically stored in the ecosystem. Newly deposited mercury was more reactive than the native mercury with respect to volatilization and methylation pathways. Mobility through runoff was very low and strongly decreased with time because of a rapid equilibration with the large native pool of "bound" mercury. Over one season, only ???8% of the added 202Hg volatilized to the atmosphere and less than 1% appeared in runoff. Within a few months, approximately 66% of the applied 202Hg remained associated with above ground vegetation, with the rest being incorporated into soils. The fraction of 202Hg bound to vegetation was much higher than seen for native Hg (<5% vegetation), suggesting that atmospherically derived mercury enters the soil pool with a time delay, after plants senesce and decompose. The initial mobility of mercury received through small rain events or dry deposition decreased markedly in a relatively short time period, suggesting that mercury levels in terrestrial runoff may respond slowly to changes in mercury deposition rates.

  9. Mercury accumulation in bats near hydroelectric reservoirs in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Syaripuddin, Khairunnisa; Kumar, Anjali; Sing, Kong-Wah; Halim, Muhammad-Rasul Abdullah; Nursyereen, Muhammad-Nasir; Wilson, John-James

    2014-09-01

    In large man-made reservoirs such as those resulting from hydroelectric dam construction, bacteria transform the relatively harmless inorganic mercury naturally present in soil and the submerged plant matter into toxic methylmercury. Methylmercury then enters food webs and can accumulate in organisms at higher trophic levels. Bats feeding on insects emerging from aquatic systems can show accumulation of mercury consumed through their insect prey. In this study, we investigated whether the concentration of mercury in the fur of insectivorous bat species was significantly higher than that in the fur of frugivorous bat species, sampled near hydroelectric reservoirs in Peninsular Malaysia. Bats were sampled at Temenggor Lake and Kenyir Lake and fur samples from the most abundant genera of the two feeding guilds-insectivorous (Hipposideros and Rhinolophus) and frugivorous (Cynopterus and Megaerops) were collected for mercury analysis. We found significantly higher concentrations of total mercury in the fur of insectivorous bats. Mercury concentrations also differed significantly between insectivorous bats sampled at the two sites, with bats from Kenyir Lake, the younger reservoir, showing higher mercury concentrations, and between the insectivorous genera, with Hipposideros bats showing higher mercury concentrations. Ten bats (H. cf. larvatus) sampled at Kenyir Lake had mercury concentrations approaching or exceeding 10 mg/kg, which is the threshold at which detrimental effects occur in humans, bats and mice. PMID:24840106

  10. Riverine source of Arctic Ocean mercury inferred from atmospheric observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Jenny A.; Jacob, Daniel J.; Soerensen, Anne L.; Amos, Helen M.; Steffen, Alexandra; Sunderland, Elsie M.

    2012-07-01

    Methylmercury is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in aquatic food webs. Human activities, including industry and mining, have increased inorganic mercury inputs to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Methylation of this mercury generates methylmercury, and is thus a public health concern. Marine methylmercury is a particular concern in the Arctic, where indigenous peoples rely heavily on marine-based diets. In the summer, atmospheric inorganic mercury concentrations peak in the Arctic, whereas they reach a minimum in the northern mid-latitudes. Here, we use a global three-dimensional ocean-atmosphere model to examine the cause of this Arctic summertime maximum. According to our simulations, circumpolar rivers deliver large quantities of mercury to the Arctic Ocean during summer; the subsequent evasion of this riverine mercury to the atmosphere can explain the summertime peak in atmospheric mercury levels. We infer that rivers are the dominant source of mercury to the Arctic Ocean on an annual basis. Our simulations suggest that Arctic Ocean mercury concentrations could be highly sensitive to climate-induced changes in river flow, and to increases in the mobility of mercury in soils, for example as a result of permafrost thaw and forest fires.

  11. Total Blood Mercury Levels and Depression among Adults in the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005–2008

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Tsz Hin H.; Mossey, Jana M.; Lee, Brian K.

    2013-01-01

    Background Mercury is a neurotoxicant linked with psychiatric symptoms at high levels of exposure. However, it is unclear whether an association is present at the low exposure levels in the US adult population. Materials and Methods Cross-sectional associations of total blood mercury and depression were assessed in 6,911 adults age ≥20 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2005–2008. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 was used to assess depression (high likelihood of a depressive spectrum disorder diagnosis; score 5–27). Results Unadjusted survey weighted logistic regression suggested that higher total blood mercury was associated with lower odds of depression (Odds Ratio  = 0.49, 95% Confidence Interval: 0.36–0.65, comparing the highest and lowest mercury quintiles). This association largely disappeared after adjustment for sociodemographic variables (income-poverty ratio, education, marital status). However, in age-stratified analyses, this inverse relationship remained in older adults (age ≥40) even after adjustment for sociodemographic variables. Simulation analyses adjusting for expected confounding effects of fish intake suggested that the inverse relationship among older adults may be plausibly attributed to residual confounding (Odds Ratio  = 0.75, 95% Confidence Interval: 0.50–1.12, comparing the highest and lowest mercury quintiles). Conclusions Higher total blood mercury was not associated with increased odds of depression. The lower odds of depression in older adults with higher total blood mercury may be due to residual confounding. PMID:24244482

  12. Measurements of Mercury Released From Solidified/Stabilized Waste Forms-FY2002

    SciTech Connect

    Mattus, C.H.

    2003-02-17

    This report covers work performed during FY 2002 in support of treatment demonstrations conducted for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Mixed Waste Focus Area (MWFA) Mercury Working Group. To comply with the requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DOE must use one of the following procedures for mixed low-level radioactive wastes containing mercury at levels above 260 ppm: a retorting/roasting treatment or (if the wastes also contain organics) an incineration treatment. The recovered radioactively contaminated mercury must then be treated by an amalgamation process prior to disposal. The DOE MWFA Mercury Working Group is working with EPA to determine whether some alternative processes could be used to treat these types of waste directly, thereby avoiding a costly recovery step for DOE. In previous years, demonstrations were performed in which commercial vendors applied their technologies for the treatment of radiologically contaminated elemental mercury as well as radiologically contaminated and mercury-contaminated waste soils from Brookhaven National Laboratory. The test results for mercury release in the headspace were reported in two reports, ''Measurements of Mercury Released from Amalgams and Sulfide Compounds'' (ORNL/TM-13728) and ''Measurements of Mercury Released from Solidified/Stabilized Waste Forms'' (ORNL/TM-2001/17). The current work did not use a real waste; a surrogate sludge had been prepared and used in the testing in an effort to understand the consequences of mercury speciation on mercury release.

  13. Fungal population levels in soils of commercial swine waste application sites in Mississippi and relationships to soil nutrient concentrations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Little is known of how commercial applications of animal wastes to agricultural soils affect soil microbial populations. This study was undertaken to determine whether commercial applications of liquid swine waste to pasture soils in Mississippi, USA, influence fungal population levels in soil, and...

  14. REVIEW OF PUBLISHED LITERATURE FOR MEASUREMENT OF MERCURY AND METHYL MERCURY LEVELS FOR FISH AND FISH-EATING BIRDS IN CARSON RIVER

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project involves conducting a literature search with the goal of identifying "robust" methods for measuring mercury concentrations in biological tissues. Mercury is a significant contaminant of concern in Region 9, due in large part to the extensive mining activities of the...

  15. Influences of thermal decontamination on mercury removal, soil properties, and repartitioning of coexisting heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yu-Tuan; Hseu, Zeng-Yei; Hsi, Hsing-Cheng

    2011-08-01

    Thermal treatment is a useful tool to remove Hg from contaminated soils. However, thermal treatment may greatly alter the soil properties and cause the coexisting contaminants, especially trace metals, to transform and repartition. The metal repartitioning may increase the difficulty in the subsequent process of a treatment train approach. In this study, three Hg-contaminated soils were thermally treated to evaluate the effects of treating temperature and duration on Hg removal. Thermogravimetric analysis was performed to project the suitable heating parameters for subsequent bench-scale fixed-bed operation. Results showed that thermal decontamination at temperature>400°C successfully lowered the Hg content to<20 mg kg(-1). The organic carbon content decreased by 0.06-0.11% and the change in soil particle size was less significant, even when the soils were thermally treated to 550°C. Soil clay minerals such as kaolinite were shown to be decomposed. Aggregates were observed on the surface of soil particles after the treatment. The heavy metals tended to transform into acid-extractable, organic-matter bound, and residual forms from the Fe/Mn oxide bound form. These results suggest that thermal treatment may markedly influence the effectiveness of subsequent decontamination methods, such as acid washing or solvent extraction. PMID:21624629

  16. Phytoremediation of Ionic and Methyl Mercury P

    SciTech Connect

    Meagher, Richard B.

    1999-06-01

    Our long-term goal is to enable highly productive plant species to extract, resist, detoxify, and/or sequester toxic heavy metal pollutants as an environmentally friendly alternative to physical remediation methods. We have focused this phytoremediation research on soil and water-borne ionic and methylmercury. Mercury pollution is a serious world-wide problem affecting the health of human and wild-life populations. Methylmercury, produced by native bacteria at mercury-contaminated wetland sites, is a particularly serious problem due to its extreme toxicity and efficient biomagnification in the food chain. We engineered several plant species (e.g., Arabidopsis, tobacco, canola, yellow poplar, rice) to express the bacterial genes, merB and/or merA, under the control of plant regulatory sequences. These transgenic plants acquired remarkable properties for mercury remediation. (1) Transgenic plants expressing merB (organomercury lyase) extract methylmercury from their growth substrate and degrade it to less toxic ionic mercury. They grow on concentrations of methylmercury that kill normal plants and accumulate low levels of ionic mercury. (2) Transgenic plants expressing merA (mercuric ion reductase) extract and electrochemically reduce toxic, reactive ionic mercury to much less toxic and volatile metallic mercury. This metal transformation is driven by the powerful photosynthetic reducing capacity of higher plants that generates excess NADPH using solar energy. MerA plants grow vigorously on levels of ionic mercury that kill control plants. Plants expressing both merB and merA degrade high levels of methylmercury and volatilize metallic mercury. These properties were shown to be genetically stable for several generations in the two plant species examined. Our work demonstrates that native trees, shrubs, and grasses can be engineered to remediate the most abundant toxic mercury pollutants. Building on these data our working hypothesis for the next grant period is that transgenic plants expressing the bacterial merB and merA genes will (a) remove mercury from polluted soil and water and (b) prevent methylmercury from entering the food chain. Our specific aims center on understanding the mechanisms by which plants process the various forms of mercury and volatilize or transpire mercury vapor. This information will allow us to improve the design of our current phytoremediation strategies. As an alternative to volatilizing mercury, we are using several new genes to construct plants that will hyperaccumulate mercury in above-ground tissues for later harvest. The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory have sites with significant levels of mercury contamination that could be cleaned by applying the scientific discoveries and new phytoremediation technologies described in this proposal. The knowledge and expertise gained by engineering plants to hyperaccumulate mercury can be applied to the remediation of other heavy metals pollutants (e.g., arsenic, cesium, cadmium, chromium, lead, strontium, technetium, uranium) found at several DOE facilities.

  17. Studies in oral galvanism: mercury and copper levels in urine, blood and saliva in submerged electrically cutting divers.

    PubMed

    Ortendahl, T W; Holland, R I; Röckert, H O

    1989-11-01

    The aim of the study was to analyse the concentration levels of mercury and copper in urine, blood/blood plasma and saliva in relation to intra-oral electrical activity. Five Swedish Navy divers took part in the study in order to determine whether working submerged with electrical cutting equipment produced changes in the presence and level of oral galvanism and whether this posed a serious occupational health risk. The investigation concluded that the risk of seriously increased intra-oral electrical activity during welding or cutting activities was small. Development of the study is suggested, with long-term sampling of urine and blood samples of divers supported. PMID:2689614

  18. LEVEL AND EXTENT OF MERCURY CONTAMINATION IN OREGON, USA, LOTIC FISH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Because of