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Sample records for soil mercury levels

  1. Soil mercury levels in the area surrounding the Cerro Prieto geothermal complex, MEXICO.

    PubMed

    Pastrana-Corral, M A; Wakida, F T; García-Flores, E; Rodriguez-Mendivil, D D; Quiñonez-Plaza, A; Piñon-Colin, T D J

    2016-08-01

    Even though geothermal energy is a renewable energy source that is seen as cost-effective and environmentally friendly, emissions from geothermal plants can impact air, soil, and water in the vicinity of geothermal power plants. The Cerro Prieto geothermal complex is located 30 km southeast of the city of Mexicali in the Mexican state of Baja California. Its installed electricity generation capacity is 720 MW, being the largest geothermal complex in Mexico. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the emissions generated by the geothermal complex have increased the soil mercury concentration in the surrounding areas. Fifty-four surface soil samples were collected from the perimeter up to an approximate distance of 7660 m from the complex. Additionally, four soil depth profiles were performed in the vicinity of the complex. Mercury concentration in 69 % of the samples was higher than the mercury concentration found at the baseline sites. The mercury concentration ranged from 0.01 to 0.26 mg/kg. Our results show that the activities of the geothermal complex have led to an accumulation of mercury in the soil of the surrounding area. More studies are needed to determine the risk to human health and the ecosystems in the study area.

  2. [Effect of Soil and Dominant Plants on Mercury Speciation in Soil and Water System of Water-Level-Fluctuation Zone in the Three Gorges Area].

    PubMed

    Liang, Li; Wang, Yong-min; Zhang, Cheng; Yu, Ya-wei; An, Si-wei; Wang, Ding-yong

    2016-03-15

    Plentiful plants in the water-level-fluctuation-zone (WLFZ) of Three Gorges Reservoir ( TGR) grow vigorously during the non-flooded period, especially the herbaceous ones. Then, the WLFZ is submerged gradually from the end of September. Soil-plant system that under a long time flooded condition may change the form of mercury, thus resulting in a secondary pollution of the water environment in TGR. To understand the characteristics of mercury species in soils and water after submerged, four kinds of typical plants from TGR were tested in the lab under submerged condition. The results indicated that the plants could promote the formation of soil methylmercury ( MeHg) , and had a significant effect on the different forms of mercury concentrations of the overlying water during inundation. Cynodon dactylon as the dominant species in WLFZ, because of its higher content of total mercury ( THg ) and methylmercury, the effect on MeHg and the other forms of mercury in the soil and the overlying water system was obvious. After 90 days, the soil MeHg level was the highest in Cynodon dactylon & soil & water treatment (B1) [(1,135.86 ± 113.84) ng · kg⁻¹]. It was approximately 2 times less than that of the soil MeHg in soil & water treatment (CK2) . The variation characteristics of total mercury (THg), reactive mercury (RHg) , dissolved mercury (DHg), total methylmercury (TMeHg) and dissolved methylmercury (DMeHg) of overlying water all showed a parabolic shape with a peak skewed to the left, and the peak was reached on the 30th day. Meanwhile, TMeHg, THg and DHg in B1 treatment were the highest, which were (2.88 ± 0.06), (40.29 · 2.42) and (35.51 · 3.77) ng · L⁻¹ respectively, and TMeHg and THg in the overlying water were mainly in the form of dissolved state. Therefore, it could be inferred that the water consumption of the Three Gorges reservoir would increase the mercury pollution load of the reservoir.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. [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.

  7. Wildfires threaten mercury stocks in northern soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Turetsky, M.R.; Harden, J.W.; Friedli, H.R.; Flannigan, M.; Payne, N.; Crock, J.; Radke, L.

    2006-01-01

    With climate change rapidly affecting northern forests and wetlands, mercury reserves once protected in cold, wet soils are being exposed to burning, likely triggering large releases of mercury to the atmosphere. We quantify organic soil mercury stocks and burn areas across western, boreal Canada for use in fire emission models that explore controls of burn area, consumption severity, and fuel loading on atmospheric mercury emissions. Though renowned as hotspots for the accumulation of mercury and its transformation to the toxic methylmercury, boreal wetlands might soon transition to hotspots for atmospheric mercury emissions. Estimates of circumboreal mercury emissions from this study are 15-fold greater than estimates that do not account for mercury stored in peat soils. Ongoing and projected increases in boreal wildfire activity due to climate change will increase atmospheric mercury emissions, contributing to the anthropogenic alteration of the global mercury cycle and exacerbating mercury toxicities for northern food chains. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  8. 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.

  9. Determination of mercury in soil samples

    SciTech Connect

    Ayala, N.L.; Barber, T.E.; Turner, R.R.; Foust, D.F.

    1997-12-31

    A field screening method for the determination of mercury in soil samples using an iodine-based extractant was developed. The mercury compounds present in the soil samples were converted to tetraiodo mercurate (HgI{sub 4}{sup -2}), and then reduce to elemental mercury using reducing sugars. The mercury vapor present in the headspace of the sample was determined using a field portable mercury analyzer (Arizona Instruments Inc., Phoenix, Arizona). The soil samples were also analyzed using EPA method 7471, and a field method developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The results obtained using the iodine based extractant and sugar reduction compared very favorably with the other two methods employed.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Leaching of mercury from seal carcasses into Antarctic soils.

    PubMed

    Zvěřina, Ondřej; Coufalík, Pavel; Brat, Kristián; Červenka, Rostislav; Kuta, Jan; Mikeš, Ondřej; Komárek, Josef

    2017-01-01

    More than 400 seal mummies and skeletons are now mapped in the northern part of James Ross Island, Antarctica. Decomposing carcasses represent a rare source of both organic matter and associated elements for the soil. Owing to their high trophic position, seals are known to carry a significant mercury body burden. This work focuses on the extent of the mercury input from seal carcasses and shows that such carcasses represent locally significant sources of mercury and methylmercury for the environment. Mercury contents in soil samples from the surrounding areas were determined using a single-purpose AAS mercury analyzer. For the determination of methylmercury, an ultra-sensitive isotopic dilution HPLC-ICP-MS technique was used. In the soils lying directly under seal carcasses, mercury contents were higher, with levels reaching almost 40 μg/kg dry weight of which methylmercury formed up to 2.8 % of the total. The spatial distribution implies rather slow vertical transport to the lower soil layers instead of a horizontal spread. For comparison, the background level of mercury in soils of the investigated area was found to be 8 μg/kg dry weight, with methylmercury accounting for less than 0.1 %. Apart from the direct mercury input, an enhanced level of nutrients in the vicinity of carcasses enables the growth of lichens and mosses with accumulative ability with respect to metals. The enhanced capacity of soil to retain mercury is also anticipated due to the high content of total organic carbon (from 1.6 to 7.5 %). According to the results, seal remains represent a clear source of mercury in the observed area.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. ALTERNATIVE FIELD METHODS TO TREAT MERCURY IN SOIL

    SciTech Connect

    Ernie F. Stine

    2002-08-14

    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.

  18. Mercury in the nation's streams - Levels, trends, and implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wentz, Dennis A.; Brigham, Mark E.; Chasar, Lia C.; Lutz, Michelle A.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in fish to levels of concern for human health and the health of fish-eating wildlife. Mercury contamination of fish is the primary reason for issuing fish consumption advisories, which exist in every State in the Nation. Much of the mercury originates from combustion of coal and can travel long distances in the atmosphere before being deposited. This can result in mercury-contaminated fish in areas with no obvious source of mercury pollution.Three key factors determine the level of mercury contamination in fish - the amount of inorganic mercury available to an ecosystem, the conversion of inorganic mercury to methylmercury, and the bioaccumulation of methylmercury through the food web. Inorganic mercury originates from both natural sources (such as volcanoes, geologic deposits of mercury, geothermal springs, and volatilization from the ocean) and anthropogenic sources (such as coal combustion, mining, and use of mercury in products and industrial processes). Humans have doubled the amount of inorganic mercury in the global atmosphere since pre-industrial times, with substantially greater increases occurring at locations closer to major urban areas.In aquatic ecosystems, some inorganic mercury is converted to methylmercury, the form that ultimately accumulates in fish. The rate of mercury methylation, thus the amount of methylmercury produced, varies greatly in time and space, and depends on numerous environmental factors, including temperature and the amounts of oxygen, organic matter, and sulfate that are present.Methylmercury enters aquatic food webs when it is taken up from water by algae and other microorganisms. Methylmercury concentrations increase with successively higher trophic levels in the food web—a process known as bioaccumulation. In general, fish at the top of the food web consume other fish and tend to accumulate the highest methylmercury concentrations.This report summarizes selected stream studies

  19. Field controlled experiments on the physiological responses of maize (Zea mays L.) leaves to low-level air and soil mercury exposures.

    PubMed

    Niu, Zhenchuan; Zhang, Xiaoshan; Wang, Sen; Zeng, Ming; Wang, Zhangwei; Zhang, Yi; Ci, Zhijia

    2014-01-01

    Thousands of tons of mercury (Hg) are released from anthropogenic and natural sources to the atmosphere in a gaseous elemental form per year, yet little is known regarding the influence of airborne Hg on the physiological activities of plant leaves. In the present study, the effects of low-level air and soil Hg exposures on the gas exchange parameters of maize (Zea mays L.) leaves and their accumulation of Hg, proline, and malondialdehyde (MDA) were examined via field open-top chamber and Hg-enriched soil experiments, respectively. Low-level air Hg exposures (<50 ng m(-3)) had little effects on the gas exchange parameters of maize leaves during most of the daytime (p > 0.05). However, both the net photosynthesis rate and carboxylation efficiency of maize leaves exposed to 50 ng m(-3) air Hg were significantly lower than those exposed to 2 ng m(-3) air Hg in late morning (p < 0.05). Additionally, the Hg, proline, and MDA concentrations in maize leaves exposed to 20 and 50 ng m(-3) air Hg were significantly higher than those exposed to 2 ng m(-3) air Hg (p < 0.05). These results indicated that the increase in airborne Hg potentially damaged functional photosynthetic apparatus in plant leaves, inducing free proline accumulation and membrane lipid peroxidation. Due to minor translocation of soil Hg to the leaves, low-level soil Hg exposures (<1,000 ng g(-1)) had no significant influences on the gas exchange parameters, or the Hg, proline, and MDA concentrations in maize leaves (p > 0.05). Compared to soil Hg, airborne Hg easily caused physiological stress to plant leaves. The effects of increasing atmospheric Hg concentration on plant physiology should be of concern.

  20. Mercury in soils and microbial biomass of the South Kirgizstan subregion of the biosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vadim, Ermakov; Valentina, Danilova; Ul'yana, Gulyaeva

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to clear up the role of soil microflora in the mercury concentration by microorganisms as they are related to a problem of the soil remediation. To complete the tasks as assigned, 150 samples of both various soils formed over the ore bodies outside the ore occurrence zones and waste dumps have been taken in the areas of South Kirgizstan Some 45 soil samples (horizon A, 0-20 cm) and dumps were used for microbiological analyses [1, 2]. The soil cover as seen in the work areas is represented by Haplic Calcisols (gray) soils. All the soils are generally calcareous, in some cases salted, and have various compositions. To grow the microbial biomass in order to determine mercury content levels in there, some soil media characterized by natural concentrations, ratios and forms of the compounds of these metals were used The results showed that the mercury concentrations in soils of the sampling area varied from 0.028 to 357.3 mg/kg. The highest metal content indices (up to 357.3 mg/kg) were found for soils formed over ores, and waste dumps. The lowest mercury content (0.028 to 0.066 mg/kg) was found for soils of the control area. The data on mercury and/or antimony accumulation by the biomass of soil microorganisms grown in soil media are represented. The soil samples having various mercury levels were collected in the South Kirgizstan subregion of the biosphere. It was established that the accumulation of the metals by soil microflora depends on their content in the soil, the microorganism growth is strongly inhibited at mercury concentration of 300 mg/kg in soil. A direct and reliable correlation between the metal content level in soils and their concentration by microorganisms is found. Within the background sites a tendency of increase in mercury extraction from the soil with 1 M HCl solution, in particular from salted soils is observed. In contrast, in the conditions of an excess of mercury content in soils of ore grounds, a weak

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. Mercury content in soils on the territory of Mezhdurechensk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaenko, A. N.; Osipova, N. A.; Yazikov, E. G.; Matveenko, I. A.

    2016-09-01

    The geochemical features of mercury content and distribution in the zone of coal producers have been studied (Mezhdurechensk town). Mercury content in soil (30 samples) was determined by atomic absorption method using mercury analyzer PA-915+ with pyrolytic device. Mercury content in soil samples changed from 0.12 to 0.17 mg/kg, the average value being 0.057 mg/kg. Within the town territory five zones with mercury elevated concentrations in soil were distinguished. 25-year observation period showed a 2.8 time decrease in average mercury content in soil. The major contribution to soil pollution in the urban territory was made by the two factors: local and regional. The mercury content in soil is affected by the emissions from boilers operating on coal as well as coal dust from the open pits near the town.

  6. The relationship between mental retardation and developmental delays in children and the levels of arsenic, mercury and lead in soil samples taken near their mother's residence during pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yuan; McDermott, Suzanne; Lawson, Andrew; Aelion, C. Marjorie

    2010-01-01

    This study was designed to evaluate the association between lead, mercury, and arsenic in the soil near maternal residences during pregnancy and mental retardation or developmental disability (MR/DD) in children. The study was conducted using 6,048 mothers who did not move throughout their pregnancies and lived within six strips of land in South Carolina and were insured by Medicaid between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2002. The mother child pairs were then followed until June 1, 2008, through their Medicaid reimbursement files, to identify children diagnosed with MR/DD. The soil was sampled for mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), and As based on a uniform grid, and the soil concentrations were Kriged to estimate chemical concentration at individual locations. We identified a significant relationship between MR/DD and As, and the form of the relationship was nonlinear, after controlling for other known risk factors. PMID:20045663

  7. Mercury species in formerly contaminated soils and released soil gases.

    PubMed

    Sysalová, Jiřina; Kučera, Jan; Drtinová, Barbora; Červenka, Rostislav; Zvěřina, Ondřej; Komárek, Josef; Kameník, Jan

    2017-04-15

    Total mercury (T-Hg), elemental mercury (Hg(0)), methylmercury (MeHg(+)), phenylmercury (PhHg(+)), and gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) species were determined in soils formerly contaminated by different processes from two sites in the Czech Republic. Analytical methods involved atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) using a single-purpose Advanced Mercury Analyser AMA-254 and radiochemical neutron activation analysis (RNAA) for T-Hg determination, a thermal desorption method was used for Hg(0) determination, gas chromatography coupled with atomic fluorescence spectrometry (GC-AFS) was employed for assay of MeHg(+) and PhHg(+), while GEM measurement was carried out using a portable Zeeman-AAS device Lumex RA-915(+). The first sampling site was in the surroundings of a former PhHgCl-based fungicide processing plant next to Příbram (central Bohemia). Although the use of Hg-based fungicides as seed mordant have been banned, and their production stopped at the end of 1980's, highly elevated Hg contents in soil are still observed in the vicinity of the former plant, reaching T-Hg values >13mgkg(-1). The second sampling site was an abandoned mining area named Jedová hora Hill near Hořovice (central Bohemia), where cinnabar (HgS) was occasionally mined as by-product of Fe ores hematite and siderite. Mining activities have been stopped here in 1857. Very high contents of T-Hg are still found at this site, up to 144mgkg(-1). In most cases we found a statistically significant correlation between T-Hg and Hg(0) values regardless of the pollution source. On the contrary, insignificant correlation was observed neither between T-Hg and GEM values, nor between GEM and Hg(0). Concentrations of the investigated organomercury species were above a limit of detection (LOD) only in the most contaminated samples, where their levels were about two to three orders of magnitude lower compared to those of T-Hg.

  8. 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.

  9. Mercury levels in feathers of Magellanic penguins.

    PubMed

    Frias, Jorgelina E; Gil, Mónica N; Esteves, José L; García Borboroglu, Pablo; Kane, Olivia J; Smith, Jeff R; Boersma, P Dee

    2012-06-01

    Feathers are useful to determine mercury (Hg) contamination. We evaluated the mercury concentration in feathers of Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) age 1.5 years to 25 years at Punta Tombo, Argentina before and during their molt. Mercury ranged between <1.4 and 367 ng/g dry weight, with three extreme high values (8996 ng/g, 3011 ng/g and 1340 ng/g) all in young adults. The median concentration was lowest for juveniles and significantly higher for adults but with high variation among older adults. Males and females had similar mercury loads. Compared with other penguin species, concentrations in Magellanic penguins were low. Mercury levels for Magellanic penguins in the Southwest Atlantic for older adults averaged 206±98 ng/g, and serve as a baseline for biomonitoring and/or ecotoxicological studies.

  10. 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.

  11. Mercury adsorption-desorption and transport in soils.

    PubMed

    Liao, Lixia; Selim, H M; Delaune, R D

    2009-01-01

    Kinetic sorption and column miscible displacement transport experiments were performed to quantify the extent of retention/release and the mobility of mercury in different soils. Results indicated that adsorption of mercury was rapid and highly nonlinear with sorption capacities having the following sequence: Sharkey clay > Olivier loam > Windsor sand. Mercury adsorption by all soils was strongly irreversible where the amounts released or desorbed were often less than 1% of that applied. Moreover, the removal of soil organic matter resulted in a decrease of mercury adsorption in all soils. Adsorption was described with limited success using a nonlinear (Freundlich) model. Results from the transport experiments indicated that the mobility of mercury was highly retarded, with extremely low concentrations of mercury in column effluents. Furthermore, mercury breakthrough curves exhibited erratic patterns with ill-distinguished peaks. Therefore, mercury is best regarded as strongly retained and highly "immobile" in the soils investigated. This is most likely due to highly stable complex formation (irreversible forms) and strong binding to high-affinity sites. In a column packed with reference sand material, a symmetric breakthrough curve was obtained where the recovery of mercury in the leachate was only 17.3% of that applied. Mercury retention by the reference sand was likely due to adsorption by quartz and metal-oxides.

  12. 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

  13. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  14. 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

  15. In situ remediation technologies for mercury-contaminated soil

    DOE PAGES

    He, Feng; Gao, Jie; Pierce, Eric; ...

    2015-04-09

    A pollutant that poses significant risks to humans and the environment is mercury from anthropogenic activities. 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. Our 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,more » 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. We also discussed two emerging technologies, phytoremediation and nanotechnology, in this review.« less

  16. In situ remediation technologies for mercury-contaminated soil

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-04-09

    A pollutant that poses significant risks to humans and the environment is mercury from anthropogenic activities. 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. Our 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. We also discussed two emerging technologies, phytoremediation and nanotechnology, in this review.

  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. Remediation of mercury-polluted soils using artificial wetlands.

    PubMed

    García-Mercadoa, Héctor Daniel; Fernándezb, Georgina; Garzón-Zúñigac, Marco Antonio; Durán-Domínguez-de-Bazúaa, María Del Carmen

    2017-01-02

    Mexico's mercury mining industry is important for economic development, but has unfortunately contaminated soils due to open-air disposal. This case was seen at two sites in the municipality of Pinal de Amoles, State of Queretaro, Mexico. This paper presents an evaluation of mercury dynamics and biogeochemistry in two soils (mining waste soil) using ex-situ wetlands over 36 weeks. In soils sampled in two former mines of Pinal de Amoles, initial mercury concentrations were 424 ± 29 and 433 ± 12 mg kg(-1) in La Lorena and San Jose, former mines, respectively. Typha latifolia and Phragmites australis were used and 20 reactors were constructed (with and without plants). The reactors were weekly amended with a nutrient solution (NPK), for each plant, at a pH of 5.0. For remediation using soils from San Jose 70-78% of mercury was removed in T. latifolia reactors and 76-82% in P. australis reactors, and for remediation of soils from La Lorena, mercury content was reduced by 55-71% using T. latifolia and 58-66% in P. australis reactors. Mercury emissions into the atmosphere were estimated to be 2-4 mg m(-2) h(-1) for both soils.

  19. Biological monitoring for mercury within a community with soil and fish contamination.

    PubMed Central

    Harnly, M; Seidel, S; Rojas, P; Fornes, R; Flessel, P; Smith, D; Kreutzer, R; Goldman, L

    1997-01-01

    To assess the impact of elevated levels of inorganic mercury in soil and dust and organic mercury in fish, biological monitoring was conducted among Native Americans living next to an inactive mercury mine in Clear Lake, California. Of resident tribal members, 46% (n = 56) participated in biomonitoring. Urine mercury levels are equivalent to background, indicating that soil and dust exposures among study participants are not substantial. The average blood organic mercury level among study participants is 15.6 +/- 8.8 micrograms/l (n = 44), which is higher than levels reported by others among those who do not consume fish (2 micrograms/l). Consistent with results from other studies, a correlation between fish consumption and blood organic mercury is observed (p = 0.03). The margin between observed and established adverse effect levels for adults is examined for blood organic mercury and found to be less than 10-fold for 20% of the study population. Protective public health efforts for the study population and other similarly exposed populations, notably those who consume commercial fish products, are considered. Images Figure 1. PMID:9189708

  20. Formation of soluble mercury oxide coatings: Transformation of elemental mercury in soils

    DOE PAGES

    Miller, Carrie L.; Watson, David B.; Lester, Brian P.; ...

    2015-09-21

    In this study, the impact of mercury (Hg) on human and ecological health has been known for decades. Although a treaty signed in 2013 by 147 nations regulates future large-scale mercury emissions, legacy Hg contamination exists worldwide and small-scale releases will continue. The fate of elemental mercury, Hg(0), lost to the subsurface and its potential chemical transformation that can lead to changes in speciation and mobility are poorly understood. Here, we show that Hg(0) beads interact with soil or manganese oxide solids and X-ray spectroscopic analysis indicates that the soluble mercury coatings are HgO. Dissolution studies show that, after reactingmore » with a composite soil, >20 times more Hg is released into water from the coated beads than from a pure liquid mercury bead. An even larger, >700 times, release occurs from coated Hg(0) beads that have been reacted with manganese oxide, suggesting that manganese oxides are involved in the transformation of the Hg(0) beads and creation of the soluble mercury coatings. Although the coatings may inhibit Hg(0) evaporation, the high solubility of the coatings can enhance Hg(II) migration away from the Hg(0)-spill site and result in potential changes in mercury speciation in the soil and increased mercury mobility.« less

  1. Formation of Soluble Mercury Oxide Coatings: Transformation of Elemental Mercury in Soils.

    PubMed

    Miller, Carrie L; Watson, David B; Lester, Brian P; Howe, Jane Y; Phillips, Debra H; He, Feng; Liang, Liyuan; Pierce, Eric M

    2015-10-20

    The impact of mercury (Hg) on human and ecological health has been known for decades. Although a treaty signed in 2013 by 147 nations regulates future large-scale mercury emissions, legacy Hg contamination exists worldwide and small-scale releases will continue. The fate of elemental mercury, Hg(0), lost to the subsurface and its potential chemical transformation that can lead to changes in speciation and mobility are poorly understood. Here, we show that Hg(0) beads interact with soil or manganese oxide solids and X-ray spectroscopic analysis indicates that the soluble mercury coatings are HgO. Dissolution studies show that, after reacting with a composite soil, >20 times more Hg is released into water from the coated beads than from a pure liquid mercury bead. An even larger, >700 times, release occurs from coated Hg(0) beads that have been reacted with manganese oxide, suggesting that manganese oxides are involved in the transformation of the Hg(0) beads and creation of the soluble mercury coatings. Although the coatings may inhibit Hg(0) evaporation, the high solubility of the coatings can enhance Hg(II) migration away from the Hg(0)-spill site and result in potential changes in mercury speciation in the soil and increased mercury mobility.

  2. Formation of soluble mercury oxide coatings: Transformation of elemental mercury in soils

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Carrie L.; Watson, David B.; Lester, Brian P.; Howe, Jane Y.; Phillips, Debra H.; He, Feng; Liang, Liyuan; Pierce, Eric M.

    2015-09-21

    In this study, the impact of mercury (Hg) on human and ecological health has been known for decades. Although a treaty signed in 2013 by 147 nations regulates future large-scale mercury emissions, legacy Hg contamination exists worldwide and small-scale releases will continue. The fate of elemental mercury, Hg(0), lost to the subsurface and its potential chemical transformation that can lead to changes in speciation and mobility are poorly understood. Here, we show that Hg(0) beads interact with soil or manganese oxide solids and X-ray spectroscopic analysis indicates that the soluble mercury coatings are HgO. Dissolution studies show that, after reacting with a composite soil, >20 times more Hg is released into water from the coated beads than from a pure liquid mercury bead. An even larger, >700 times, release occurs from coated Hg(0) beads that have been reacted with manganese oxide, suggesting that manganese oxides are involved in the transformation of the Hg(0) beads and creation of the soluble mercury coatings. Although the coatings may inhibit Hg(0) evaporation, the high solubility of the coatings can enhance Hg(II) migration away from the Hg(0)-spill site and result in potential changes in mercury speciation in the soil and increased mercury mobility.

  3. [Distribution and assessment of mercury in the ambient soil of a municipal solid waste incinerator].

    PubMed

    Xie, Hui-Ting; Zhang, Cheng-Zhong; Xu, Feng; Li, Hai-Feng; Tian, Zhen-Yu; Tang, Chen; Liu, Wen-Bin

    2014-04-01

    The emission of mercury (Hg) from the municipal solid waste incineration has inspired widespread attention, especially regarding to the deposition of Hg in the surrounding soil, which is issued to be the potential negative factor of ambient environment and human health. This study mainly focused on the distributions of Hg in the ambient soil of a municipal solid waste incinerator located in North China. The pollution of the mercury and its risks to the local environment and human health were assessed. Results showed that Hg levels were in the range of 0.015-0.25 mg x kg(-1), with an average (0.088 +/- 0.064) mg x kg(-1). The concentrations of Hg in the soil were obviously influenced by wind direction and they were relatively higher in the northwest (downwind) comparing with that in the southeast (upwind). The Kriging interpolation method was adopted to create a contour map, which intuitively displayed a spatial mercury distribution in the soil. The regions with a higher Hg concentration are mainly distributed in the north northwest, the north northeast and the west southwest of the municipal solid waste incinerator. According to the evaluation results of single factor pollution index and geoaccumulation Index, some ambient soil samples were polluted by the mercury emission from the municipal solid waste incinerator; however, the results of the health risk assessment showed that the mercury in the soil had not pose a health hazard to the local population.

  4. Mercury Phase II Study - Mercury Behavior across the High-Level Waste Evaporator System

    SciTech Connect

    Bannochie, C. J.; Crawford, C. L.; Jackson, D. G.; Shah, H. B.; Jain, V.; Occhipinti, J. E.; Wilmarth, W. R.

    2016-06-17

    The Mercury Program team’s effort continues to develop more fundamental information concerning mercury behavior across the liquid waste facilities and unit operations. Previously, the team examined the mercury chemistry across salt processing, including the Actinide Removal Process/Modular Caustic Side Solvent Extraction Unit (ARP/MCU), and the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) flowsheets. This report documents the data and understanding of mercury across the high level waste 2H and 3H evaporator systems.

  5. 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.

  6. Mercury in Eisenia fetida and soil in the vicinity of a natural gas treatment plant in northern Croatia.

    PubMed

    Crnić, Andreja Prevendar; Zgorelec, Željka; Šuran, Jelena; Jurasović, Jasna; Špirić, Zdravko; Levak, Stefani; Bašić, Ferdo; Kisić, Ivica; Srebočan, Emil

    2016-01-28

    In the last two decades (1990-2012), as part of a mercury monitoring programme, earthworms and soils have been collected from four locations in the vicinity of a natural gas production and treatment plant near the village of Molve, Croatia. The aim of this study was to determine the concentration of mercury in the collected samples, monitor its changes over a longer period of time and determine the bioaccumulation of total mercury in earthworms (Eisenia fetida) from the soil. Total mercury concentrations in earthworms from the surroundings of four boreholes (Molve 9-12) ranged within 0.195-1.050, 0.129-1.0, 0.229-1.236 and 0.223-0.799 μg g(-1) dry weight, while total mercury concentrations in different soil types at the same locations within 0.055-0.350, 0.035-0.250, 0.031-0.240 and 0.071-0.475 μg Hg g(-1) of soil. The calculated mercury bioaccumulation factor ranged between 0.9 and 17.5. Mercury levels in soil and earthworms, as a tool for soil pollution assessment, suggested low mercury exposure and risks for human health in the monitored area.

  7. Hair mercury levels of residents in China, Indonesia, and Japan.

    PubMed

    Feng, Q; Suzuki, Y; Hisashige, A

    1998-01-01

    The authors used gold-amalgamation cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrometry and ECD-gas chromatography to analyze total mercury and methylmercury levels in hair samples obtained from 362 residents in Harbin, China; Medan, Indonesia; and Tokushima, Japan. In this study, the authors initially questioned whether mercury levels in hair differed among different study areas, and if there were differences, they questioned the contributing factors. In the three countries surveyed, total mercury and methylmercury levels in hair were lowest in residents of China and were highest in residents of Japan. In the district of Tokushima, Japan, total mercury and methylmercury levels were highest in the coastal district, followed by the middle district; the lowest levels occurred in the mountainous district. In Japan, an individual's total mercury level correlated very closely with that person's methylmercury level; in China and Indonesia, the correlation between these 2 parameters was low. No subjects in China or Indonesia had high levels of methylmercury in hair; this was true even if their total mercury levels were high. This finding suggests that the high total mercury levels observed in some residents of China and Indonesia reflected exposure to inorganic mercury. In Japan, mercury (especially methylmercury) levels in hair samples were quite high. Fish and shellfish, caught in seas uncontaminated by human activity, appeared to be major sources of the high levels of hair mercury in Japanese subjects.

  8. Mercury remediation potential of a mercury resistant strain Sphingopyxis sp. SE2 isolated from contaminated soil.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

    A mercury resistant bacterial strain SE2 was isolated from contaminated soil. The 16s rRNA gene sequencing confirms the strain as Sphingopyxis belongs to the Sphingomonadaceae family of the α-Proteobacteria group. The isolate showed high resistance to mercury with estimated concentrations of Hg that caused 50% reduction in growth (EC50) of 5.97 and 6.22mg/L and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 32.19 and 34.95mg/L in minimal and rich media, respectively. The qualitative detection of volatilized mercury and the presence of mercuric reductase enzyme proved that the strain SE2 can potentially remediate mercury. ICP-QQQ-MS analysis of the remaining mercury in experimental broths indicated that a maximum of 44% mercury was volatilized within 6hr by live SE2 culture. Furthermore a small quantity (23%) of mercury was accumulated in live cell pellets. While no volatilization was caused by dead cells, sorption of mercury was confirmed. The mercuric reductase gene merA was amplified and sequenced. Homology was observed among the amino acid sequences of mercuric reductase enzyme of different organisms from α-Proteobacteria and ascomycota groups.

  9. Blood Mercury Levels of Zebra Finches Are Heritable: Implications for the Evolution of Mercury Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Buck, Kenton A.; Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Cristol, Daniel A.; Swaddle, John P.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a ubiquitous metal contaminant that negatively impacts reproduction of wildlife and has many other sub-lethal effects. Songbirds are sensitive bioindicators of mercury toxicity and may suffer population declines as a result of mercury pollution. Current predictions of mercury accumulation and biomagnification often overlook possible genetic variation in mercury uptake and elimination within species and the potential for evolution in affected populations. We conducted a study of dietary mercury exposure in a model songbird species, maintaining a breeding population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) on standardized diets ranging from 0.0–2.4 μg/g methylmercury. We applied a quantitative genetics approach to examine patterns of variation and heritability of mercury accumulation within dietary treatments using a method of mixed effects modeling known as the 'animal model'. Significant variation in blood mercury accumulation existed within each treatment for birds exposed at the same dietary level; moreover, this variation was highly repeatable for individuals. We observed substantial genetic variation in blood mercury accumulation for birds exposed at intermediate dietary concentrations. Taken together, this is evidence that genetic variation for factors affecting blood mercury accumulation could be acted on by selection. If similar heritability for mercury accumulation exists in wild populations, selection could result in genetic differentiation for populations in contaminated locations, with possible consequences for mercury biomagnification in food webs. PMID:27668745

  10. Blood Mercury Levels of Zebra Finches Are Heritable: Implications for the Evolution of Mercury Resistance.

    PubMed

    Buck, Kenton A; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Cristol, Daniel A; Swaddle, John P

    Mercury is a ubiquitous metal contaminant that negatively impacts reproduction of wildlife and has many other sub-lethal effects. Songbirds are sensitive bioindicators of mercury toxicity and may suffer population declines as a result of mercury pollution. Current predictions of mercury accumulation and biomagnification often overlook possible genetic variation in mercury uptake and elimination within species and the potential for evolution in affected populations. We conducted a study of dietary mercury exposure in a model songbird species, maintaining a breeding population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) on standardized diets ranging from 0.0-2.4 μg/g methylmercury. We applied a quantitative genetics approach to examine patterns of variation and heritability of mercury accumulation within dietary treatments using a method of mixed effects modeling known as the 'animal model'. Significant variation in blood mercury accumulation existed within each treatment for birds exposed at the same dietary level; moreover, this variation was highly repeatable for individuals. We observed substantial genetic variation in blood mercury accumulation for birds exposed at intermediate dietary concentrations. Taken together, this is evidence that genetic variation for factors affecting blood mercury accumulation could be acted on by selection. If similar heritability for mercury accumulation exists in wild populations, selection could result in genetic differentiation for populations in contaminated locations, with possible consequences for mercury biomagnification in food webs.

  11. Risk assessment of soils contaminated by mercury mining, Northern Spain.

    PubMed

    Ordóñez, A; Alvarez, R; Charlesworth, S; De Miguel, E; Loredo, J

    2011-01-01

    Analytical results of soil samples taken in three different mercury mining sites in Northern Spain are studied to assess the potential adverse health effects of the exposure to trace elements associated with the mining process. Doses contacted through ingestion and inhalation and the dose absorbed through the skin were calculated using USEPA's exposure parameters and the US Department of Energy's toxicity values. The results of the risk assessment indicate that the highest risk is associated with ingestion of soil particles and that the trace element of major concern is arsenic, the exposure to which results in a high cancer risk value for all the sites ranging from 3.3 × 10(-5) to 3.6 × 10(-3), well above the 1 × 10(-5) probability level deemed unacceptable by most regulatory agencies. Regarding non-cancer effects, exposure to polluted soils yields an aggregate hazard index above the threshold value of 1 for all three sites, with As and Hg as the main contributors. Risk assessment has proven to be a very useful tool to identify the contaminants and exposure pathways of most concern in the soils from metal mining sites, as well as to categorize them in terms of action priority to ensure fitness for use.

  12. Binding, distribution, and plant uptake of mercury in a soil from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.

    PubMed

    Han, Fengxiang X; Su, Yi; Monts, David L; Waggoner, Charles A; Plodinec, M John

    2006-09-15

    A large amount of mercury has been discharged on the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Site (Tennessee) as a part of the U.S. nuclear weapon program during the 1950s through the early 1960s. Increases in mercury concentration in fish and in lower East Fork Poplar Creek of Oak Ridge have been recently reported. This is an experimental study mimicking the initial stage of transformation and redistribution of mercury in soils, which are comparable to those of the Oak Ridge site. The objectives of this study were to investigate potential transformation, distribution, and plant uptake of mercury compounds in soils. Results show that the H(2)O(2)-oxidizable mercury fraction (organically bound mercury) was the major solid-phase fraction in soils freshly contaminated with soluble mercury compounds, while cinnabar fraction was the major solid phase fraction in soils contaminated with HgS. Langmuir relationships were found between mercury concentrations in plant shoots and in soil solid-phase components. Mercury in HgS-contaminated soils was to some extent phytoavailable to plants. Mercury transformation occurred from more labile fractions into more stable fractions, resulting in strong binding of mercury and decreasing its phytoavailability in soils. In addition, high mercury losses from soils contaminated with soluble mercury compounds were observed during a growing season through volatilization, accounting for 20-62% of the total initial mercury in soils.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Application of ferric sludge to immobilize leachable mercury in soils and concrete.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, J Ming; Walsh, T; Lam, T; Boulter, D

    2003-11-01

    A Hg-contaminated site in B.C. Province, Canada was caused by the previous operation of Hg-cell in chlor-alkali process for over 25 years. The soils and groundwater at the site are highly contaminated with mercury. An analysis of groundwater at the site has shown that most of the mercury is bonded with humic and fulvic acids (HFA) in colloidal form. The Hg-HFA colloids can be completely removed from the groundwater with ferric chloride treatment under optimized process conditions to form ferric sludge (FS), which is rendered non-leachable by standard TCLP (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure) test. The effluent discharged from a clarifier has achieved mercury levels of < 0.5 microkg l(-1). The studies of mercury adsorption characteristics of FS show it has low mercury leachability by TCLP, and great mercury adsorption capability. This feature is the basis for the application of FS to immobilization of leachable Hg-contaminants in solid wastes. Full-scale stabilization tests of Hg-contaminated soil have been carried out, and the time-based stability of the treated soil has been monitored by TCLP over a period of 60 days. All the results have shown a small variation in TCLP mercury levels within a range of 10-40 microg l(-1). Based on these results and with the approval of the B.C. Ministry of the Environment, 1850 tons of Hg-contaminated soils and 260 tons of Hg-contaminated concrete fines have been treated, stabilized with FS, and disposed in a non-hazardous waste disposal site.

  18. Estimations of historical atmospheric mercury concentrations from mercury refining and present-day soil concentrations of total mercury in Huancavelica, Peru.

    PubMed

    Robins, Nicholas A; Hagan, Nicole; Halabi, Susan; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Gonzales, Ruben Dario Espinoza; Morris, Mark; Woodall, George; Richter, Daniel deB; Heine, Paul; Zhang, Tong; Bacon, Allan; Vandenberg, John

    2012-06-01

    Detailed Spanish records of cinnabar mining and mercury production during the colonial period in Huancavelica, Peru were examined to estimate historical health risks to the community from exposure to elemental mercury (Hg) vapor resulting from cinnabar refining operations. Between 1564 and 1810, nearly 17,000 metric tons of Hg were released to the atmosphere in Huancavelica from Hg production. AERMOD was used with estimated emissions and source characteristics to approximate historic atmospheric concentrations of mercury vapor. Modeled 1-hour and long-term concentrations were compared with present-day inhalation reference values for elemental Hg. Estimated 1-hour maximum concentrations for the entire community exceeded present-day occupational inhalation reference values, while some areas closest to the smelters exceeded present-day emergency response guideline levels. Estimated long-term maximum concentrations for the entire community exceeded the EPA Reference Concentration (RfC) by a factor of 30 to 100, with areas closest to the smelters exceeding the RfC by a factor of 300 to 1000. Based on the estimated historical concentrations of Hg vapor in the community, the study also measured the extent of present-day contamination throughout the community through soil sampling and analysis. Total Hg in soils sampled from 20 locations ranged from 1.75 to 698 mg/kg and three adobe brick samples ranging from 47.4 to 284 mg/kg, consistent with other sites of mercury mining and use. The results of the soil sampling indicate that the present-day population of Huancavelica is exposed to levels of mercury from legacy contamination which is currently among the highest worldwide, consequently placing them at potential risk of adverse health outcomes.

  19. Persistent Mercury Contamination in Shooting Range Soils: The Legacy from Former Primers.

    PubMed

    Stauffer, M; Pignolet, A; Corcho Alvarado, J A

    2017-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) compounds were used in the past in primers for rifle and handgun ammunition. Despite its toxicity, little is known about the contamination of shooting-range soils with this metal. We present new data about the Hg contamination of surface soils from numerous shooting ranges of Switzerland. Our study demonstrates that Hg is measurable at high levels in surface soils from the shooting ranges. In three of the investigated ranges, concentrations above the maximum Swiss guidance value of Hg in soil of 500 µg kg(-1) were measured. Since the use of mercury-containing ammunition was stopped in the 1960s, our results demonstrate the high persistence of Hg in soils and their slow recovery by natural mechanisms.

  20. Mercury in edible mushrooms and underlying soil: bioconcentration factors and toxicological risk.

    PubMed

    Melgar, M J; Alonso, J; García, M A

    2009-10-01

    Wild growing mushrooms are a popular delicacy in many countries, but some species accumulate high levels of toxic heavy metals, e.g., mercury, both in unpolluted and mildly polluted areas. In this study, we examined the accumulation capacity of mercury in edible mushrooms in relation to certain factors and their possible toxicological implications. Total concentrations of mercury were determined by an anodic stripping voltammetric technique using a gold disc as the working electrode in 238 samples of the fruiting bodies of 28 wild growing edible mushrooms species and the underlying soil. The mushrooms were collected from different sites in the province of Lugo (NW Spain). The hymenophore (H) and the rest of the fruiting body (RFB) were analysed separately. The highest mean mercury concentrations (mg/kg dry weight) were found in Boletus pinophilus (6.9 in H and 4.5 in RFB), Agaricus macrosporus (5.1 in H and 3.7 in RFB), Lepista nuda (5.1 in H and 3.1 in RFB) and Boletus aereus (4.6 in H and 3.3 in RFB), while the lowest was found in Agrocybe cylindrica (0.34 in H and 0.26 in RFB) and Fistulina hepatica (0.30 in H and 0.22 in RFB). All mushroom species accumulated mercury (BCF>1) in relation to the underlying soils. There were no statistically significant differences between the mercury levels in the hymenophore and in the rest of the fruiting body. The total mercury concentrations were compared to data in the literature and to levels set by legislation. It was concluded that consumption of the majority of the studied mushrooms is not a toxicological risk as far as mercury content is concerned, although the species B.pinophilus, A.macrosporus, L.nuda and B.aereus should be consumed in low amounts.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Evaluation of mercury in urine as an indicator of exposure to low levels of mercury vapor.

    PubMed Central

    Tsuji, Joyce S; Williams, Pamela R D; Edwards, Melanie R; Allamneni, Krishna P; Kelsh, Michael A; Paustenbach, Dennis J; Sheehan, Patrick J

    2003-01-01

    We conducted a pooled analysis to investigate the relationship between exposure to elemental mercury in air and resulting urinary mercury levels, specifically at lower air levels relevant for environmental exposures and public health goals (i.e., < 50 microg/m3 down to 1.0 microg/m3). Ten studies reporting paired air and urine mercury data (149 samples total) met criteria for data quality and sufficiency. The log-transformed data set showed a strong correlation between mercury in air and in urine (r = 0.774), although the relationship was best fit by a series of parallel lines with different intercepts for each study R2 = 0.807). Predicted ratios of air to urine mercury levels at 50 microg/m3 air concentration ranged from 1:1 to 1:3, based on the regression line for the studies. Toward the lower end of the data set (i.e., 10 microg/m3), predicted urinary mercury levels encompassed two distinct ranges: values on the order of 20 microg/L and 30-60 microg/L. Extrapolation to 1 microg/m3 resulted in predicted urinary levels of 4-5 and 6-13 microg/L. Higher predicted levels were associated with use of static area air samplers by some studies rather than more accurate personal air samplers. Urinary mercury predictions based primarily on personal air samplers at 1 and 10 microg/m3 are consistent with reported mean (4 microg/L) and upper-bound (20 microg/L) background levels, respectively. Thus, although mercury levels in air and urine are correlated below 50 microg/m3, the impact of airborne mercury levels below 10 microg/m3 is likely to be indistinguishable from background urinary mercury levels. PMID:12676626

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Evaluation of treatment options for mercury/PCB contaminated soil

    SciTech Connect

    Camacho, J.M.

    1996-12-31

    The purpose of this project was to evaluate treatment alternatives for soil contaminated with mercury and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) aroclor 1268 at the LCP site, a former chlor-alkali plant, in Brunswick, GA. The site was operated as a petroleum refinery from 1919 to 1930. Based on past experience and a literature search, soil washing and thermal desorption were deemed to be the most promising technologies. A bulk soil sample was collected from the south process area and analyzed to have 190 mg/kg mercury and 405 mg/kg of PCB aroclor 1268. The soil was screened to {1/4} treatability tests. Testing was performed in three parts consisting of a round of geophysical and chemical analyses to determine matrix characteristics; thermal desorption tests at temperatures ranging from 100 C to 700 C to determine the volatility of mercury and PCB aroclor 1268; and a soil-washing study matrix to evaluate the effect of chemical additives such as acids, oxidizers, and surfactants to physically and chemically remove contaminants from the soil matrix.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Mercury isotope compositions in North American forest soils and litters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, W.; Obrist, D.; Bergquist, B. A.

    2013-12-01

    Soils represent one of the largest reservoirs of mercury on Earth, playing a critical role in the natural cycle of mercury by acting as both a sink and source. However, it is not well understood how soils sequestrate and remobilize Hg. Natural variations in stable Hg isotopes are being explored as a promising tool in studying the transformation and transport of Hg. However, Hg isotopic data in soils is scarce. In addition, the limited isotopic data that exists is significantly different from those of atmospheric Hg, which is one of the major sources of Hg to soils. For example, Hg mass independent fractionation (MIF, typically reported as Δ199Hg) is positive in atmospheric wet deposition, but most soils display negative Δ199Hg. MIF on 200Hg (Δ200Hg) is also observed in atmospheric wet deposition, but not in soils. The discrepancy between soils and atmospheric samples is still unexplained. In this study, we surveyed the Hg isotope compositions in soil profiles, litters and fresh vegetation from four different forest sites across United States (Thompson forest, WA, Truckee, CA, Niwot Ridge, CO and Howland, MA). The current results from the WA site show that soils primarily display negative mass dependent fractionation for the even isotopes (MDF, reported as δ202Hg) with values for δ202Hg of up to -2.0‰. Significant MIF for both odd isotopes is also observed in all WA soil samples and Δ199Hg is mostly negative (up to -0.4‰). No MIF on 200Hg is observed in these soils. The negative Δ199Hg in soils is inconsistent with the positive Δ199Hg reported in atmospheric wet deposition, suggesting that either Hg transformations within or on the surface of soils and/or plants alter its isotope composition after deposition or other types of Hg deposition (e.g., Hg(0) or Hg(II) dry deposition) is more predominant. The Δ199Hg/Δ201Hg ratio is close to 1 in the soils, which is consistent with the results of laboratory photochemical reduction of inorganic Hg

  15. 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.

  16. 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 μg g-1 as compared to 0.075 μg g-1 as background mercury concentrations. The maximum mercury concentration measured in sediments of the Langton Gully was 6.12 μg 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.

  17. 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

  18. Ecotoxicology of mercury in tropical forest soils: Impact on earthworms.

    PubMed

    Buch, Andressa Cristhy; Brown, George Gardner; Correia, Maria Elizabeth Fernandes; Lourençato, Lúcio Fábio; Silva-Filho, Emmanoel Vieira

    2017-03-01

    Mercury (Hg) is one of the most toxic nonessential trace metals in the environment, with high persistence and bioaccumulation potential, and hence of serious concern to environmental quality and public health. Emitted to the atmosphere, this element can travel long distances, far from emission sources. Hg speciation can lead to Hg contamination of different ecosystem components, as well as biomagnification in trophic food webs. To evaluate the effects of atmospheric Hg deposition in tropical forests, we investigated Hg concentrations in earthworm tissues and soils of two Forest Conservation Units in State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Next, we performed a laboratory study of the biological responses (cast analysis and behavioral, acute, chronic and bioaccumulation ecotoxicological tests) of two earthworms species (Pontoscolex corethrurus and Eisenia andrei) to Hg contamination in tropical artificial soil (TAS) and two natural forest soils (NS) spiked with increasing concentration of HgCl2. Field results showed Hg concentrations up to 13 times higher in earthworm tissues than in forest soils, while in the laboratory Hg accumulation after 91-days of exposure was 25 times greater in spiked-soils with 128mgHgkg(-1) (dry wt) than in control (unspiked) soils. In all the toxicity tests P. corethrurus showed a higher adaptability or resistance to mercury than E. andrei. The role of earthworms as environmental bioremediators was confirmed in this study, showing their ability to greatly bioaccumulate trace metals while reducing Hg availability in feces.

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

    PubMed

    Hightower, Jane M; Moore, Dan

    2003-04-01

    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.

  20. [Characteristics of mercury exchange flux between soil and atmosphere under the snow retention and snow melting control].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Gang; Wang, Ning; Ai, Jian-Chao; Zhang, Lei; Yang, Jing; Liu, Zi-Qi

    2013-02-01

    Jiapigou gold mine, located in the upper Songhua River, was once the largest mine in China due to gold output, where gold extraction with algamation was widely applied to extract gold resulting in severe mercury pollution to ambient environmental medium. In order to study the characteristics of mercury exchange flux between soil (snow) and atmosphere under the snow retention and snow melting control, sampling sites were selected in equal distances along the slope which is situated in the typical hill-valley terrain unit. Mercury exchange flux between soil (snow) and atmosphere was determined with the method of dynamic flux chamber and in all sampling sites the atmosphere concentration from 0 to 150 cm near to the earth in the vertical direction was measured. Furthermore, the impact factors including synchronous meteorology, the surface characteristics under the snow retention and snow melting control and the mercury concentration in vertical direction were also investigated. The results are as follows: During the period of snow retention and melting the air mercury tends to gather towards valley bottom along the slope and an obvious deposit tendency process was found from air to the earth's surface under the control of thermal inversion due to the underlying surface of cold source (snow surface). However, during the period of snow melting, mercury exchange flux between the soil and atmosphere on the surface of the earth with the snow being melted demonstrates alternative deposit and release processes. As for the earth with snow covered, the deposit level of mercury exchange flux between soil and atmosphere is lower than that during the period of snow retention. The relationship between mercury exchange flux and impact factors shows that in snow retention there is a remarkable negative linear correlation between mercury exchange flux and air mercury concentration as well as between the former and the air temperature. In addition, in snow melting mercury exchange

  1. 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.

  2. 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 μg/kg whiles cassava had between 66.60 and 195.47 μg/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.

  3. Mercury poisoning dentistry: high-level indoor air mercury contamination at selected dental sites.

    PubMed

    Khwaja, Mahmood A; Abbasi, Maryam Shabbir

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg), also known as quick silver, is an essential constituent of dental amalgam. It is a toxic substance of global concern. Children are more at risk from mercury poisoning which affects their neurological development and brain. In the past, a number of studies at dental sites in many countries have been carried out and reported. The present report briefly describes and discusses our recent investigations carried out at 34 dental sites (teaching institutions, hospitals and private clinics) in Pakistan. It is evident from the data that at many sites the indoor mercury vapor levels exceed far above the permissible limit recommended for safe physical and mental health. At these sites, public in general and the medical, paramedical staff and vulnerable population in particular, are at most serious risk to health resulting from exposure to toxic and hazardous mercury. To minimize such risk, some of the recommendations are, best in-house environmental practices for occupational health and safety, mercury contaminated waste reduction at source, mercury specific legislation and ratification of Minamata convention on mercury by Pakistan and other world governments at the earliest time possible.

  4. 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

  5. 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, 300 mg/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.

  6. Spectrophotometric determination of mercury in soils with triphenyltetrazolium chloride.

    PubMed

    Kamburova, M

    1993-05-01

    The formation of the acidocomplex of mercury(II) with triphenyl-tetrazolium chloride is studied spectrophotometrically in water-organic media. The composition of the complex is established as TTC:Hg:I = 1:1:1. The molar absorptivity (255) = (6.45 +/- 0.12) x 10(4) 1 mole(-1). cm(-1) is determined. The selectivity of the reaction is studied and the method for determination of mercury(II) 0.1-0.8 mug/ml is shown. Extraction investigations of the system discussed were carried out. The characteristic values for the extraction equilibrium and the equilibrium in the aqueous phase was determined: extraction constant K(ex) = 3.16 x 10(4), distribution constant K(D) = 20.67, and association constant = 1.53 x 10(3). 5 A rapid and sensitive extractive-photometric method for determination of mercury(II) in soil was developed. The determination was carried out without preliminary elimination of mercury.

  7. Capability of selected crop plants for shoot mercury accumulation from polluted soils: phytoremediation perspectives.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Luis; Rincón, Jesusa; Asencio, Isaac; Rodríguez-Castellanos, Laura

    2007-01-01

    High-biomass crops can be considered as an alternative to hyperaccumulator plants to phytoremediate soils contaminated by heavy metals. In order to assess their practical capability for the absorption and accumulation of Hg in shoots, barley, white lupine, lentil, and chickpea were tested in pot experiments using several growth substrates. In the first experimental series, plants were grown in a mixture of vermiculite and perlite spiked with 8.35 microg g(-1) d.w. of soluble Hg. The mercury concentration of the plants' aerial tissues ranged from 1.51 to 5.13 microg g(-1) d.w. with lentil and lupine showing the highest values. In a second experiment carried out using a Hg-polluted soil (32.16 microg g(-1) d.w.) collected from a historical mining area (Almadén, Spain), the crop plants tested only reached shoot Hg concentration up to 1.13 microg g(-1) d.w. In the third experimental series, the Almadén soil was spiked with 1 microg g(-1) d.w. of soluble Hg; as a result, mercury concentrations in the plant shoots increased approximately 6 times for lupine, 5 times for chickpea, and 3.5 times for barley and lentil, with respect to those obtained with the original soil without Hg added. This marked difference was attributed to the low availability of Hg in the original Almadin soil and its subsequent increase in the Hg-spiked soil. The low mercury accumulation yields obtained for all plants do not make a successful decontamination of the Almadén soils possible byphytoremediation using crop plants. However, since the crops tested can effectively decrease the plant-available Hg level in this soil, their use could, to some extent, reduce the environmental risk of Hg pollution in the area.

  8. Mercury and water level fluctuations in lakes of northern Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, James H.; Maki, Ryan P; Christensen, Victoria G.; Sandheinrich, Mark B.; LeDuc, Jaime F.; Kissane, Claire; Knights, Brent C.

    2017-01-01

    Large lake ecosystems support a variety of ecosystem services in surrounding communities, including recreational and commercial fishing. However, many northern temperate fisheries are contaminated by mercury. Annual variation in mercury accumulation in fish has previously been linked to water level (WL) fluctuations, opening the possibility of regulating water levels in a manner that minimizes or reduces mercury contamination in fisheries. Here, we compiled a long-term dataset (1997-2015) of mercury content in young-of-year Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) from six lakes on the border between the U.S. and Canada and examined whether mercury content appeared to be related to several metrics of WL fluctuation (e.g., spring WL rise, annual maximum WL, and year-to-year change in maximum WL). Using simple correlation analysis, several WL metrics appear to be strongly correlated to Yellow Perch mercury content, although the strength of these correlations varies by lake. We also used many WL metrics, water quality measurements, temperature and annual deposition data to build predictive models using partial least squared regression (PLSR) analysis for each lake. These PLSR models showed some variation among lakes, but also supported strong associations between WL fluctuations and annual variation in Yellow Perch mercury content. The study lakes underwent a modest change in WL management in 2000, when winter WL minimums were increased by about 1 m in five of the six study lakes. Using the PLSR models, we estimated how this change in WL management would have affected Yellow Perch mercury content. For four of the study lakes, the change in WL management that occurred in 2000 likely reduced Yellow Perch mercury content, relative to the previous WL management regime.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Mercury

    MedlinePlus

    ... 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, ... and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug ...

  12. Mercury distribution in the soil-plant-air system at the Wanshan mercury mining district in Guizhou, Southwest China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianxu; Feng, Xinbin; Anderson, Christopher W N; Zhu, Wei; Yin, Runsheng; Wang, Heng

    2011-12-01

    The level of mercury bioaccumulation in wild plants; the distribution of bioavailable Hg, elemental Hg, and total Hg in soil; and the concentration of total gaseous Hg (TGM) in ambient air was studied at three different mining sites (SiKeng [SK], WuKeng [WK], and GouXi [GX]) in the Wanshan mercury mining district of China. Results of the present study showed that the distribution of soil total Hg, elemental Hg, bioavailable Hg, and TGM varies across the three mining sites. Higher soil total Hg (29.4-1,972.3 mg/kg) and elemental Hg (19.03-443.8 mg/kg) concentrations were recorded for plots SK and WK than for plot GX. Bioavailable Hg was lower at plot SK and GX (SK, 3-12 ng/g; GX, 9-14 ng/g) than at plot WK (11-1,063 ng/g), although the TGM concentration in the ambient air was significantly higher for plot GX (52,723 ng/m(3) ) relative to WK (106 ng/m(3) ) and SK (43 ng/m(3)). Mercury in sampled herbage was elevated and ranged from 0.8 to 4.75 mg/kg (SK), from 2.17 to 34.38 mg/kg (WK), and from 47.45 to 136.5 mg/kg (GX). Many of the sampled plants are used as fodder or for medicinal purposes. High shoot Hg concentrations may therefore pose an unacceptable human health risk. Statistical analysis of the recorded data showed that the Hg concentration in plant shoots was positively correlated with TGM and that the Hg concentration in roots was positively correlated with the bioavailable Hg concentration in the soil. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF) in the present study was defined with reference to the concentration of bioavailable Hg in the soil (Hg([root]) /Hg([bioavail])). Three plant species, Macleaya cordata L., Achillea millefolium L., and Pteris vittata L., showed enhanced accumulation of Hg and therefore may have potential for use in the phytoremediation of soils of the Wanshan mining area.

  13. 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.

  14. Bioremediation of mercury: not properly exploited in contaminated soils!

    PubMed

    Mahbub, Khandaker Rayhan; Bahar, Md Mezbaul; Labbate, Maurizio; Krishnan, Kannan; Andrews, Stuart; Naidu, Ravi; Megharaj, Mallavarapu

    2017-02-01

    Contamination of land and water caused by heavy metal mercury (Hg) poses a serious threat to biota worldwide. The seriousness of toxicity of this neurotoxin is characterized by its ability to augment in food chains and bind to thiol groups in living tissue. Therefore, different remediation approaches have been implemented to rehabilitate Hg-contaminated sites. Bioremediation is considered as cheaper and greener technology than the conventional physico-chemical means. Large-scale use of Hg-volatilizing bacteria are used to clean up Hg-contaminated waters, but there is no such approach to remediate Hg-contaminated soils. This review focuses on recent uses of Hg-resistant bacteria in bioremediation of mercury-contaminated sites, limitation and advantages of this approach, and identifies the gaps in existing research.

  15. Quantification of Labile Soil Mercury by Stable Isotope Dilution Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shetaya, Waleed; Huang, Jen-How; Osterwalder, Stefan; Alewell, Christine

    2016-04-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic element that can cause severe health problems to humans. Mercury is emitted to the atmosphere from both natural and anthropogenic sources and can be transported over long distances before it is deposited to aquatic and terrestrial environments. Aside from accumulation in soil solid phases, Hg deposited in soils may migrate to surface- and ground-water or enter the food chain, depending on its lability. There are many operationally-defined extraction methods proposed to quantify soil labile metals. However, these methods are by definition prone to inaccuracies such as non-selectivity, underestimation or overestimation of the labile metal pool. The isotopic dilution technique (ID) is currently the most promising method for discrimination between labile and non-labile metal fractions in soil with a minimum disturbance to soil-solid phases. ID assesses the reactive metal pool in soil by defining the fraction of metal both in solid and solution phases that is isotopically-exchangeable known as the 'E-value'. The 'E-value' represents the metal fraction in a dynamic equilibrium with the solution phase and is potentially accessible to plants. This is carried out by addition of an enriched metal isotope to soil suspensions and quantifying the fraction of metal that is able to freely exchange with the added isotope by measuring the equilibrium isotopic ratio by ICP-MS. E-value (mg kg-1) is then calculated as follows: E-Value = (Msoil/ W) (CspikeVspike/ Mspike) (Iso1IAspike -Iso2IAspikeRss / Iso2IAsoil Rss - Iso1IAsoil) where M is the average atomic mass of the metal in the soil or the spike, W is the mass of soil (kg), Cspike is the concentration of the metal in the spike (mg L-1), Vspike is the volume of spike (L), IA is isotopic abundance, and Rss is the equilibrium ratio of isotopic abundances (Iso1:Iso2). Isotopic dilution has been successfully applied to determine E-values for several elements. However, to our knowledge, this method has not yet

  16. Mercury fractionation in contaminated soils from the Idrija mercury mine region.

    PubMed

    Kocman, David; Horvat, Milena; Kotnik, Joze

    2004-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) fractionation was investigated in contaminated soil in the Idrija Hg-mine region, Slovenia. The main aim of this study was to test and apply sequential extraction and quantification of different Hg phases in order to estimate the mobility and potential bioavailability of Hg in contaminated soils. Separation of Hg phases was performed by means of a selective sequential extraction procedure complemented by volatilization of elemental mercury (Hg0). The influence of temperature, moisture and storage on Hg0 volatilization was also investigated. The total Hg concentrations varied between 8.4 and 415 mg kg(-1) and were up to 40-fold higher than the maximum permissible set by Slovenian legislation. Fractionation measurements indicated cinnabar as the predominant Hg fraction, followed by Hg0. Accumulation of cinnabar predominantly occurred in coarse grained flood plain sediments, where on average it constituted more than 80% of total Hg. In contrast non-cinnabar fractions were found to be enriched in areas where fine grained material was deposited, reaching up to 60% of total Hg. The strong positive correlation (R2 = 0.71-0.99) among non-cinnabar fractions suggested that these fractions predominantly control the mobility and potential bioavailability of Hg. Sample pretreatment before fractionation influenced the partition of Hg between different fractions, and therefore fractionation in fresh, nontreated samples is suggested. In addition, the specificity of the extraction steps needs further attention, as it was shown that some extraction steps, such as the organo-chelating Hg fraction, do not provide meaningful results. This further suggests that protocols for mercury fractionation need further harmonization in order to improve the comparability of the results and their use in risk assessment. Volatile mercury fluxes averaged between 0.04 and 6.5 ng g(-1) h(-1). Good agreement (R2 = 0.81-0.95) was found between the non-cinnabar fractions and evaporation of Hg

  17. [Mercury levels in humans under conditions of environmental pollution by mercury-containing industrial waste].

    PubMed

    Larionova, T K

    2000-01-01

    Hygienic monitoring of lead, cadmium, and mercury as environmental pollutants should include the analysis of adverse human and environmental effects. The hygienic investigations of environmental pollution with gold-mining waste involved measurements of Hg in the water, soil, foodstuffs and human biological materials. Hg was found in the biological substrata of both industrial workers and the general population since they eat the products of animals and plants from the polluted area.

  18. Screening of chelating ligands to enhance mercury accumulation from historically mercury-contaminated soils for phytoextraction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianxu; Xia, Jicheng; Feng, Xinbin

    2017-01-15

    Screening of optimal chelating ligands which not only have high capacities to enhance plant uptake of mercury (Hg) from soil but also can decrease bioavailable Hg concentration in soil is necessary to establish a viable chemically-assisted phytoextraction. Therefore, Brassica juncea was exposed to historically Hg-contaminated soil (total Hg, 90 mg kg(-1)) to investigate the efficiency of seven chelating agents [ammonium thiosulphate, sodium thiosulphate, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, sodium nitrate, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), and sodium sulfite] at enhancing Hg phytoextraction; the leaching of bioavailable Hg caused by these chelating agents was also investigated. The Hg concentration in control (treated with double-distilled water) plant tissues was below 1 mg kg(-1). The remarkably higher Hg concentration was found in plants receiving ammonium thiosulphate and sodium sulfite treatments. The bioaccumulation factors and translocation factors of ammonium thiosulphate and sodium sulfite treatments were significantly higher than those of the other treatments. The more efficient uptake of Hg by plants upon treatment with ammonium thiosulphate and sodium sulfite compared to the other treatments might be explained by the formation of special Hg-thiosulphate complexes that could be preferentially taken up by the roots and transported in plant tissues. The application of sulfite significantly increased bioavailable Hg concentration in soil compared with that in initial soil and control soil, whereas ammonium thiosulphate significantly decreased bioavailable Hg concentration. The apparent decrease of bioavailable Hg in ammonium thiosulphate-treated soil compared with that in sodium sulfite-treated soil might be attributable to the unstable Hg-thiosulphate complexes formed between thiosulphate and Hg; they could react to produce less bioavailable Hg in the soil. The results of this study indicate that ammonium thiosulphate may be an optimal chelating

  19. 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).

  20. Adsorption-desorption characteristics of mercury in paddy soils of China.

    PubMed

    Jing, Y D; He, Z L; Yang, X E

    2008-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) has received considerable attention because of its association with various human health problems. Adsorption-desorption behavior of Hg at contaminated levels in two paddy soils was investigated. The two representative soils for rice production in China, locally referred to as a yellowish red soil (YRS) and silty loam soil (SLS) and classified as Gleyi-Stagnic Anthrosols in FAO/UNESCO nomenclature, were respectively collected from Jiaxin County and Xiasha District of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province. The YRS adsorbed more Hg(2+) than the SLS. The characteristics of Hg adsorption could be described by the simple Langmuir adsorption equation (r2 = 0.999 and 0.999, P < 0.01, respectively, for the SLS and YRS). The maximum adsorption values (Xm) that were obtained from the simple Langmuir model were 111 and 213 mg Hg(2+) kg(-1) soil, respectively, for the SLS and YRS. Adsorption of Hg(2+) decreased soil pH by 0.75 unit for the SLS soil and 0.91 unit for the YRS soil at the highest loading. The distribution coefficient (kd) of Hg in the soil decreased exponentially with increasing Hg(2+) loading. After five successive desorptions with 0.01 mol L(-1) KCl solution (pH 5.4), 0 to 24.4% of the total adsorbed Hg(2+) in the SLS soil was desorbed and the corresponding value of the YRS soil was 0 to 14.4%, indicating that the SLS soil had a lower affinity for Hg(2+) than the YRS soil at the same Hg(2+) loading. Different mechanisms are likely involved in Hg(2+) adsorption-desorption at different levels of Hg(2+) loading and between the two soils.

  1. Subtask 1.17 - Subcritical Water Extraction of Mercury From Soils and Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Steven B. Hawthorne

    1997-08-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "National Sediment Quality Survey" lists the top pollutants responsible for toxicity in watersheds as 1) PCBS (polychlorinated biphenyls), 2) mercury, and 3) other organics such as PAHs polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and pesticides. In addition, these same pollutants are major contributors to chemical pollution on U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other contaminated sites (e.g., industrial sites and harbors). An ideal remediation method would allow cost-effective removal of both organic and mercury contamination using a single process. The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has demonstrated that controlling the temperature (and to a lesser extent, the pressure) of water can dramatically change its ability to extract organics and inorganic from matrices ranging from soils and sediments to waste sludges and coal. The dielectric constant of water can be changed from ca. 80 (a very polar solvent) to <5 (similar to a nonpolar organic solvent) by controlling the temperature (from ca. ambient to ca. 400oC) and pressure (from ea. 5 to 350 bar). The EERC has shown that hazardous organic pollutants such as pesticides, PAHs, and PCBS can be completely removed from soils, sludges, and sediments at temperatures (250"C) and pressures ( c 50 atrn) that are much milder than typically used for supercritical water processes (temperature > 374oC, pressure >221 atm). In addition, the process has been demonstrated to be particularly effective for samples containing very high levels of contaminants (e.g., parts per thousand). The EERC has also demonstrated that mercury can be extracted using supercritical water at much harsher conditions (400"C, and >300 atm). However, the removal of mercury from contaminated solids at the lower temperature and pressure conditions (e. g., 250"C, 50 atm) has not been investigated. If successful, this project will provide the basis for using hot/liquid water to extract both organic

  2. 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.

  3. Economic implications of mercury exposure in the context of the global mercury treaty: Hair mercury levels and estimated lost economic productivity in selected developing countries.

    PubMed

    Trasande, Leonardo; DiGangi, Joseph; Evers, David C; Petrlik, Jindrich; Buck, David G; Šamánek, Jan; Beeler, Bjorn; Turnquist, Madeline A; Regan, Kevin

    2016-12-01

    Several developing countries have limited or no information about exposures near anthropogenic mercury sources and no studies have quantified costs of mercury pollution or economic benefits to mercury pollution prevention in these countries. In this study, we present data on mercury concentrations in human hair from subpopulations in developing countries most likely to benefit from the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. These data are then used to estimate economic costs of mercury exposure in these communities. Hair samples were collected from sites located in 15 countries. We used a linear dose-response relationship that previously identified a 0.18 IQ point decrement per part per million (ppm) increase in hair mercury, and modeled a base case scenario assuming a reference level of 1 ppm, and a second scenario assuming no reference level. We then estimated the corresponding increases in intellectual disability and lost Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY). A total of 236 participants provided hair samples for analysis, with an estimated population at risk of mercury exposure near the 15 sites of 11,302,582. Average mercury levels were in the range of 0.48 ppm-4.60 ppm, and 61% of all participants had hair mercury concentrations greater than 1 ppm, the level that approximately corresponds to the USA EPA reference dose. An additional 1310 cases of intellectual disability attributable to mercury exposure were identified annually (4110 assuming no reference level), resulting in 16,501 lost DALYs (51,809 assuming no reference level). A total of $77.4 million in lost economic productivity was estimated assuming a 1 ppm reference level and $130 million if no reference level was used. We conclude that significant mercury exposures occur in developing and transition country communities near sources named in the Minamata Convention, and our estimates suggest that a large economic burden could be avoided by timely implementation of measures to

  4. [Evaluation and source analysis of the mercury pollution in soils and vegetables around a large-scale zinc smelting plant].

    PubMed

    Liu, Fang; Wang, Shu-Xiao; Wu, Qing-Ru; Lin, Hai

    2013-02-01

    The farming soil and vegetable samples around a large-scale zinc smelter were collected for mercury content analyses, and the single pollution index method with relevant regulations was used to evaluate the pollution status of sampled soils and vegetables. The results indicated that the surface soil and vegetables were polluted with mercury to different extent. Of the soil samples, 78% exceeded the national standard. The mercury concentration in the most severely contaminated area was 29 times higher than the background concentration, reaching the severe pollution degree. The mercury concentration in all vegetable samples exceeded the standard of non-pollution vegetables. Mercury concentration, in the most severely polluted vegetables were 64.5 times of the standard, and averagely the mercury concentration in the vegetable samples was 25.4 times of the standard. For 85% of the vegetable samples, the mercury concentration, of leaves were significantly higher than that of roots, which implies that the mercury in leaves mainly came from the atmosphere. The mercury concentrations in vegetable roots were significantly correlated with that in soils, indicating the mercury in roots was mainly from soil. The mercury emissions from the zinc smelter have obvious impacts on the surrounding soils and vegetables. Key words:zinc smelting; mercury pollution; soil; vegetable; mercury content

  5. Mercury content in Chilean fish and estimated intake levels.

    PubMed

    Cortes, Sandra; Fortt, Antonia

    2007-09-01

    The intake of fish products is a major public health concern due to possible methyl mercury exposure, which is especially toxic to the human nervous system. This pilot study (n = 46) was designed to determine mercury concentrations in fish products for national consumption (Chilean jack mackerel, hake, Chilean mussel, tuna) and for export (salmon, Patagonian toothfish, swordfish, southern hake), and to estimate the exposure of the general population. The fish products were collected from markets in Talcahuano, Puerto Montt and Santiago. Samples were analyzed at the National Environmental Center by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Mercury levels in swordfish and one canned tuna sample exceeded levels prescribed by national and international standards. The remaining two export products (Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean sea bass, and salmon) complied with international limits, which are more demanding than Chilean regulations. Theoretical estimates of mercury intake varied from 0.08 to 3.8 microg kg(-1) bw day(-1) for high fish consumers, exceeding the provisional tolerable intake for tuna, Chilean seabass, Chilean jack mackerel and swordfish. This group appears to be at the greatest risk from mercury contamination among the Chilean population.

  6. Accumulation of mercury and cadmium in rice from paddy soil near a mercury mine.

    PubMed

    Li, W C; Ouyang, Y; Ye, Z H

    2014-11-01

    Paddy soil and rice (Oryza sativa L.) in the Wanshan mining area in Guizhou Province, China, have been contaminated by toxic trace metals such as cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg). The present study examined correlations between the types and physicochemical parameters of the soil and the contents of trace metals and the different forms of Hg in rice. The health risks of consuming contaminated rice from the Wanshan mining area were also assessed. Sequential extraction procedures were used to investigate the chemical behavior of Hg in the soil. The results showed that Hg and Cd were the most abundant trace metals in the Wanshan mining area. The toxic methylmercury (MeHg) content was substantial in brown rice, and the total amounts of total Hg (THg), diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid-Hg, and water-soluble Hg varied in the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soils. An antagonistic interaction between Mn in brown rice, straw, and husk and MeHg in brown rice was also shown. An analysis of calculated dietary intake, target hazard quotients, and hazard indexes showed a potential risk of transferring Hg, MeHg, and Cd to humans when rice from the Wanshan mining area is consumed. Therefore, it must be concluded that consuming contaminated rice near the Wanshan mining area is a potential threat to human health.

  7. 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.

  8. Distribution and mobility of mercury in soils of a gold mining region, Cuyuni river basin, Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Santos-Francés, F; García-Sánchez, A; Alonso-Rojo, P; Contreras, F; Adams, M

    2011-04-01

    An extensive and remote gold mining region located in the East of Venezuela has been studied with the aim of assessing the distribution and mobility of mercury in soil and the level of Hg pollution at artisanal gold mining sites. To do so, soils and pond sediments were sampled at sites not subject to anthropological influence, as well as in areas affected by gold mining activities. Total Hg in regionally distributed soils ranged between 0.02 mg kg(-1) and 0.40 mg kg(-1), with a median value of 0.11 mg kg(-1), which is slightly higher than soil Hg worldwide, possibly indicating long-term atmospheric input or more recent local atmospheric input, in addition to minor lithogenic sources. A reference Hg concentration of 0.33 mg kg(-1) is proposed for the detection of mining affected soils in this region. Critical total Hg concentrations were found in the surrounding soils of pollutant sources, such as milling-amalgamation sites, where soil Hg contents ranged from 0.16 mg kg(-1) to 542 mg kg(-1) with an average of 26.89 mg kg(-1), which also showed high levels of elemental Hg, but quite low soluble+exchangeable Hg fraction (0.02-4.90 mg kg(-1)), suggesting low Hg soil mobility and bioavailability, as confirmed by soil column leaching tests. The vertical distribution of Hg through the soil profiles, as well as variations in soil Hg contents with distance from the pollution source, and Hg in pond mining sediments were also analysed.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. High residue levels and the chemical form of mercury in tissues and organs of seabirds

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, E.Y.; Murakami, Toru; Saeki, Kazutoshi; Tatsukawa, Ryo

    1995-12-31

    Total and organic (methyl) mercury in liver, muscle, kidney and feather of 9 species of seabirds were analyzed to determine the levels and their distribution and to clarify the occurrences of high mercury levels and their detoxification process in seabirds. Total mercury levels in liver showed great variations in intra and interspecies, while organic mercury levels were less variable. As compared with species in relatively low mercury levels, the species which accumulated the high concentration of mercury like black-footed albatross exhibited the different distribution of mercury in the body: in total mercury burden, albatross species contained less than 10% in feather and over 50% in liver, while other species contained over 40% in feather and less than 20% in liver. The order of organic mercury concentrations in tissues were as follows: liver > kidney > muscle in seabirds examined, except oldsquaw. The mean percentage of organic mercury in total was 35%, 66%, and 36% in liver, muscle and kidney, respectively, for all the species. The significant negative correlations were found between organic mercury percentage to total mercury and total mercury concentrations in the liver and muscle of black-footed albatross and in the liver of laysan albatross. Furthermore, in liver, muscle, and kidney of all the species, the percentages of organic mercury had a negative trend with an increase of total mercury concentrations. The results suggest that albatross species may be capable for demethylating organic mercury in the tissues (mainly in liver), and for storing the mercury as immobilizable inorganic form in the liver as substitution for delivering organic mercury to other organs. It is noteworthy that the species with high degree of demethylation showed the lower mercury burdens in feather and slow moulting pattern.

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

  14. High altitude artisanal small-scale gold mines are hot spots for Mercury in soils and plants.

    PubMed

    Terán-Mita, Tania A; Faz, Angel; Salvador, Flor; Arocena, Joselito M; Acosta, Jose A

    2013-02-01

    Mercury releases from artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM) condense and settle on plants, soils and water bodies. We collected soil and plant samples to add knowledge to the likely transfer of Hg from soils into plants and eventually predict Hg accumulation in livestock around ASGM in Bolivia. Mean contents of Hg in soils range from 0.5 to 48.6 mg Hg kg(-1) soil (5× to 60× more compared to control sites) and exceeded the soil Hg threshold levels in some European countries. The Hg contents ranged from 0.6 to 18 and 0.2 to 28.3 mg Hg kg(-1) leaf and root, respectively. The high Hg in Poaceae and Rosaceae may elevate Hg accumulation into the food chain because llama and alpaca solely thrive on these plants for food. Erosion of soils around ASGM in Bolivia contributes to the Hg contamination in lower reaches of the Amazon basin.

  15. Assessment and Comparison of Electrokinetic and Electrokinetic-bioremediation Techniques for Mercury Contaminated Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azhar, A. T. S.; Nabila, A. T. A.; Nurshuhaila, M. S.; Zaidi, E.; Azim, M. A. M.; Farhana, S. M. S.

    2016-11-01

    Landfills are major sources of contamination due to the presence of harmful bacteria and heavy metals. Electrokinetic-Bioremediation (Ek-Bio) is one of the techniques that can be conducted to remediate contaminated soil. Therefore, the most prominent bacteria from landfill soil will be isolated to determine their optimal conditions for culture and growth. The degradation rate and the effectiveness of selected local bacteria were used to reduce soil contamination. Hence, this enhances microbiological activities to degrade contaminants in soil and reduce the content of heavy metals. The aim of this study is to investigate the ability of isolated bacteria (Lysinibacillus fusiformis) to remove mercury in landfill soil. 5 kg of landfill soil was mixed with deionized water to make it into slurry condition for the purpose of electrokinetic and bioremediation. This remediation technique was conducted for 7 days by using 50 V/m of electrical gradient and Lysinibacillus fusiformis bacteria was applied at the anode reservoir. The slurry landfill soil was located at the middle of the reservoir while distilled water was placed at the cathode of reservoir. After undergoing treatment for 7 days, the mercury analyzer showed that there was a significant reduction of approximately up to 78 % of mercury concentration for the landfill soil. From the results, it is proven that electrokinetic bioremediation technique is able to remove mercury within in a short period of time. Thus, a combination of Lysinibacillus fusiformis and electrokinetic technique has the potential to remove mercury from contaminated soil in Malaysia.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Mercury mobilisation from soils and ashes after a wildfire and rainfall events: effects of vegetation type and fire severity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campos, Isabel; Abrantes, Nelson; Keizer, Jan Jacob; Vale, Carlos; Serpa, Dalila; Pereira, Patrícia

    2016-04-01

    Wildfire is a major disturbance of forests worldwide, with huge environmental impacts. The number of catastrophic wildfires is increasing over the past few decades mainly due to a combined effect of climate change and poor land-use management. Interestingly, wildfires have an important role in contaminants production and mobilization and, thus, on their biogeochemical cycles. For instance, trace elements could be mobilized during a wildfire from burnt vegetation and ashes and may eventually achieve the aquatic systems upon a rainfall period. In this regard, wildfires represent a relevant diffuse source of trace elements to aquatic systems that has, so far, been poorly investigated. The current study aims to mitigate such lack of knowledge for mercury, a well-recognized persistent toxicant with potential harmful impacts on the environment and on human health. Thus, a field study was conducted in two Portuguese forests (Ermida and S. Pedro do Sul, North-centre of Portugal) with distinct fire severity. Fire was classified as moderate in Ermida and moderate to high severity in S. Pedro do Sul. In Ermida, soil samples and ashes were collected in the seven hillslopes (three burnt eucalypt, three burnt pine and one unburnt eucalypt) immediately and 4 months after the fire, the latter following an episode of intense rainfall. In S. Pedro do Sul, sampling took place immediately after the fire in four hillslopes (one burnt eucalypt and three burnt pine). Mercury analysis was performed in an Hg analyser in which samples were thermally decomposed by controlled heating. The final decomposition products were passed through an Hg amalgamator heated to 700 °C and Hg(0) was released and detected by absorption spectrometry at 254 nm. Burnt soil samples showed significantly lower levels of mercury than non-burnt soil, confirming the potential of a forest fire to release accumulated mercury in soil prior to the burning. Such process could be particularly relevant for this element due

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

    PubMed

    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

    2013-12-01

    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.

  20. Assessment of Dietary Mercury Intake and Blood Mercury Levels in the Korean Population: Results from the Korean National Environmental Health Survey 2012–2014

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seong-Ah; Kwon, YoungMin; Kim, Suejin; Joung, Hyojee

    2016-01-01

    From a public health perspective, there is growing concern about dietary mercury intake as the most important source of mercury exposure. This study was performed to estimate dietary mercury exposure and to analyze the association between mercury intake and blood mercury levels in Koreans. The study subjects were 553 adults, comprising a 10% representative subsample of the Korean National Environmental Health Survey (KoNEHS) 2012–2014, who completed a health examination, a face-to-face interview, and a three-day food record. Dietary mercury and methylmercury intakes were assessed from the three-day food record, and blood mercury concentration was measured using a mercury analyzer. The association between dietary mercury intake and blood mercury levels was analyzed by comparing the odds ratios for the blood mercury levels above the Human BioMonitoring (HBM) I value (5 μg/L) among the three groups with different mercury intakes. The average total mercury intake was 4.74 and 3.07 μg/day in males and females, respectively. The food group that contributed most to mercury intake was fish and shellfish, accounting for 77.8% of total intake. The geometric mean of the blood mercury concentration significantly and linearly increased with the mercury and methylmercury intakes (p < 0.001). The odds ratios for blood mercury levels above the HBM I value in the highest mercury and methyl mercury intake group were 3.27 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.79–5.95) and 3.20 (95% CI 1.77–5.79) times higher than that of the lowest intake group, respectively. Our results provide compelling evidence that blood mercury level has a strong positive association with dietary intake, and that fish and shellfish contribute most to the dietary mercury exposure. PMID:27598185

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Mercury in soil and perennial plants in a mining-affected urban area from Northwestern Romania.

    PubMed

    Senilă, Marin; Levei, Erika A; Senilă, Lăcrimioara R; Oprea, Gabriela M; Roman, Cecilia M

    2012-01-01

    The mercury (Hg) concentrations were evaluated in soils and perennial plants sampled in four districts of Baia Mare city, a historical mining and ore processing center in Northwestern Romania. The results showed that the Hg concentration exceeded the guideline value of 1.0 mg kg(-1) dry weight (dw) established by the Romanian Legislation, in 24 % of the analyzed soil samples, while the median Hg concentration (0.70 mg kg(-1) dw) was lower than the guideline value. However, Hg content in soil was generally higher than typical values in soils from residential and agricultural areas of the cities all over the world. The median Hg concentration was 0.22 mg kg(-1) dw in the perennial plants, and exceeded the maximum level of Hg (0.10 mg kg(-1)) established by European Directive 2002/32/EC for plants used in animal feed in order to prevent its transfer and further accumulation in the higher levels of food chain. No significant correlations were found between soil Hg and other analyzed metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) resulted from the non-ferrous smelting activities, probably due to the different physicochemical properties, that led to different dispersion patterns.

  6. Mercury levels in the Cree population of James Bay, Quebec, from 1988 to 1993/94

    PubMed Central

    Dumont, C; Girard, M; Bellavance, F; Noël, F

    1998-01-01

    BACKGROUND: High levels of mercury in the Cree population of James Bay, Que., have been a cause of concern for several years. This study examines changes in mercury levels within the Cree population between 1988 and 1993/94 and identifies potential determinants of high mercury levels. METHODS: Data on mercury levels among the Cree were obtained through a surveillance program undertaken by the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay. In 1988 and again in 1993/94 surveys were carried out in all 9 Cree communities of northern Quebec. Hair samples were obtained and analysed for mercury content. Analyses were carried out to determine the proportion of people who had mercury levels in excess of established norms. Changes in mercury levels between 1988 and 1993/94 and determinants of high levels were estimated by means of regression methods. RESULTS: The proportion of the Cree population with mercury levels in excess of 15.0 mg/kg declined from 14.2% in 1988 to 2.7% in 1993/94. Wide variations in mercury levels were observed between communities: 0.6% and 8.3% of the Eastmain and Whapmagoostui communities respectively had mercury levels of 15.0 mg/kg or greater in 1993/94. Logistic regression analyses showed that significantly higher levels of mercury were independently associated with male sex, increasing age and trapper status. There was a correlation between the mercury level of the head of the household and that of the spouse. INTERPRETATION: Mercury levels in the Cree of James Bay have decreased in the recent past. Nevertheless, this decrease in mercury levels may not be permanent and does not necessarily imply that the issue is definitively resolved. PMID:9629105

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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

  11. Mercury Fractionation in Superficial Sediment and Paddy Soil Samples from Tianjin, Northern China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chao; Zhang, Zhaoji; Fei, Yuhong; Wu, Guoqing; Qian, Yong

    2016-08-01

    Sediment and soil samples from the Beitang River (BR) and the Haihe River (HR) in Tianjin were analyzed to investigate the extent of mercury contamination. The results show that total mercury (THg) contents in the BR and HR sediments were 2241 ± 1024 and 653 ± 450 ng g(-1), and THg in rice paddy soils were 907 ± 345 and 328 ± 286 ng g(-1), respectively. Industrial and domestic sewage were regarded as the main sources of mercury in the two river basins. Sediment-bound mercury in the BR and the HR were found to be predominantly associated with the organic-bound fraction (55 %) and residual fraction and (54 %), while soil-bound mercury was mainly in organic-bound fraction in paddy soils (61 % and 57 %, respectively). The availability of this element (soluble and exchangeable and specifically sorbed fraction) seemed restricted, but significantly higher in the paddy soils than in sediments. Higher soluble and exchangeable, specifically sorbed fraction and organic-bound fraction may promote the higher toxic methylmercury and bioavailable fraction formation in the soils during the rice cultivation.

  12. Fish consumption patterns and mercury exposure levels among women of childbearing age in Duval County, Florida.

    PubMed

    Traynor, Sharleen; Kearney, Greg; Olson, David; Hilliard, Aaron; Palcic, Jason; Pawlowicz, Marek

    2013-01-01

    Consumption of fish containing methylmercury can pose serious health concerns including neurotoxic effects in adults and toxicity to the fetuses of mothers exposed during pregnancy. In the study described in this article, the authors examined fish consumption patterns and measured hair mercury levels of women of childbearing age in a coastal county in Florida. Women from the community participated in a risk factor assessment survey (N = 703). Hair samples (n = 698) were collected and analyzed for mercury. The authors identified 74.8% below detection limit; 25.2% had detectable limits of mercury, while 7% exceeded 1 pg/g. Hair mercury levels increased with fish consumption and age. Race, income, and education levels were also associated with increased hair mercury levels. Women of Asian/Pacific Islander origin had the highest levels. Although reported fish consumption exceeded the recommendations for women of childbearing age, the study population had lower mercury levels than other comparative studies in Florida and at national levels.

  13. Human brain mercury levels related to exposure to amalgam fillings.

    PubMed

    Ertaş, E; Aksoy, A; Turla, A; Karaarslan, E S; Karaarslan, B; Aydın, A; Eken, A

    2014-08-01

    The safety of dental amalgam as the primary material in dental restoration treatments has been debated since its introduction. It is widely accepted that amalgam restorations continuously release elemental mercury (Hg) vapor, which is inhaled and absorbed by the body and distributed to tissues, including the brain. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the presence of amalgam fillings is correlated with brain Hg level. The Hg levels in the parietal lobes of the brains of 32 cadavers were analyzed with an atomic absorption spectrometer with the mercury hydride system. A total of 32 brain samples were tested; of these, 10 were from cadavers with amalgam fillings, while 22 of them were amalgam free. Hg was detected in 60.0% (6 of 10) of the samples in the amalgam group and in 36.3% (8 of 22) in the amalgam-free group. The average Hg level of the amalgam group was 0.97 ± 0.83 µg/g (minimum: 0.3 µg/g and maximum: 2.34 µg/g), and in the amalgam-free group, it was 1.06 ± 0.57 µg/g (minimum: 0.17 µg/g and maximum: 1.76 µg/g). The results of the present study showed no correlation between the presence of amalgam fillings and brain Hg level.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. [Accumulation of Mercury in Soil-maize System of Non-ferrous Metals Smelting Area and Its Related Risk Assessment].

    PubMed

    Ji, Xiao-feng; Zheng, Na; Wang, Yang; Liu, Qiang; Zhang, Jing-jing

    2015-10-01

    Soil heavy metal pollution, especially the mercury pollution, has been widespread concern in non-ferrous metallurgical area. This study focused on the content, distribution and pollution status of Hg in maize soil of Huludao city. Meanwhile, Hg contents in the various organs of maize were analyzed. Hg concentration in soil ranged from 0.25 to 3.49 mg x kg(-1) with the average content of 1.78 mg x kg(-1), which was 48 times as high as the background value of Liaoning soil. Around 2-3m range of zinc plant, the pattern of spatial distribution showed that the content of Hg was gradually increased with the increase of the distance to Huludao zinc plant. The result of geoaccumulation index reflected that Hg pollution is up to moderate pollution level on the whole. 54. 6% of the total sample were belonged to the serious pollution level. The potential ecological risk index of Hakanson was applied to assess the ecological risk of Hg. The target hazard quotient method (THQ) was used to assess the health risk for human, the results revealed that there was no significant health risk by consumption corn. Mercury is very difficult to transport in soil-maize system, and there is no obvious health risks to adults. But the risk coefficient of children, which is up to 0.056. is much higher than adults.

  17. 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

  18. A laboratory based experimental study of mercury emission from contaminated soils in the River Idrijca catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kocman, D.; Horvat, M.

    2010-02-01

    Results obtained by a laboratory flux measurement system (LFMS) focused on investigating the kinetics of the mercury emission flux (MEF) from contaminated soils of the Idrija Hg-mine region, Slovenia are presented. Representative soil samples with respect to total Hg concentrations (4-417 μg g-1) and land cover (forest, meadow and alluvial soil) alongside the River Idrijca were analysed to determine the variation in MEF versus distance from the source, regulating three major environmental parameters comprising soil temperature, soil moisture and solar radiation. MEFs ranged from less than 2 to 530 ng m-2 h-1, with the highest emissions from contaminated alluvial soils and soils near the mining district in the town of Idrija. A significant decrease of MEF was then observed with increasing distance from these sites. The results revealed a strong positive effect of all three parameters investigated on momentum MEF. The light-induced flux was shown to be independent of the soil temperature, while the soil aqueous phase seems to be responsible for recharging the pool of mercury in the soil available for both the light- and thermally-induced flux. The overall flux response to simulated environmental conditions depends greatly on the form of Hg in the soil. Higher activation energies are required for the overall process to occur in soils where insoluble cinnabar prevails compared to soils where more mobile Hg forms and forms available for transformation processes are dominant.

  19. Mercury degassing from forested and open field soils in Rondônia, 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 Rondônia 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.

  20. Association of food consumption during pregnancy with mercury and lead levels in cord blood.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jin Hee; Lee, Su Jin; Kim, Su Young; Choi, Gyuyeon; Lee, Jeong Jae; Kim, Hai-Joong; Kim, Sungjoo; Park, Jeongim; Moon, Hyo-Bang; Choi, Kyungho; Kim, Sungkyoon; Choi, Soo Ran

    2016-09-01

    In utero exposure to mercury and lead has been linked to various adverse health effects related to growth and development. However, there was no evidence on the relationship between food consumption during pregnancy and mercury or lead level in cord blood. Therefore we measured mercury and lead levels in bloods, urines, and cord bloods obtained from 302 pregnant women and estimated relationships between food consumption during pregnancy and mercury or lead level in cord blood to identify perinatal mercury and lead exposures originated from foods during pregnancy. Relationship between food consumption and mercury or lead level was estimated using a generalized linear model after adjustment for body mass index (BMI), delivery experience, income, recruitment year, and other dietary factors for mercury and age, BMI, cesarean section, delivery experience, recruitment year, and other dietary factors for lead. Fish consumption was positively associated with mercury level in cord blood (p=0.0135), while cereal and vegetable consumptions were positively associated with lead level in cord blood (p=0.0517 for cereal and p=0.0504 for vegetable). Furthermore, tea consumption restrained increase of lead level in cord blood (p=0.0014). Our findings support that mercury or lead exposure in Korean pregnant women may come from frequent fish and cereal or vegetable consumption while tea consumption may decrease lead exposure in pregnant women. Therefore, careful intervention through food consumption should be considered.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Seasonal Variations of Mercury Levels in Selected Medicinal Plants Originating from Poland.

    PubMed

    Ordak, M; Wesolowski, M; Radecka, I; Muszynska, E; Bujalska-Zazdrozny, M

    2016-10-01

    The presence of mercury in the living cells may be caused by environmental pollution with this element, which is referred to as a toxic xenobiotic. Many literature reports have provided evidence for toxic effects of low levels of mercury in the human body. Therefore, it seems essential to investigate mercury content in food and in natural environment, particularly its seasonal variations. The objective of this study was to determine trace amounts of mercury in 45 samples of 20 medicinal plant species collected in northern Poland, in various seasons of the year, i.e., in autumn 2012 and then spring 2013. The results obtained showed that the levels of mercury in the herbs were lower in spring (3.66-34.89 ng/g) than in autumn (4.55-81.54 ng/g). The statistically significant correlation (p < 0.05) between the levels of mercury in herbs collected in spring and autumn indicates hazardous accumulation of the element in plants in autumn. The highest levels of mercury were found in leaves and plants growing in the vicinity of busy streets. Perennials plants have a significantly higher mercury levels as compared to those of monocarpic plants. Furthermore, commonly used herbal plants have a significantly higher mercury levels as compared to those less common.

  4. 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.

  5. [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

  6. 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

  7. Evaluating the effects of sub-zero temperature cycling on mercury flux from soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbett-Hains, Hamish; Walters, Nicholas E.; Van Heyst, Bill J.

    2012-12-01

    A number of mechanisms have been shown to facilitate the flux of mercury from soils, although at sub-zero temperatures, there is evidence to suggest that alternate mechanisms may exist. Field studies at sub-zero temperatures have observed spikes in flux under certain conditions however very little laboratory work has been done to characterize the specific effects or mechanisms. A Dynamic Flux Chamber (DFC) and Tekran Model 2537A were used to analyse mercury flux from a naturally enriched soil. Soil moisture contents were varied between 30%, 60%, and 75% of field capacity while temperatures were cycled between 0 and -25 °C. The results, which were compared to room temperature baseline runs, showed that, at sub-zero temperatures, the mercury flux was suppressed in general. However, during the temperature cycling runs, soil flux spikes were evident during positive temperature change or warming. A one-way ANOVA by ranks proved that statistically significant fluxes were occurring during the runs at 30% and 60% of field capacity for positive rates of temperature changes. Arrhenius plots showed that for positive soil temperatures flux and temperature correlated well with the Arrhenius relationship. At sub-zero conditions however, no relationship was present, indicating another mechanism was present. The proposed mechanism for this enhanced flux is the physical evacuation of interstitial pore space gaseous mercury by the expansion and contraction of the freeze-thaw cycle.

  8. Mercury Levels in Human Hair and Farmed Fish near Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin, Peru

    PubMed Central

    Langeland, Aubrey L.; Hardin, Rebecca D.; Neitzel, Richard L.

    2017-01-01

    mercury exposure. More research is needed on human health risks associated with ASGM to discern occupational, residential, and nutritional exposure, especially through tracking temporal changes in mercury levels as fish ponds age, and assessing levels in different farmed fish species. Additionally, research is needed to definitively determine that elevated mercury levels in humans and fish result from the elemental mercury from mining, rather than from a different source, such as the mercury released from soil erosion during deforestation events from mining or other activities. PMID:28335439

  9. Mercury Levels in Human Hair and Farmed Fish near Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin, Peru.

    PubMed

    Langeland, Aubrey L; Hardin, Rebecca D; Neitzel, Richard L

    2017-03-14

    mercury exposure. More research is needed on human health risks associated with ASGM to discern occupational, residential, and nutritional exposure, especially through tracking temporal changes in mercury levels as fish ponds age, and assessing levels in different farmed fish species. Additionally, research is needed to definitively determine that elevated mercury levels in humans and fish result from the elemental mercury from mining, rather than from a different source, such as the mercury released from soil erosion during deforestation events from mining or other activities.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    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

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Organic and inorganic amendment application on mercury-polluted soils: effects on soil chemical and biochemical properties.

    PubMed

    García-Sánchez, Mercedes; Klouza, Martin; Holečková, Zlata; Tlustoš, Pavel; Száková, Jiřina

    2016-07-01

    On the basis of a previous study performed in our laboratory, the use of organic and inorganic amendments can significantly modify the Hg mobility in soil. We have compared the effectiveness of organic and inorganic amendments such as digestate and fly ash, respectively, reducing the Hg mobility in Chernozem and Luvisol soils differing in their physicochemical properties. Hence, the aim of this work was to compare the impact of digestate and fly ash application on the chemical and biochemical parameters in these two mercury-contaminated soils in a model batch experiment. Chernozem and Luvisol soils were artificially contaminated with Hg and then incubated under controlled conditions for 21 days. Digestate and fly ash were applied to both soils in a dose of 10 and 1.5 %, respectively, and soil samples were collected after 1, 7, 14, and 21 days of incubation. The presence of Hg in both soils negatively affected to processes such as nitrification, provoked a decline in the soil microbial biomass C (soil microbial biomass C (MBC)), and the microbial activities (arylsulfatase, and β-glucosaminidase) in both soils. Meanwhile, the digestate addition to Chernozem and Luvisol soils contaminated with Hg improved the soil chemical properties (pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), N (Ntot), inorganic-N forms (N-NH4 (+) and N-NO3 (-))), as consequence of high content in C and N contained in digestate. Likewise, the soil MBC and soil microbial activities (dehydrogenase, arylsulfatase, and β-glucosaminidase) were greatly enhanced by the digestate application in both soils. In contrast, fly ash application did not have a remarkable positive effect when compared to digestate in Chernozem and Luvisol soil contaminated with mercury. These results may indicate that the use of organic amendments such as digestate considerably improved the soil health in Chernozem and Luvisol compared with fly ash, alleviating the detrimental impact of Hg. Probably, the chemical properties present in

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Electrokinetic remediation of mercury-contaminated soils using iodine/iodide lixiviant

    SciTech Connect

    Cox, C.D.; Shoesmith, M.A.; Ghosh, M.M.

    1996-06-01

    In-situ remediation of mercury-contaminated soils, by electrokinetic or other means, is difficult because of the low solubility of mercury and its compounds. In this research, enhanced electrokinetic remediation of HgS-contaminated soils using I{sub 2}/I{sup -} lixiviant was investigated using bench-scale electrokinetic cells. The thermodynamic conditions under which the lixiviant could be effective were determined by constructing a pE-pH diagram for the Hg-S-I system. Introduced near the cathode, the lixiviant migrated through the soil to the anode by electromigration. Mercury, released by the oxidation of HgS compounds by I{sub 2}, was complexed as HgI{sub 4}{sup 2-}. The negative complex continued to electromigrate toward the anode. Up to 99% of the Hg present in laboratory-contaminated soils could be removed. Electrokinetic treatment of a field-contaminated soil, containing more organic matter than the laboratory-contaminated soil, occurred much slower. The critical issues in determining the efficacy of the process are the oxidation of reduced Hg by I{sub 2} and I{sub 3}{sup -} and the transport of the resultant HgI{sub 4}{sup 2-} complex. 17 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

  5. 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; 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Mercury critical concentrations to Enchytraeus crypticus (Annelida: Oligochaeta) under normal and extreme conditions of moisture in tropical soils - Reproduction and survival.

    PubMed

    Buch, Andressa Cristhy; Schmelz, Rüdiger M; Niva, Cintia Carla; Correia, Maria Elizabeth Fernandes; Silva-Filho, Emmanoel Vieira

    2017-03-05

    Soil provides many ecosystem services that are essential to maintain its quality and healthy development of the flora, fauna and human well-being. Environmental mercury levels may harm the survival and diversity of the soil fauna. In this respect, efforts have been made to establish limit values of mercury (Hg) in soils to terrestrial fauna. Soil organisms such as earthworms and enchytraeids have intimate contact with trace metals in soil by their oral and dermal routes, reflecting the potentially adverse effects of this contaminant. The main goal of this study was to obtain Hg critical concentrations under normal and extreme conditions of moisture in tropical soils to Enchytraeus crypticus to order to assess if climate change may potentiate their acute and chronic toxicity effects. Tropical soils were sampled from of two Forest Conservation Units of the Rio de Janeiro State - Brazil, which has been contaminated by Hg atmospheric depositions. Worms were exposed to three moisture conditions, at 20%, 50% and 80% of water holding capacity, respectively, and in combination with different Hg (HgCl2) concentrations spiked in three types of tropical soil (two natural soils and one artificial soil). The tested concentrations ranged from 0 to 512mg Hg kg(-1) dry weight. Results indicate that the Hg toxicity is higher under increased conditions of moisture, significantly affecting survival and reproduction rate.

  11. Atmospheric mercury pollution at an urban site in central Taiwan: mercury emission sources at ground level.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jiaoyan; Liu, Chia-Kuan; Huang, Ci-Song; Fang, Guor-Cheng

    2012-04-01

    Total gaseous mercury (Hg) (TGM), gaseous oxidized Hg (GOM), and particulate-bound Hg (PBM) concentrations and dry depositions were measured at an urban site in central Taiwan. The concentrations were 6.14±3.91 ng m(-3), 332±153, and 71.1±46.1 pg m(-3), respectively. These results demonstrate high Hg pollution at the ground level in Taiwan. A back trajectory plot shows the sources of the high TGM concentration were in the low atmosphere (<500 m) and approximately 50% of the air masses coming from upper troposphere (>500 m) were associated with low TGM concentrations. This finding implies that Hg is trapped in the low atmosphere and comes from local Hg emission sources. The conditional probability function (CPF) reveals that the plumes of high TGM concentrations come from the south and northwest of the site. The plume from the south comes from two municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs). However, no significant Hg point source is located to the northwest of the site; therefore, the plumes from the northwest are hypothesized to be related to the combustion of agricultural waste. Dry deposition fluxes of Hg measured at this site considerably exceeded those measured in North America. Overall, this area is regarded as a highly Hg contaminated area because of local Hg emission sources.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. Transport mechanisms of soil-bound mercury in the erosion process during rainfall-runoff events.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yi; Luo, Xiaolin; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Xin; Zhang, Juan; Han, Feng

    2016-08-01

    Soil contamination by mercury (Hg) is a global environmental issue. In watersheds with a significant soil Hg storage, soil erosion during rainfall-runoff events can result in nonpoint source (NPS) Hg pollution and therefore, can extend its environmental risk from soils to aquatic ecosystems. Nonetheless, transport mechanisms of soil-bound Hg in the erosion process have not been explored directly, and how different fractions of soil organic matter (SOM) impact transport is not fully understood. This study investigated transport mechanisms based on rainfall-runoff simulation experiments. The experiments simulated high-intensity and long-duration rainfall conditions, which can produce significant soil erosion and NPS pollution. The enrichment ratio (ER) of total mercury (THg) was the key variable in exploring the mechanisms. The main study findings include the following: First, the ER-sediment flux relationship for Hg depends on soil composition, and no uniform ER-sediment flux function exists for different soils. Second, depending on soil composition, significantly more Hg could be released from a less polluted soil in the early stage of large rainfall events. Third, the heavy fraction of SOM (i.e., the remnant organic matter coating on mineral particles) has a dominant influence on the enrichment behavior and transport mechanisms of Hg, while clay mineral content exhibits a significant, but indirect, influence. The study results imply that it is critical to quantify the SOM composition in addition to total organic carbon (TOC) for different soils in the watershed to adequately model the NPS pollution of Hg and spatially prioritize management actions in a heterogeneous watershed.

  2. Assessing anthropogenic sources of mercury in soil in Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou, China.

    PubMed

    Dai, Zhihui; Feng, Xinbin; Zhang, Chao; Wang, Jingfu; Jiang, Taiming; Xiao, Houjun; Li, Yu; Wang, Xun; Qiu, Guangle

    2013-11-01

    Long-term mining and smelting activities brought a series of environmental issues into soils in Wanshan mercury (Hg) mining area (WMMA), Guizhou, China. Several studies have been published on the concentrations of Hg in local soils, but a comprehensive assessment of the mass of Hg in soil induced by anthropogenic activities, as presented in this paper, has not been previously conducted. Three districts of WMMA were chosen as the study areas. We summarized previous published data and sampled 14 typical soil profiles to analyze the spatial and vertical distributions of Hg in soil in the study areas. The regional geologic background, direct and indirect Hg deposition, and Hg-polluted irrigation water were considered as the main sources of Hg contaminations in local soils. Furthermore, the enrichment factor (EF) method was applied to assess the extent of anthropogenic input of Hg to soil. Titanium (Ti) was chosen to be the reference element to calculate the EF. Generally, the elevated values of EF were observed in the upper soil layers and close to mine wastes. The total budget of Hg in soil contributed from anthropogenic sources was estimated to be 1,227 t in arable soil and 75 t in natural soil. Our data showed that arable soil was the major sink of anthropogenic Hg in the study area.

  3. Mercury uptake and translocation in Impatiens walleriana plants grown in the contaminated soil from Oak Ridge.

    PubMed

    Pant, P; Allen, M; Tansel, B

    2011-02-01

    Mercury (Hg) contaminated soils from Oak Ridge, Tennessee were investigated for phytoavailability of mercury as measured by degree of Hg translocation in aboveground biomass of Impatiens walleriana plants grown in the soils. After 90 days of incubation, results revealed a higher concentration of total Hg in the leaves than in the flowers or the stems. Plants that were grown in the soils with higher Hg concentrations showed significantly higher Hg uptake and translocation in the aboveground plant-biomass, and the correlation with the initial soil-Hg was significant for the leaves and the stems in the plants that were tested. On an average, only 4.06 microg of Hg could be found in the above ground plant biomass of all the plants, compared to an average 3673.50 microg of initial total Hg concentrations in these soils. Statistical analysis revealed a greater affinity of Hg for the soil carbon, which supported the finding of this study on low soil Hg bioavailability.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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

  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

  8. [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 μg · (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.

  9. 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.

  10. Mercury-resistant rhizobial bacteria isolated from nodules of leguminous plants growing in high Hg-contaminated soils.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Díez, Beatriz; Quiñones, Miguel A; Fajardo, Susana; López, Miguel A; Higueras, Pablo; Fernández-Pascual, Mercedes

    2012-10-01

    A survey of symbiotic bacteria from legumes grown in high mercury-contaminated soils (Almadén, Spain) was performed to produce a collection of rhizobia which could be well adapted to the environmental conditions of this region and be used for restoration practices. Nineteen Hg-tolerant rhizobia were isolated from nodules of 11 legume species (of the genera Medicago, Trifolium, Vicia, Lupinus, Phaseolus, and Retama) and characterized. Based on their growth on Hg-supplemented media, the isolates were classified into three susceptibility groups. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and the effective concentrations that produce 50% mortality identified the patterns of mercury tolerance and showed that 15 isolates were tolerant. The dynamics of cell growth during incubation with mercury showed that five isolates were unaffected by exposure to Hg concentrations under the MICs. Genetic analyses of the 16S rRNA gene assigned ten strains to Rhizobium leguminosarum, six to Ensifer medicae, two to Bradyrhizobium canariense, and one to Rhizobium radiobacter. Inoculation of host plants and analysis of the nodC genes revealed that most of them were symbiotically effective. Finally, three isolates were selected for bioremediation processes with restoration purposes on the basis of their levels of Hg tolerance, their response to high concentrations of this heavy metal, and their genetic affiliation and nodulation capacity.

  11. 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.

  12. Importance of Forest Composition on Mercury Deposition through Litterfall and Accumulation in Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juillerat, J. I.; Ross, D. S.

    2010-12-01

    Upland forests receive greater atmospheric deposition of mercury (Hg) than non-forested areas. In addition to wet deposition of Hg, forests are subjected to Hg deposition in throughfall and litterfall: dry deposition to leaves may be subsequently leached in throughfall; elemental Hg may enter leaves and be later deposited in the leaf litter (litterfall). This research evaluated the importance of forest type on the Total Hg (THg) flux in litterfall and on THg accumulation in organic soil horizons. Eighteen research sites were sampled throughout Vermont, USA. Mercury concentration was measured in senescing leaves of dominant tree species (16 species in total) in three forest types (low-elevation coniferous, mixed, and deciduous/Northern Hardwood forest). Leaf traps were used to measure the litterfall flux. Upper soil horizons were sampled and analyzed for mercury and carbon. Mercury concentration in senescing leaves varied significantly between tree species. Some hardwood species had higher THg concentration in leaves than coniferous species. Striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum) had significantly higher THg concentration than any other species. Total Hg concentration was negatively correlated with leaf height on the tree. Leaf surface-to-weight ratio was positively correlated with THg. The calculated THg flux in litterfall varied from 12 to 28 ug/m2/yr; there was no significant difference between forest types. Results showed an unexpectedly high THg concentration in understory trees. The assumption that needles have greater THg concentration than leaves needs to be revisited; forest structure needs to be taken into account. Total Hg concentration and THg to carbon ratio were consistent within soil horizons but differed among horizons. Similar to other studies, THg concentration was lower in the Oi horizon (litter layer) and peaked in the Oe horizon (fermentation layer) before declining in the humified Oa and/or A horizons. Mineral soil (A horizons) tended to have

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Mercury in the soil of two contrasting watersheds in the eastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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; p2 = 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Organic mercury levels among the Yanomama of the Brazilian Amazon Basin.

    PubMed

    Sing, Kimberly Anne; Hryhorczuk, Daniel; Saffirio, Giovanni; Sinks, Thomas; Paschal, Daniel C; Sorensen, John; Chen, Edwin H

    2003-11-01

    The Catrimani River basin in northern Brazil is the home of the Yanomama and has been the site of renegade gold mining since 1980. Gold-mining operations release inorganic mercury (Hg) into the environment where it is organified and biomagnified in aquatic ecosystems. Ingestion of mercury-contaminated fish poses a potential hazard to fish-eating populations such as the Yanomama. We surveyed Hg levels in Yanomama villagers living near mined and unmined rivers in 1994 and 1995, and analyzed Hg levels in piranha caught by villagers. In 1994, 90 Yanomama Indians from 5 villages and in 1995, 62 Yanomama Indians from 3 villages participated in the studies. Four villages surveyed in 1994 were located directly on the Catrimani River, approximately 140-160 km downstream from past gold-mining activities. The other village surveyed in 1994 was situated on the unmined Ajaraní River. In 1995, 2 of the Catrimani River villages were revisited, and a third Yanomama village, on the unmined Pacu River, was surveyed. Blood organic mercury levels among all villagers surveyed ranged from 0 to 62.6 microg L(-1) (mean levels in each village between 21.2 microg L(-1) and 43.1 microg L(-1)). Mercury levels in piranha from the mined Catrimani River ranged from 235 to 1084 parts per billion (ppb). Nine of 13 piranhas, measuring 30 cm or longer had total mercury levels which exceeded mercury consumption limits (500 ppb) set by both the World Health Organization and the Brazilian Ministry of Health. Unexpectedly, high mercury levels were also observed in fish and villagers along the unmined Ajaraní and Pacu Rivers suggesting that indirect sources may contribute to environmental mercury contamination in the Amazon basin.

  19. Mercury in soil, earthworms and organs of voles Myodes glareolus and shrew Sorex araneus in the vicinity of an industrial complex in Northwest Russia (Cherepovets).

    PubMed

    Komov, V T; Ivanova, E S; Poddubnaya, N Y; Gremyachikh, V A

    2017-03-01

    The characteristic properties of uptake and distribution of mercury in terrestrial ecosystems have received much lesser attention compared to aquatic particularly in Russia. Terrestrial ecosystems adjacent to large industrial manufactures-potential sources of mercury inflow into the environment frequently remain unstudied. This is the first report on mercury (Hg) levels in the basic elements of terrestrial ecosystems situated close to a large metallurgical complex.Mean values of mercury concentration (mg Hg/kg dry weight) in the vicinity of city of Cherepovets were the following: 0.056 ± 0.033-in the humus layer of soil; 0.556 ± 0.159-in earthworms; in the organs of voles Myodes glareolus (kidneys-0.021 ± 0.001; liver-0.014 ± 0.003; muscle-0.014 ± 0.001; brain-0.008 ± 0.002); in the organs of shrew Sorex araneus (kidneys-0.191 ± 0.016; liver-0.124 ± 0.011; muscle-0.108 ± 0.009; brain-0.065 ± 0.000). Correlation dependences between Hg content in soil and earthworms (r s  = 0.85, p < 0.01) as well as soil and all studied shrews' organs (rs = 0.44-0.58; p ≤ 0.01) were found.The results obtained evidence for a strong trophic link in the bioaccumulation of Hg in terrestrial food webs. Despite the vicinity to a large metallurgical complex, mercury content in the studied objects was significantly lower than values of corresponding parameters in the soils and biota from industrial (polluted) areas of Great Britain, the USA, and China.

  20. ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS FOR SOIL INVERTEBRATES AND PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) are being developed for 24 inorganic and inorganic chemicals for soil invertebrates and plants using procedures developed by a Task Group of the USEPA Eco-SSL Work Group. The Eco-SSL Work Group is a collaboration among USEPA, DoD, DOE, ...

  1. 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

  2. Spatial trend and pollution assessment of total mercury and methylmercury pollution in the Pearl River Delta soil, South China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Laiguo; Xu, Zhencheng; Ding, Xiaoyong; Zhang, Weidong; Huang, Yumei; Fan, Ruifang; Sun, Jiaren; Liu, Ming; Qian, Donglin; Feng, Yongbin

    2012-07-01

    Total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) were measured in large number of soil samples collected from areas with different types of land use, different depth in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) of South China. THg and MeHg concentrations ranged from 16.7 to 3320ngg(-1) and 0.01 to 1.34ngg(-1), respectively. THg levels are highest in the top 0-20cm soil layer, and decrease from the surface to bottom layer soil. Spatial variation was observed with different types of land use. Urban parks had the highest concentrations and the other areas tended to decrease in the order of residential areas, industrial areas, vegetable fields, cereal fields, and woodlands. Temporal variation was also noted, and two relatively high THg contamination zones located in the northwestern part of the PRD have significantly expanded over the last two decades. Both THg and MeHg concentrations were correlated significantly with soil organic matter (OM), but not with soil pH. THg pollution status was evaluated using two assessment methods.

  3. Total mercury levels in commercial fish species from Italian fishery and aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Di Lena, Gabriella; Casini, Irene; Caproni, Roberto; Fusari, Andrea; Orban, Elena

    2017-06-01

    Total mercury levels were measured in 42 commercial fish species caught off the Central Adriatic and Tyrrhenian coasts of Italy and in 6 aquaculture species. The study on wild fish covered species differing in living habitat and trophic level. The study on farmed fish covered marine and freshwater species from intensive and extensive aquaculture and their feed. Mercury levels were analysed by thermal decomposition-amalgamation-atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Total mercury concentrations in the muscle of wild fish showed a high variability among species (0.025-2.20 mg kg(-1) wet weight). The lowest levels were detected in low trophic-level demersal and pelagic-neritic fish and in young individuals of high trophic-level species. Levels exceeding the European Commission limits were found in large-size specimens of high trophic-level pelagic and demersal species. Fish from intensive farming showed low levels of total mercury (0.008-0.251 mg kg(-1)). Fish from extensive rearing showed variable contamination levels, depending on the area of provenience. An estimation of the human intake of mercury associated to the consumption of the studied fish and its comparison with the tolerable weekly intake is provided.

  4. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on a global scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pacyna, Jozef M.; Travnikov, Oleg; De Simone, Francesco; Hedgecock, Ian M.; Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Elisabeth G.; Steenhuisen, Frits; Pirrone, Nicola; Munthe, John; Kindbom, Karin

    2016-10-01

    An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations, and atmospheric deposition of mercury worldwide is presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System) project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the main goal of applying them in models to assess current (2013) and future (2035) air concentrations and atmospheric deposition of this contaminant. The combustion of fossil fuels (mainly coal) for energy and heat production in power plants and in industrial and residential boilers, as well as artisanal and small-scale gold mining, is one of the major anthropogenic sources of Hg emissions to the atmosphere at present. These sources account for about 37 and 25 % of the total anthropogenic Hg emissions globally, estimated to be about 2000 t. Emissions in Asian countries, particularly in China and India, dominate the total emissions of Hg. The current estimates of mercury emissions from natural processes (primary mercury emissions and re-emissions), including mercury depletion events, were estimated to be 5207 t year-1, which represents nearly 70 % of the global mercury emission budget. Oceans are the most important sources (36 %), followed by biomass burning (9 %). A comparison of the 2035 anthropogenic emissions estimated for three different scenarios with current anthropogenic emissions indicates a reduction of these emissions in 2035 up to 85 % for the best-case scenario. Two global chemical transport models (GLEMOS and ECHMERIT) have been used for the evaluation of future mercury pollution levels considering future emission scenarios. Projections of future changes in mercury deposition on a global scale simulated by these models for three anthropogenic emissions scenarios of 2035 indicate a decrease in up to 50 % deposition in the Northern Hemisphere and up to 35 % in Southern Hemisphere for the best-case scenario. The EU GMOS project has proved to be a very important

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Mercury in litterfall and upper soil horizons in forested ecosystems in Vermont, USA.

    PubMed

    Juillerat, Juliette I; Ross, Donald S; Bank, Michael S

    2012-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) is an atmospheric pollutant that, in forest ecosystems, accumulates in foliage and upper soil horizons. The authors measured soil and litterfall Hg at 15 forest sites (northern hardwood to mixed hardwood/conifer) throughout Vermont, USA, to examine variation among tree species, forest type, and soils. Differences were found among the 12 tree species sampled from at least two sites, with Acer pensylvanicum having significantly greater litterfall total Hg concentration. Senescent leaves had greater Hg concentrations if they originated lower in the canopy or had higher surface:weight ratios. Annual litterfall Hg flux had a wide range, 12.6 to 28.5 µg/m(2) (mean, 17.9 µg/m(2) ), not related to forest type. Soil and Hg pools in the Oi horizon (litter layer) were not related to the measured Hg deposition flux in litterfall or to total modeled Hg deposition. Despite having lower Hg concentrations, upper mineral soil (A horizons) had greater Hg pools than organic soil horizons (forest floor) due to greater bulk density. Significant differences were found in Hg concentration and Hg/C ratio among soil horizons but not among forest types. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of site history and the benefits of collecting litterfall and soils simultaneously. Observed differences in forest floor Hg pools were strongly correlated with carbon pools, which appeared to be a function of historic land-use patterns.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. The impact of military activities on the concentration of mercury in soils of military training grounds and marine sediments.

    PubMed

    Gębka, Karolina; Bełdowski, Jacek; Bełdowska, Magdalena

    2016-11-01

    Military activities have been conducted on land and at sea. Both during conflicts and in peace time, some regions served as a military training ground which included firing positions and bunkers. Mercury fulminate has been used in ammunition primers and detonators. Certain amount of ammunition was dumped into the Baltic Sea after the Second World War. Because of corroded containers, mercury can be released into the marine environment. The soil and sediment samples were taken from military training grounds, southern Baltic in 2014 and 2015. The concentration of mercury was determined by AMA-254 analyzer. Hg concentration was higher in the places of military activities, as compared to other areas. Ten times increased concentration of Hg was determined in soil sample collected in area of active gun range compared to the reference station. The significant higher concentration of mercury was detected in stations where chemical warfare agents were found.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

    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/CH3HgCl pellet (test 1) and 1 and 0.1 grams/pellet (test 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 test 2 and 3 show blood mercury concentrations over time and tissue levels at necropsy consistent with dose suggesting that this is a viable method of dosing fish.

  13. [Effects of Long-term Different Tillage Methods on Mercury and Methylmercury Contents in Purple Paddy Soil and Overlying Water].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin-yue; Tang, Zhen-ya; Zhang, Cheng; Wang, Yong-min; Wang, Ding-yong

    2016-03-15

    A long-term experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of tillage methods on mercury and methylmercury contents in the purple paddy soil and overlying water. The experiment included five tillage methods: no-tillage and fallow in winter, ridge-no-tillage, compartments-no-tillage, paddy-upland rotation and conventional tillage. The results showed that the content of total mercury in soil had the maximum value in the 10-20 cm layer of no-tillage and fallow in winter, ridge-no-tillage and compartments-no-tillage, and the enrichment effect of no-tillage and fallow in winter was especially significant. The concentration of total mercury in soil of paddy-upland rotation and conventional tillage decreased with the increase of the soil depth, and paddy-upland rotation was specifically beneficial to the migration of mercury. The distribution of soil methylmercury was similar to that of total mercury in the soil profile. The methylation ability of soil mercury in the surface and middle of the soil profile was weaker than that at the bottom, while there was an opposite trend for other tillage methods. The concentrations of dissolved mercury ( DHg) and dissolved methylmercury ( DMeHg) in the overlaying water declined with the rise of the water depth in all treatments. The content of DHg in sediment porewater was related to the value of soil total mercury, and they had the same distribution in the soil profile. The content of DMeHg and its proportion accounted for DHg in porewater owned their largest value in the 10-20 cm layer of no-tillage and fallow in winter and ridge-no-tillage, where showed the lowest value of DMeHg in porewater for paddy-upland rotation and conventional tillage. And the percentage of DMeHg in DHg in porewater grew with the increase of soil depth of the latter two methods. Noticeably, the concentration of DMeHg and its proportion accounted for DHg in porewater were both higher than the values in overlying water for all tillage methods.

  14. 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.

  15. Where does the mercury in gaseous fluxes from soil come from? An applied stable isotope experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazur, Maxwell; Eckley, Chris; Mitchell, Carl

    2013-04-01

    The flux of gaseous mercury from soils is controlled by a number of physico-chemical factors including temperature, soil mercury concentration, boundary layer conditions, soil moisture, and often most notably, solar radiation. It has been presumed that the shallowest soils constitute the main source of Hg for evasion since this Hg is closer to the surface and since the organic horizon and shallow A-horizon soils generally have the most organic matter, where Hg is sorbed and accumulated. The evidence for the predominance of near surface soil as the principal source of Hg for evasion has generally been correlational in nature however and no direct experimental evidence currently exists. This experimental laboratory study directly assessed the depth from which Hg evades by labeling different soil layers (1cm in thickness) with an enriched Hg stable isotope and measuring Hg fluxes under constant, but relatively low light conditions. Fluxes were measured using a dynamic flux chamber coupled to high-precision air pumps and gold traps. The gold traps were thermally desorbed and Hg isotopes were measured by ICP-MS. Under dry soil conditions, we found that most labeled Hg fluxes were very low, with no discernible pattern in relation to tracer depth. In some dry condition measurements where tracer fluxes were significant (up to 69 ng/m2 h), they were four or more times less than measurements made with wetter soils. When soils were wetted to field capacity and then allowed to dry over time, measured surface fluxes peaked approximately 24 hours after wetting and quickly declined. The largest fluxes (270 ng/m2 h) measured after wetting were observed when the isotope enriched layer constituted the surface layer. Significant fluxes were measured after wetting when the enriched layer was at 0, 1 and 2 cm, and fluxes generally decreased exponentially with depth. Fluxes after wetting, when the enriched layer was 5cm below the surface, were non-significant. Our data provide direct

  16. Spatial health risk assessment and hierarchical risk management for mercury in soils from a typical contaminated site, China.

    PubMed

    Li, Fei; Zhang, Jingdong; Jiang, Wei; Liu, Chaoyang; Zhang, Zhongmin; Zhang, Chengde; Zeng, Guangming

    2016-08-18

    Due to rapid urbanization and the implementation of ecological civilization construction in China, many industrial factories have been closed or relocated. Therefore, numbers of contaminated sites were generated with contaminated soils which may pose a risk to receptors living nearby. This study presented a spatial health risk assessment and hierarchical risk management policy making for mercury (Hg) in soils from a typical contaminated site in the Hunan Province, central China. Compared with the second class value (0.3 mg/kg) of the Chinese Environmental Quality Standard for Soils, the mean concentrations of Hg in the three soil depths exceeded the second class value. The non-carcinogenic risk of Hg probably posed adverse health effects in 41, 30 and 36 % of the surface soil, the moderate soil and subsoil, respectively, under a sensitive land scenario. The non-carcinogenic risk temporarily posed no adverse health effects in most areas under an insensitive land scenario except for the area around sampling site S29. Spatially, the central, southwest and northeast parts of the contaminated land under a sensitive land scenario should be regarded as the priority regions. For non-carcinogenic effects, the exposure pathways that resulted in the higher levels of exposure risk were ingestion and inhalation of vapors, followed by dermal contact and inhalation of particles. A risk-based integrated risk management policy including the hierarchical risk control values for different soil depths and the calculated remediation earthwork was proposed with consideration of the cost-benefit effect for the related decision-makers.

  17. 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

    2015-11-03

    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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio; Nanos, Nikos

    2016-05-05

    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 1000 MW. The Hg concentration in Spanish soil fell within the range of 1-7564 μg kg(-1) (mean 67.2) and 50% of the samples had a concentration below 37 μg kg(-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 1000 μg kg(-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 15 km 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Lead, mercury, and organochlorine compound levels in cord blood in Québec, Canada.

    PubMed

    Rhainds, M; Levallois, P; Dewailly, E; Ayotte, P

    1999-01-01

    We conducted this study to evaluate blood levels of lead, mercury, and organochlorine compounds in newborns in the Province of Quebec. During 1993 to 1995, we carried out a survey in 10 hospitals located in southern Quebec. During that time, umbilical cord blood samples were obtained from 1109 newborns, and we analyzed each for lead, mercury, 14 polychlorinated biphenyl congeners, and 11 chlorinated pesticides. We used the geometric mean and 95% confidence interval (CI) to describe the results. Mean concentrations of lead and mercury in cord blood were 0.076 micromol/l (95% CI = 0.074, 0.079) and 4.82 nmol/l (95% CI = 4.56, 5.08), respectively. The mean concentrations of total polychlorinated biphenyls (Aroclor 1260) and dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene were 0.514 microg/I (95% CI = .493, 0.536) and 0.412 microg/l (95% CI = 0.390, 0.435), respectively. We observed a statistically significant relationship between maternal age and cord blood concentrations of (a) lead, (b) mercury, (c) polychlorinated biphenyls, and (d) dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene. In addition, maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with cord blood lead levels. The cord blood concentrations of lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene we measured in our study were the lowest levels recently reported in industrialized countries. The results of this study underline the role of public health authorities in the evaluation of biological levels of environmental contaminants among children for the assessment of risk of adverse health effects.

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Pinto Pereira, Lexley M; Teelucksingh, Surujpaul

    2009-04-29

    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.

  12. Determining mercury levels in anchovy and in individuals with different fish consumption habits, together with their neurological effects.

    PubMed

    Çamur, Derya; Güler, Çağatay; Vaizoğlu, Songül Acar; Özdilek, Betül

    2016-07-01

    An increase in enviromental pollution may lead to mercury toxicity of fish origin due to the accumulative nature of methylmercury in fish. The main sources of human exposure to organic mercury compounds are contaminated fish and other seafoods. This descriptive study was planned to determine mercury levels in anchovy and in hair samples from individuals with different fish consumption habits, and to evaluate those individuals in terms of toxic effects. For that purpose, we analyzed 100 anchovies from the Black Sea and 100 anchovies from the Sea of Marmara, and assessed 25 wholesale workers in fish markets and 25 cleaning firm employees from both Ankara and Istanbul. Mercury levels in samples were measured using a cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Participants were examined neurologically and mini mental state examination was applied to evaluate their cognitive functions. Mercury levels in fish were found to be below the national and international permitted levels. There was no statistically significant relation between mercury levels and the sea from which fish were caught. Hair mercury levels for all participants were within permitted ranges. However, hair mercury levels in both cities increased significantly with amount and frequency of fish consumption. A significant correlation was determined at correlation analysis between levels of fish consumption and hair mercury levels in the fishmongers and in the entire group (r = 0.32, p = 0.025; r = 0.23, p = 0.023, respectively). Neurological examination results were normal, except for a decrease in deep tendon reflexes in some participants in both cities. There was no correlation between Standardized Mini Mental State Examination results and hair mercury levels. We conclude that establishing a monitoring system for mercury levels in fish and humans will be useful in terms of evaluating potential neurotoxic effects.

  13. Risk, mercury levels, and birds: relating adverse laboratory effects to field biomonitoring.

    PubMed

    Burger, J; Gochfeld, M

    1997-11-01

    There is an abundance of field data on levels of mercury in a variety of organisms and there are a number of studies that demonstrate the adverse effects of mercury on laboratory animals, but few studies examine the relationship between the two. Thus it is often difficult to determine the ecological relevance of mercury concentrations found in nature, or to predict the ecosystem consequences of current levels. In this paper we review the levels in tissues that are associated with adverse effects in birds from laboratory studies and compare these with levels found in wild bird populations in the New York Bight to provide a basis for interpreting values in avian populations. We use feathers from fledgling birds which would have been fed on locally obtained food to eliminate the problem of where toxic burdens were acquired by more mobile adult birds. Laboratory studies indicate that in some species mercury levels of 1.5 ppm in eggs and/or 5 to 40 ppm in the feathers of birds are associated with adverse effects, including impaired reproduction. We report egg levels in birds that range as high as 3.8 ppm and feather levels that range as high as 10.3 ppm, although means are much lower. The levels in eggs of some wild birds in the New York Bight are within the range known to lower hatchability, embryo and chick survival, and chick weight, all variables that reduce reproductive success. Species with high egg levels include Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) and black skimmer (Rynchops niger). Levels in feathers of some young wild birds from the New York Bight are within the range associated with reduced hatchability of eggs, behavioral abnormalities of adults, and infertility. Species with dangerously elevated mercury levels in feathers include great egret (Ardea [=Egretta] alba), snowy egret [Egretta thula), and black skimmers.

  14. Geochemical background of zinc, cadmium and mercury in anthropically influenced soils in a semi-arid zone (SE, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Lorenzo, M. L.; Pérez-Sirvent, C.; Martínez-Sánchez, M. J.; Molina, J.; Tudela, M. L.; Hernández-Córdoba, M.

    2009-04-01

    This work seeks to establish the geochemical background for three potentially toxic trace elements (Zn, Cd and Hg) in a pilot zone included in the DesertNet project in the province of Murcia. The studied area, known as Campo de Cartagena, Murcia (SE Spain) is an area of intensive agriculture and has been much affected over the years by anthropic activity. The zone can be considered an experimental pilot zone for establishing background levels in agricultural soils. Sixty four samples were collected and corresponded to areas subjected to high and similar agricultural activity or soils with natural vegetation, which correspond to abandoned agricultural areas. The Zn content was determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The Cd content was determined by electrothermal atomization atomic absorption spectrometry and mercury content was determined by atomic fluorescence spectrometry. Geostatistical analysis consisting of kriging and mapping was performed using the geostatistical analyst extension of ArcGIS 8.3. Zinc values ranged from 10 mg kg-1 to 151 mg kg-1, with an average value of 45 mg kg-1. Cadmium values ranged between 0.1 mg kg-1 and 0.9mg kg-1, with a mean value of 0.3 mg kg-1 and mercury values ranged from 0.1 mg kg-1 to 2.3 mg kg-1, with a mean value of 0.5 mg kg-1. At a national level, the Spanish Royal Decree 9/2005 proposes toxicological and statistical approaches to establish background values. According to the statistical approach, background values consist of the median value for the selected element. The background values for Zn, Cd and Hg in the studied area were 40 mg kg-1 for Zn, 0.3 mg kg-1 for Cd and 0.4 mg kg-1 for Hg.

  15. 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... and Cell Room Monitoring Plans Your Floor-Level Mercury Vapor Measurement Plan required by §...

  16. 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... and Cell Room Monitoring Plans Your Floor-Level Mercury Vapor Measurement Plan required by §...

  17. 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... and Cell Room Monitoring Plans Your Floor-Level Mercury Vapor Measurement Plan required by §...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. The study of mercury exchange rate between air and soil surface in Hongfeng reservoir region, Guizhou, PR China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, S.; Feng, X.; Qiu, G.

    2003-05-01

    In summer of 2002, we measured the exchange flux of mercury between air and soil surface using the method of Dynamic Flux Chamber (DFC) in Hongfeng lake region. At the same time, we recorded meteorological parameters such as air temperature, soil temperature, wind speed and solar radiation using a multi-function mini-weather station (global water III). Soil, moss and fertilizer samples in study area were also collected. The Hg fluxes of air/soil surface rangeed from -11.0ng m^{-2} h^{-1} to 219.0ng m^{-2}h^{-1}, averaged at 29.2 ng m^{-2} h^{-1} (n = 508). The data show that the exchange of mercury is bi-direction between air and soit surface: namely both emission and deposition of mercury occurs, but Hg emission is much more frequent than deposition process (n_{deposition} =3,n_{emission}= 505). The average mercury content in soil, moss, fertilizer sample are 249.9± 24.1ng/g (n=3), 450.4 ± 64.6ng/g (n=2), 53.4ng/g (n= 1) respectively.

  1. 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).

  2. Barium Levels in Soils and Centella asiatica

    PubMed Central

    Ong, Ghim Hock; Yap, Chee Kong; Mahmood, Maziah; Tan, Soon Guan; Hamzah, Suhaimi

    2013-01-01

    In this study, Centella asiatica and surface soils were collected from 12 sampling sites in Peninsular Malaysia, and the barium (Ba) concentrations were determined. The Ba concentration [μg/g dry weight (dw)] was 63.72 to 382.01 μg/g in soils while in C. asiatica, Ba concentrations ranged from 5.05 to 21.88 μg/g for roots, 3.31 to 11.22 μg/g for leaves and 2.37 to 6.14 μg/g for stems. In C. asiatica, Ba accumulation was found to be the highest in roots followed by leaves and stems. The correlation coefficients (r) of Ba between plants and soils were found to be significantly positively correlated, with the highest correlation being between roots-soils (r=0.922, p<005), followed by leaves-soils (r=0.890, p<005) and stems-soils (r=0.848, p<005). This indicates that these three parts of C. asiatica are good biomonitors of Ba pollution. For the transplantation study, four sites were selected as unpolluted [(Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)], semi-polluted (Seri Kembangan and Balakong) and polluted sites (Juru). Based on the transplantation study under experimental field and laboratory conditions, Ba concentrations in C. asiatica were significantly (p<0.05) higher after three weeks of exposure at Seri Kembangan, Balakong and Juru. Thus, these experimental findings confirm that the leaves, stems and roots of C. asiatica can reflect the Ba levels in the soils where this plant is found. Three weeks after back transplantation to clean soils, the Ba levels in C. asiatica were still higher than the initial Ba level even though Ba elimination occurred. In conclusion, the leaves, stems and roots of C. asiatica are good biomonitors of Ba pollution. PMID:24575242

  3. Potential application of a semi-quantitative method for mercury determination in soils, sediments and gold mining residues.

    PubMed

    Yallouz, A V; Cesar, R G; Egler, S G

    2008-02-01

    An alternative, low cost method for analyzing mercury in soil, sediment and gold mining residues was developed, optimized and applied to 30 real samples. It is semiquantitative, performed using an acid extraction pretreatment step, followed by mercury reduction and collection in a detecting paper containing cuprous iodide. A complex is formed with characteristic color whose intensity is proportional to mercury concentration in the original sample. The results are reported as range of concentration and the minimum detectable is 100 ng/g. Method quality assurance was performed by comparing results obtained using the alternative method and the Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrometry techniques. The average results from duplicate analysis by CVAAS were 100% coincident with alternative method results. The method is applicable for screening tests and can be used in regions where a preliminary diagnosis is necessary, at programs of environmental surveillance or by scientists interested in investigating mercury geochemistry.

  4. Mercury pollution in the lake sediments and catchment soils of anthropogenically-disturbed sites across England.

    PubMed

    Yang, Handong; Turner, Simon; Rose, Neil L

    2016-12-01

    Sediment cores and soil samples were taken from nine lakes and their catchments across England with varying degrees of direct human disturbance. Mercury (Hg) analysis demonstrated a range of impacts, many from local sources, resulting from differing historical and contemporary site usage and management. Lakes located in industrially important areas showed clear evidence for early Hg pollution with concentrations in sediments reaching 400-1600 ng g(-1) prior to the mid-19th century. Control of inputs resulting from local management practices and a greater than 90% reduction in UK Hg emissions since 1970 were reflected by reduced Hg pollution in some lakes. However, having been a sink for Hg deposition for centuries, polluted catchment soils are now the major Hg source for most lakes and consequently recovery from reduced Hg deposition is being delayed.

  5. Mercury in Hazel Bolete Leccinum griseum and soil substratum: Distribution, bioconcentration and dietary exposure.

    PubMed

    Krasińska, Grażyna; Falandysz, Jerzy

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to examine the accumulation and distribution of total mercury (Hg) in fruiting bodies of edible wild-grown mushroom Hazel Bolete Leccinum griseum (Quél.) Singer, collected from six spatially distantly distributed places across Poland and to assess the probable dietary intake of the element by consumers. Mercury content of fungal and soil samples were determined by cold-vapour atomic absorption spectroscopy (CV-AAS) with a direct sample thermal decomposition coupled with gold wool trap of Hg and its further desorption and quantitative measurement at the wavelength of 296 nm. The median values of Hg content in caps of L. griseum collected from less-contaminated places (< 0.10 mg Hg kg(-1) dry matter in upper 0-10 cm layer of soil substratum) were from 0.23 mg kg(-1) dm to 0.43 mg kg(-1) dm. And for more contaminated topsoil (0.15 mg Hg kg(-1) dry matter), the median in caps was about 1.5 mg kg(-1) dry matter. The mushroom L. griseum has potential to accumulate Hg in fruiting bodies, while quantities of this element noted in consignments of this species originating from the forests with typical background values of Hg in topsoil are low. In the light of the published value of PTWI for Hg consumption of fruiting bodies of L. griseus emerged in forests of Poland is without health risk for consumers. Information on total mercury and methylmercury in Fungi of the genus Leccinum is also described briefly.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Geochemistry and environmental threats of soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mine.

    PubMed

    Bori, Jaume; Vallès, Bettina; Navarro, Andrés; Riva, Maria Carme

    2016-07-01

    The closure of mercury mining areas is generally associated with a release of Hg and other metals into the environment due to the abandonment of mining wastes. Because of their potential toxic properties, the mobilization of particulate and soluble metal species is of major concern. In the present study, the environmental risks posed by soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mining area in Valle del Azogue (Almeria, Spain) are assessed through the determination of physical-chemical parameters, the quantification of metal concentrations, and the application of aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicity bioassays. Chemical analysis of soil samples revealed concentrations of Hg, As, Ba, Pb, Sb, and Zn above international intervention values. Results from terrestrial tests showed detrimental effects in all studied organisms (Eisenia foetida, Folsomia candida, and different plant species) and revealed the avoidance response of earthworms as the most sensitive endpoint. Surprisingly, the most toxic samples were not the ones with higher metal contents but the ones presenting higher electrical conductivity. Aquatic ecotoxicity tests with Vibrio fischeri, Raphidocelis subcapitata, Daphnia magna, and Danio rerio were in accordance with terrestrial tests, confirming the need to couple environmental chemistry with ecotoxicological tools for the proper assessment of metal-contaminated sites. In view of the results, a remediative intervention of the studied area is recommended.

  9. Total mercury, methyl mercury, and selenium levels in the red meat of small cetaceans sold for human consumption in Japan.

    PubMed

    Endo, Tetsuya; Haraguchi, Koichi; Hotta, Yohei; Hisamichi, Yohsuke; Lavery, Shane; Dalebout, Merel L; Baker, C Scott

    2005-08-01

    We surveyed the total mercury (T-Hg) and methyl mercury (M-Hg) levels in red meat products (n = 160) from small cetacean species sold for human consumption in markets throughout Japan from 2000 to 2003. Genetic identification showed that the red meat products originated from nine species: false killer whale, bottlenose dolphin, short-finned pilot whale, striped dolphin, rough-toothed dolphin, Risso's dolphin, pantropical spotted dolphin, Baird's beaked whale, and Dall's porpoise. T-Hg and M-Hg concentrations in all red meat products exceeded the provisional permitted levels of T-Hg (0.4 microg/wet g) and M-Hg (0.3 microg/ wet g) in fish and shellfish set by the Japanese government, respectively. The average M-Hg level in the most contaminated species (false killer whale) was 11.5 microg/wet g, and that in the least contaminated species (Dall's porpoise) was about 1.0 microg/wet g, exceeding or equaling the Codex guideline of M-Hg in predatory fishes (1.0 microg/wet g). Contamination levels of T-Hg and M-Hg differed considerably among samples of the nine species and among individuals of a particular species. The highest M-Hg was about 26 microg/ wet g in a sample from a striped dolphin, 87-times higher than the permitted level. The consumption of only 4 g of this product would exceed the provisional tolerable weekly intake of M-Hg for someone of 60 kg body weight (1.6 microg/kg-bw/ week). Although a high correlation between T-Hg and selenium (Se) was observed in these products, the molar ratio of T-Hg to Se was substantially higher than 1. The consumption of red meat from small cetaceans, therefore, could pose a health problem for not only pregnant women but also for the general population.

  10. Blood mercury levels in autism spectrum disorder: Is there a threshold level?

    PubMed

    Geier, David A; Audhya, Tapan; Kern, Janet K; Geier, Mark R

    2010-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) may significantly impact the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Lab results generated by Vitamin Diagnostics (CLIA-approved) from 2003-2007, were examined among subjects diagnosed with an ASD (n=83) in comparison to neurotypical controls (n=89). Blood Hg levels were determined by analyzing Hg content in red blood cells (RBC) using cold vapor analysis, and consistent Hg measurements were observed between Vitamin Diagnostics and the University of Rochester. Adjusted (age, gender, and date of collection) mean Hg levels were 1.9-fold significantly (P<.0001) increased among subjects diagnosed with an ASD (21.4 microg/L) in comparison to controls (11.4 microg/L). Further, an adjusted significant (P<.0005) threshold effect >15 microg/L) was observed for Hg levels on the risk of a subject being diagnosed with an ASD in comparison to controls (odds ratio=6.4). The weight of scientific evidence supports Hg as a causal factor in subjects diagnosed with an ASD.

  11. Removal of trace level aqueous mercury by adsorption and photocatalysis on silica-titania composites.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Heather E; Mazyck, David W

    2009-10-30

    Silica-titania composites (STCs) were applied to trace level mercury solutions (100 microg/L Hg) to determine the degree of mercury removal that could be accomplished via adsorption and photocatalysis. STCs are a porous, high surface area silica substrate (> 200 m(2)/g), manufactured using sol-gel methodology, impregnated with TiO2 nanoparticles. The performance of this material along with its precursors, silica and Degussa P25 TiO2 were compared. Under adsorption alone (no UV illumination), STCs were able to achieve approximately 90% removal of mercury, which is comparable to that of Degussa P25. Silica without TiO2 performed poorly in comparison and was minimally affected by UV illumination. Contrary to expectations, the performance of Degussa P25 was not largely changed by UV irradiation and the STC was detrimentally affected under the same conditions. It was concluded that elemental mercury was formed under UV irradiation with or without the presence of TiO2 due to photochemical reactions, decreasing the mercury removal by STC. Additionally, the primary particle size of the STC was reduced to increase mass transfer. The result was improved Hg removal under adsorption and photocatalysis conditions. Improved adsorption kinetics were also achieved by altering the STC pore size and TiO2 loading.

  12. Hair mercury levels in relation to fish consumption in a community of the Moroccan Mediterranean coast.

    PubMed

    Elhamri, Hecham; Idrissi, Larbi; Coquery, Marina; Azemard, Sabine; El Abidi, Abdellah; Benlemlih, Mohamed; Saghi, Mohamed; Cubadda, Francesco

    2007-11-01

    Coastal populations with high seafood consumption in the Mediterranean have a significant exposure to dietary methylmercury, and areas where environmental mercury pollution is an issue due to industrial activities are of special concern. The study was undertaken with the aim of assessing methylmercury exposure through fish consumption in a community of north Morocco and characterizing the relevant health risk. Concentrations of total mercury were determined in human hair, a biomarker of methylmercury exposure, and in locally consumed fish by cold vapour atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Based on consumption frequencies reported by the 108 subjects included in the study the weekly intake of methylmercury was estimated and biomarker data were evaluated in relation to the estimated intake and the sociodemographic characteristics of the population. Multiple regression analysis was employed for the interpretation of hair mercury data in relation to fish consumption frequency, gender and the age of individuals. Mercury concentrations in hair ranged from 0.22 to 9.56 microg g(-1) (geometric mean = 1.79 microg g(-1)) and were closely related to fish intake. Fisherman and their families consumed fish three to five times per week and were the most exposed population subgroup. A high proportion of women of child-bearing age (50%) had relatively high levels of mercury in their hair (3.08-7.88 microg g(-1)).

  13. Control of Mercury Accumulation And Mobility in a Forest Soil as Indicated by δ13C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bajracharya, U.; Jackson, B.; Feng, X.

    2015-12-01

    Mobility and cycling of mercury (Hg) in soils is important. Hg leaching results in its transport to wetlands, where Hg methylates and bioaccumulates through aquatic food webs. It has been shown that Hg cycle in soil is controlled by organic matter (OM) quantity as well as quality. The latter is indicated by increase of Hg/C ratio as C/N decreases by decomposition. Here we investigate the Hg-C relationship in a temperate forest soil in Hanover, NH, with a focus of examining the control of OM quality on soil Hg accumulation and mobility. We use δ13C as an indicator of carbon quality. The soil samples from A, B and C horizons were separated into six particle size fractionations from <25 µm to 1 mm. Both the bulk soil and particle size separates were analyzed for Hg concentrations, carbon content (C%), δ13C, and Hg partition coefficient (Kd =mg gSoil-1/mg Lsolution-1). We found that the bulk Hg concentration decreases significantly with increasing δ13C (R2=0.90, p <0.0001), but Hg/C increases with δ13C (R2=0.59, p =0.009). Both Hg/C and δ13C increase with soil depth, and at a given horizon, they both increase with decreasing particle size. These results indicate that high Hg/C ratios are associated with aged, decomposed, and low quality OM. Mostly likely, this accumulation of Hg in older OM is a result of retention of Hg upon carbon loss during soil respiration. However, the relationship between particle size and Hg/C is significantly different among different horizons; the most prominent relationship occurs at the deepest C horizon. This cross effect of horizon and particle size cannot be explained by normal aging of the OM through decomposition, pointing to mechanisms of changing in Hg bonding characteristics with OM aging or particle aggregation. The measured Kd value decreased with increasing δ13C (R2=0.43, p =0.0031), indicating that Hg associated with older OM is more subject to leaching compared to younger, fresher OM. This association can also be

  14. A gravimetric approach to providing SI traceability for concentration measurement results of mercury vapor at ambient air levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ent, Hugo; van Andel, Inge; Heemskerk, Maurice; van Otterloo, Peter; Bavius, Wijnand; Baldan, Annarita; Horvat, Milena; Brown, Richard J. C.; Quétel, Christophe R.

    2014-11-01

    Current measurement and calibration capabilities for mercury vapor in air are maintained at levels of 0.2-40 μg Hg m-3. In this work, a mercury vapor generator has been developed to establish metrological traceability to the international system of units (SI) for mercury vapor measurement results ≤15 ng Hg m-3, i.e. closer to realistic ambient air concentrations (1-2 ng Hg m-3) [1]. Innovations developed included a modified type of diffusion cell, a new measurement method to weigh the loss in (mercury) mass of these diffusion cells during use (ca. 6-8 μg mass difference between successive weighings), and a new housing for the diffusion cells to maximize flow characteristics and to minimize temperature variations and adsorption effects. The newly developed mercury vapor generator system was tested by using diffusion cells generating 0.8 and 16 ng Hg min-1. The results also show that the filter system, to produce mercury free air, is working properly. Furthermore, and most importantly, the system is producing a flow with a stable mercury vapor content. Some additional improvements are still required to allow the developed mercury vapor generator to produce SI traceable mercury vapor concentrations, based upon gravimetry, at much lower concentration levels and reduced measurement uncertainties than have been achieved previously. The challenges to be met are especially related to developing more robust diffusion cells and better mass measurement conditions. The developed mercury vapor generator will contribute to more reliable measurement results of mercury vapor at ambient and background air levels, and also to better safety standards and cost reductions in industrial processes, such as the liquefied natural gas field, where aluminum main cryogenic heat exchangers are used which are particularly prone to corrosion caused by mercury.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. [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.

  18. Molecular field analysis of trophic relationships in soil-dwelling invertebrates to identify mercury, lead and cadmium transmission through forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Šerić Jelaska, Lucija; Jurasović, Jasna; Brown, David S; Vaughan, Ian P; Symondson, William O C

    2014-08-01

    Contamination pathways in complex food chains in soil ecosystems can be difficult to elucidate. Molecular analysis of predator gut content can, however, rapidly reveal previously unidentified trophic interactions between invertebrates and thereby uncover pathways of pollutant spread. Here, we measured concentrations of the toxic metals lead, cadmium and mercury in carabid beetle predators and their prey. Invertebrates were sampled at one control and four heavy metal-polluted sites to reveal the impact of diet composition and seasonal variation in prey availability on metal burden in carabids and metal transfer pathways through forest ecosystems. This is the first report, to our knowledge, of carabid diet composition based on PCR analysis of gut contents at the forest community level, rather than in cultivated fields. Extensive screening using group- and species-specific primers revealed that carabids ate primarily earthworms and slugs, as well as smaller numbers of woodlice and springtails. Metal concentrations in carabids correlated with seasonal changes in diet. Mercury accumulated in beetle predators more than in their slug prey. As earthworms, slugs and carabid beetles are the major prey of many birds and mammals, prey-predator transfer and associated toxicity are major risks at mercury-contaminated sites. Carabids may be useful bioindicators for assessing the impact of pollutants on soil ecosystems, as long as species and seasonal factors are taken into account.

  19. 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.

  20. Mercury concentrations in forest soils and stream waters in northeast and south China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yao; Duan, Lei; Wang, Long; Xu, Guangyi; Wang, Shuxiao; Hao, Jiming

    2014-10-15

    Atmospheric deposition of mercury (Hg) is generally higher in China than in North America and Europe. Transport and methylation of Hg deposited in forest ecosystems may cause health risks to humans. We collected water samples from 117 small streams, and soil samples from 25 sites in forested areas in northeast and south China during 2011-2013 to investigate the spatial distribution of Hg. Results showed that Hg concentration in surface soil (0-5 cm in depth) was generally higher in south China (97.8 ± 36.0 μg/kg) than that in the northeast (44.0 ± 14.1 μg/kg). In contrast, the Hg concentration in stream water was higher in northeast China (17.2 ± 11.0 ng/L) than that in the south (6.2 ± 6.4 ng/L). Hg concentrations in surface soil were positively correlated with Hg concentrations in the overlying litter Oe/Oa horizon (r(2)=0.84). Hg concentrations in stream water were positively correlated to DOC (dissolved organic carbon) concentrations (r(2)=0.43) and to the Hg concentration in the litter Oe/Oa horizon (r(2)=0.69). Because the litter Oe/Oa horizon represents Hg accumulated by foliage, the positive correlations indicate that atmospheric Hg deposition was an important factor affecting Hg concentrations in soils and stream water.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Legacy mercury and stoichiometry with C, N, and S in soil, pore water, and stream water across the upland-wetland interface: The influence of hydrogeologic setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demers, Jason D.; Yavitt, Joseph B.; Driscoll, Charles T.; Montesdeoca, Mario R.

    2013-06-01

    Mechanisms influencing retention, biogeochemical cycling, and release of legacy mercury within soils of forests and wetlands remain poorly understood. We quantified mercury pool size and stoichiometry with carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur across forest-wetland transects and among wetlands of different hydrogeologic settings in the Adirondack region of New York State. Average total mercury pool size in soils (to 50 cm depth) was greater in forests (17.5 mg/m2) than in wetlands (6.1 mg/m2; p < 0.010). The average mercury pool size (to 50 cm depth) in shallow-peat riparian wetlands (9.3 mg/m2) was greater than in deep-peat riparian (5.4 mg/m2; p = 0.099) or headwater wetlands (3.6 mg/m2; p = 0.046). Accumulation of mercury was enhanced at the forest-wetland interface. In mineral horizons of the forest soil and in shallow-peat riparian wetlands, mercury was positively correlated with carbon (r2 = 0.73-0.96) and nitrogen (r2 = 0.82-0.93), but not sulfur. In contrast, mercury and sulfur were strongly correlated in headwater wetland peat (r2 = 0.73). Dissolved mercury was correlated with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in pore water and stream water of deep-peat and shallow-peat riparian wetlands (r2 = 0.46-0.73), but not in headwater wetland pore water. In headwater outlet streams, dissolved mercury was correlated with DOC (r2 = 0.62), but the slope was only one third that in riparian streams. Hydrogeologic setting influences decomposition processes, biogeochemical cycling of mercury, and hydrologic transport that in turn, govern the size and stoichiometry of mercury pools across the upland-wetland interface and among different wetland types. Ultimately, mobilization of legacy mercury into aquatic ecosystems from forest soils and wetlands likely depends upon decomposition dynamics and hydrologic flow paths.

  4. SMOS CATDS level 3 Soil Moisture products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berthon, L.; Mialon, A.; Bitar, A. Al; Cabot, F.; Kerr, Y. H.

    2012-04-01

    The ESA's (European Space Agency) SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) mission, operating since november 2009, is the first satellite dedicated to measuring surface soil moisture and ocean salinity. The CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) has developed a ground segment for the SMOS data, known as the CATDS (Centre Aval de Traitement des Données SMOS). Operational since June 2011, it provides data referred to as level 3 products at different time resolutions: daily products, 3 days global products insuring a complete coverage of the Earth surface, 10-days composite products, and monthly averages products. These products are presented in the NetCDF format on the EASE grid (Equal Area Scalable Earth grid) with a spatial resolution of ~ 25*25 km2. Having global maps at different time resolutions is of interest for different applications such as agriculture, water management, climatic events (especially droughts and floods) or climatology. The soil moisture level 3 algorithm is based on ESA's (European Space Agency) level 2 retrieval scheme with the improvement of using several overpasses (3 at most) over a 7-days window. The benefit of using many revisits is expected to improve the retrieved soil moisture. Along with the surface soil moisture, other geophysical parameters are retrieved such as the vegetation optical depth or the dielectric constant of the surface. The aim of this communication is to present the first results from the CATDS dataset and all the different data available. Comparisons with in situ data at different sites will be presented to assess the quality of these data. A comparison with the ESA level 2 SMOS products will also be shown to better understand the difference between these dataset, in terms of quality, coverage, applications and use. We will also present how the CATDS data can capture some special events. For instance, the dataset will be compared with meteorological events (rain events), or extreme events such as droughts or

  5. Legacy source of mercury in an urban stream-wetland ecosystem in central North Carolina, USA.

    PubMed

    Deonarine, Amrika; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Zhang, Tong; Cai, Yong; Richardson, Curtis J

    2015-11-01

    In the United States, aquatic mercury contamination originates from point and non-point sources to watersheds. Here, we studied the contribution of mercury in urban runoff derived from historically contaminated soils and the subsequent production of methylmercury in a stream-wetland complex (Durham, North Carolina), the receiving water of this runoff. Our results demonstrated that the mercury originated from the leachate of grass-covered athletic fields. A fraction of mercury in this soil existed as phenylmercury, suggesting that mercurial anti-fungal compounds were historically applied to this soil. Further downstream in the anaerobic sediments of the stream-wetland complex, a fraction (up to 9%) of mercury was converted to methylmercury, the bioaccumulative form of the metal. Importantly, the concentrations of total mercury and methylmercury were reduced to background levels within the stream-wetland complex. Overall, this work provides an example of a legacy source of mercury that should be considered in urban watershed models and watershed management.

  6. Levels of depleted uranium in Kosovo soils.

    PubMed

    Sansone, U; Stellato, L; Jia, G; Rosamilia, S; Gaudino, S; Barbizzi, S; Belli, M

    2001-01-01

    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has performed a field survey at 11 sites located in Kosovo, where depleted uranium (DU) ammunitions were used by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) during the last Balkans conflict (1999). Soil sampling was performed to assess the spread of DU ground contamination around and within the NATO target sites and the migration of DU along the soil profile. The 234U/238U and 235U/238U activity concentration ratios have been used as an indicator of natural against anthropogenic sources of uranium. The results show that levels of 238U activity concentrations in soils above 100 Bq x kg(-1) can be considered a 'tracer' of the presence of DU in soils. The results also indicate that detectable ground surface contamination by DU is limited to areas within a few metres from localised points of concentrated contamination caused by penetrator impacts. Vertical distribution of DU along the soil profile is measurable up to a depth of 10-20 cm. This latter aspect is of particular relevance for the potential risk of future contamination of groundwater.

  7. 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

    2012-03-06

    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.

  8. Quantification and speciation of mercury in soils from the Tripuí Ecological Station, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Palmieri, Helena E L; Nalini, Hermínio A; Leonel, Liliam V; Windmöller, Cláudia C; Santos, Regis C; de Brito, Walter

    2006-09-01

    Contents of total mercury, organic carbon, total sulfur, iron, aluminum and grain size and clay mineralogy were used along with Pearson's correlation and Hg thermal desorption technique to investigate the presence, distribution and binding behavior of Hg in soils from three depths from the Tripuí Ecological Station, located near Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. The soils studied had predominantly medium and fine sand texture (0.59-0.062 mm), acid character and Hg contents ranging from 0.09 to 1.23 microg/g. The granulometric distribution revealed that Hg is associated with coarse sand (2-0.59 mm) and silt and clay (<0.062 mm) and presents similar Hg concentrations in both fractions. Mercury distribution in soil profiles showed that Hg was homogeneously distributed throughout the depths at most sites. Hg thermal desorption curves show that mercury occurs not only as Hg2+ predominantly bound to organic components in most of the samples, but also in the form of cinnabar in some. Pearson's correlation confirmed that mercury is associated with organic matter and sulfur and possibly with sulfur-bearing organic matter in most samples.

  9. Mercury and docosahexaenoic acid levels in maternal and cord blood in relation to segmental maternal hair mercury concentrations at parturition.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Chan, Hing Man; Domingo, José L; Kawakami, Shoichi; Murata, Katsuyuki

    2012-09-01

    Fish is a major source of harmful methylmercury (MeHg) and beneficial docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the developing brain. In this study, we investigated the correlations among maternal and umbilical cord (cord) MeHg and DHA levels at parturition, and mercury (Hg) concentration in 1-cm incremental segments hair samples which grew during gestation representing monthly MeHg exposure levels throughout the period. Whole blood Hg and plasma DHA levels were measured in blood sample pairs collected from 54 mothers at early gestation and parturition, and in cord blood. Maternal hair samples were collected at parturition, and Hg concentrations were measured in 1-cm incremental segments. Hg level in mothers at parturition was slightly lower than that at early gestation and the level in cord blood were approximately 1.9 times higher than that in mothers at parturition. On the other hand, DHA level in mothers at parturition was approximately 2.3 and 1.6 times higher than those in mothers at early gestation and in cord plasma, respectively. These results indicate that kinetics of these chemicals in mothers during gestation and placental transfer are completely different. However, Hg and DHA levels had significant positive correlation in fetal circulation. The cord blood Hg showed the strongest correlation with maternal hair Hg in the first 1-cm segment from the scalp at parturition (r=0.87), indicating that fetal MeHg level reflects maternal MeHg burden at late gestation. In contrast, maternal and cord plasma DHA concentrations at parturition showed the highest correlation coefficients with Hg in the fifth (r=0.43) and fourth (r=0.38) 1-cm hair segments, suggesting that maternal and fetal DHA levels reflects maternal fish intake during mid-gestation.

  10. Multifractal analysis of soil porosity based on mercury porosimetry and nitrogen adsorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paz-Ferreiro, J.; Vidal Vázquez, E.; Miranda, J. G. V.

    2009-04-01

    The soil pore space is composed of a continuum of pores extremely variable in size which include structures smaller than nanometres and as large as macropores > 20 mm in diameter, i.e. with an upper size limit of the order of centimetres. Thus, a ratio of at least 106 is displayed in soil pore sizes. Soil pore size distribution directly influences many soil physical, chemical and biological properties. Characterization of soil structure may be achieved by pore size distribution analysis. There is not a unique method for determining soil pore size distributions all over the size scale. Mercury injection porosimetry and N2 adsorption isotherms are techniques commonly used for assessing equivalent pore size diameters in selected ranges. The Hg injection technique provides pore size distributions in the range from about 50 nm to 100 m, whereas N2 adsorption isotherms may be used for finer pores ranging in size from about 2 to 500 nm. In this work, multifractal formalism has been used to describe Hg injection porosimetry and N2 adsorption isotherms measured in a Mollisol and in a Vertisol with four different soil use intensities, ranging from native, never cultivated, land to continuous cropping. Three samples per treatment were analyzed resulting in a total of twelve samples per soil. All the Hg injection curves and N2 adsorption isotherms exhibited multifractal behaviour as shown by singularity spectra and Rényi dimension spectra. The capacity dimension, D0, for both Hg injection and N2 adsorption data sets was not significantly different from 1.00. However, significantly different values of entropy dimension, D1, and correlation dimension, D2, were obtained for mercury injection and nitrogen adsorption experimental data. For instance, entropy dimension, D1, values extracted from multifractal spectra of Hg intrusion porosimetry were on average 0.913 and varied from 0.889 to 0.939. However, the corresponding figures for N2 adsorption isotherms were on average 0

  11. 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.

  12. Aerobic and anaerobic biosynthesis of nano-selenium for remediation of mercury contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaonan; Zhang, Daoyong; Pan, Xiangliang; Lee, Duu-Jong; Al-Misned, Fahad A; Mortuza, M Golam; Gadd, Geoffrey Michael

    2017-03-01

    Selenium (Se) nanoparticles are often synthesized by anaerobes. However, anaerobic bacteria cannot be directly applied for bioremediation of contaminated top soil which is generally aerobic. In this study, a selenite-reducing bacterium, Citrobacter freundii Y9, demonstrated high selenite reducing power and produced elemental nano-selenium nanoparticles (nano-Se(0)) under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The biogenic nano-Se(0) converted 45.8-57.1% and 39.1-48.6% of elemental mercury (Hg(0)) in the contaminated soil to insoluble mercuric selenide (HgSe) under anaerobic and aerobic conditions, respectively. Addition of sodium dodecyl sulfonate enhanced Hg(0) remediation, probably owing to the release of intracellular nano-Se(0) from the bacterial cells for Hg fixation. The reaction product after remediation was identified as non-reactive HgSe that was formed by amalgamation of nano-Se(0) and Hg(0). Biosynthesis of nano-Se(0) both aerobically and anaerobically therefore provides a versatile and cost-effective remediation approach for Hg(0)-contaminated surface and subsurface soils, where the redox potential often changes dramatically.

  13. Wild Boar Tissue Levels of Cadmium, Lead and Mercury in Seven Regions of Continental Croatia

    PubMed Central

    Sedak, Marija; Đokić, Maja; Šimić, Branimir

    2010-01-01

    Concentrations of cadmium, mercury and lead were analysed by atomic absorption spectrometry in the kidney and muscle of free-living wild boar (n = 169) from hunting grounds in seven counties of continental Croatia. Mean levels of metals (mg/kg) in muscle and kidney of boars ranged as follows: Cd: 0.005–0.016 and 0.866–4.58, Pb: 0.033–0.15 and 0.036–0.441, Hg: 0.004–0.012 and 0.04–0.152. In all seven regions, concentrations exceeded the permitted values (muscle and kidney mg/kg: cadmium 0.05/1; lead 0.1/0.5; mercury 0.03/0.1) in 13.6% and 71.6% of samples (muscle and kidney, respectively) for cadmium; 13.6% and 8.9% for lead; 19.5% and 2.4% for mercury. There were significant differences among the regions. Vukovar-Srijem and Virovitica-Podravina Counties were highly contaminated with cadmium, Sisak-Moslavina and Virovitica-Podravina Counties with lead and Brod-Posavina County had highest mercury concentrations. These results suggest a detailed investigation of physiological and environmental factors contributing to accumulation of metals in boars. PMID:20405101

  14. Mercury emission from a cement factory and its influence on the environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukuzaki, Norio; Tamura, Ryozo; Hirano, Yuzuru; Mizushima, Yoshio

    Mercury balance was investigated in a cement factory, measuring the mercury concentration in ingredients, fuels, cement and exhaust gases, etc. Daily mercury emission quantity from the factory was estimated to be 1.5 kg, originating mostly from limestone. Gaseous and particulate mercury concentrations in ambient air were 4.1-8.7 ng m -3 and 0.15-0.68 ng m -3, respectively. Particulate mercury concentrations are remarkably higher than the background ones. The influence of mercury emission estimated from the determined mercury levels in the leaves of indicator plants reaches up to 5 km at least from the source. The sum of the mercury quantity deposited from the atmosphere and that taken by leaves of plants in the area within a 5-km radius from the factory was calculated to be about 4% of the entire mercury emitted. The mercury residue was recognized in humus and surface soil in the forest near the factory.

  15. Basic Information about Mercury

    MedlinePlus

    ... globe -- before it is deposited in soil or water. Mercury that remains in the air for prolonged periods of time and travels across continents is said to be in the "global cycle." One major source of mercury emissions outside of ...

  16. Remote sensing of Mercury-contaminated soils through plant reflection spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunagan, S. C.; Gilmore, M. S.; Varekamp, J. C.

    2005-12-01

    The spatial extent of Hg contamination is often poorly known because current methods used to identify and map Hg soil contamination on a regional scale are time consuming and expensive. Here we test whether vegetation growing in Hg-contaminated soils has discernible characteristics in visible/near-infrared (VNIR, 350-2500nm) spectra. Previous work indicates that Hg can cause chemical and structural changes in plant tissue, including chlorophyll substitution and cell damage, which we predict may alter the reflectance spectra of plants in a measurable way. To test this hypothesis, Mustard Spinach plants (n=21) were grown in mercury-spiked soils and in Hg-contaminated soils collected in the field. The plants were grown under controlled laboratory conditions over a full growth cycle. Foliar Hg concentrations (0.174-3.993ppm) of the Mustard Spinach plants were positively correlated with Hg concentrations of soils (0.091-39.35ppm). Leaf Hg increased throughout the growth cycle but decreased in the plants grown in the Hg-spiked and field-contaminated soil at the end of the growth cycle. Leaf Hg uptake appears to occur through both roots and leaves and may vary as a function of bioavailability of Hg in the soils. Reflectance spectra of leaves were measured under artificial light in the laboratory. The potential spectral effects of Hg on the plants were quantified with selected vegetation indices (VIs) including Ratio Vegetation Index (RVI), Red Edge Position (REP) and Amplitude (REA) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and compared to foliar Hg concentrations. Correlations between VIs and foliar Hg concentrations are not statistically significant. However, RVI and REP values of plants grown in Hg-spiked and in field-contaminated soils are lower relative to those from the control plants during the early and middle portions of the growth cycle and decrease more rapidly than those from control plants at the end of the growth cycle. These lower RVI and REP values

  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.

  18. 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

  19. Mercury alters the bacterial community structure and diversity in soil even at concentrations lower than the guideline values.

    PubMed

    Mahbub, Khandaker Rayhan; Subashchandrabose, Suresh Ramraj; Krishnan, Kannan; Naidu, Ravi; Megharaj, Mallavarapu

    2017-03-01

    This study evaluated the effect of inorganic mercury (Hg) on bacterial community and diversity in different soils. Three soils-neutral, alkaline and acidic-were spiked with six different concentrations of Hg ranging from 0 to 200 mg kg(-1) and aged for 90 days. At the end of the ageing period, 18 samples from three different soils were investigated for bacterial community structure and soil physicochemical properties. Illumina MiSeq-based 16s ribosomal RNA (rRNA) amplicon sequencing revealed the alteration in the bacterial community between un-spiked control soils and Hg-spiked soils. Among the bacterial groups, Actinobacteria (22.65%) were the most abundant phyla in all samples followed by Proteobacteria (21.95%), Bacteroidetes (4.15%), Firmicutes (2.9%) and Acidobacteria (2.04%). However, the largest group showing increased abundance with higher Hg doses was the unclassified group (45.86%), followed by Proteobacteria. Mercury had a considerable negative impact on key soil functional bacteria such as ammonium oxidizers and nitrifiers. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that among the measured soil properties, Hg had a major influence on bacterial community structure. Furthermore, nonlinear regression analysis confirmed that Hg significantly decreased soil bacterial alpha diversity in lower organic carbon containing neutral and alkaline soils, whereas in acidic soil with higher organic carbon there was no significant correlation. EC20 values obtained by a nonlinear regression analysis indicated that Hg significantly decreased soil bacterial diversity in concentrations lower than several guideline values.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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

  8. Mercury levels in herring gulls and fish: 42 years of spatio-temporal trends in the Great Lakes.

    PubMed

    Blukacz-Richards, E Agnes; Visha, Ariola; Graham, Matthew L; McGoldrick, Daryl L; de Solla, Shane R; Moore, David J; Arhonditsis, George B

    2017-04-01

    Total mercury levels in aquatic birds and fish communities have been monitored across the Canadian Great Lakes by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) for the past 42 years (1974-2015). These data (22 sites) were used to examine spatio-temporal variability of mercury levels in herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs, lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), walleye (Sander vitreus), and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax). Trends were quantified with dynamic linear models, which provided time-variant rates of change of mercury concentrations. Lipid content (in both fish and eggs) and length in fish were used as covariates in all models. For the first three decades, mercury levels in gull eggs and fish declined at all stations. In the 2000s, trends for herring gull eggs reversed at two sites in Lake Erie and two sites in Lake Ontario. Similar trend reversals in the 2000s were observed for lake trout in Lake Superior and at a single station in Lake Ontario. Mercury levels in lake trout continued to slowly decline at all of the remaining stations, except for Lake Huron, where the levels remained stable. A post-hoc Bayesian regression analysis suggests strong trophic interactions between herring gulls and rainbow smelt in Lake Superior and Lake Ontario, but also pinpoints the likelihood of a trophic decoupling in Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Continued monitoring of mercury levels in herring gulls and fish is required to consolidate these trophic shifts and further evaluate their broader implications.

  9. Mercury uptake and distribution in Lavandula stoechas plants grown in soil from Almadén mining district (Spain).

    PubMed

    Sierra, M J; Millán, R; Esteban, E

    2009-11-01

    This work studies mercury root uptake by Lavandula stoechas var. Kew Red (lavender) and the distribution of this metal through the plant under greenhouse conditions along three consecutive seasons. Mercury concentration in plant tissues and in the different products obtained from lavender plants (essential oil, toilet water and in lavender tea) was assessed in order to evaluate the possible cultivation of lavender as a profitable alternative land use to mercury mining in the Almadén area once the mine had been closed down. Mercury concentration in useful parts of the plant was low (0.03-0.55 mg kg(-1)). Likewise, the essential oil, toilet water and tea obtained from these plants presented very low mercury levels, below the detection limit of the used equipment (<0.5 microg kg(-1)). In the case of the obtained tea, according to the recommendations given by the World Health Organization, the maximum daily intake of it without intoxication risk would be 85.2l. So, although other sources of mercury intake should also be considered in order to elaborate a complete toxicological risk assessment. Lavender data, obtained under this greenhouse working conditions, shows that lavender cultivation could be an alternative crop in the Almadén area.

  10. Disparities in Children's Blood Lead and Mercury Levels According to Community and Individual Socioeconomic Positions.

    PubMed

    Lim, Sinye; Ha, Mina; Hwang, Seung-Sik; Son, Mia; Kwon, Ho-Jang

    2015-05-29

    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

  11. Water-air and soil-air exchange rate of total gaseous mercury measured at background sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poissant, Laurier; Casimir, Alain

    In order to evaluate and understand the processes of water-air and soil-air exchanges involved at background sites, an intensive field measurement campaign has been achieved during the summer of 1995 using high-time resolution techniques (10 min) at two sites (land and water) in southern Québec (Canada). Mercury flux was measured using a dynamic flux chamber technique coupled with an automatic mercury vapour-phase analyser (namely, Tekran®). The flux chamber shows that the rural grassy site acted primarily as a source of atmospheric mercury, its flux mimicked the solar radiation, with a maximum daytime value of ˜ 8.3 ng m -2 h -1 of TGM. The water surface location (St. Lawrence River site located about 3 km from the land site) shows deposition and evasion fluxes almost in the same order of magnitude (-0.5 vs 1.0 ng m -2 h -1).The latter is influenced to some extent by solar radiation but primarily by the formation of a layer of stable air over the water surface in which some redox reactions might promote evasion processes over the water surface. This process does not appear over the soil surface. As a whole, soil-air exchange rate is about 6-8 fold greater than the water-air exchange.

  12. Accumulation, transfer, and potential sources of mercury in the soil-wheat system under field conditions over the Loess Plateau, northwest China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shengli; Nan, Zhongren; Prete, Daniel; Ma, Jianmin; Liao, Qin; Zhang, Qian

    2016-10-15

    There is limited information on accumulation, transfer, and source of mercury in wheats under field conditions over the Loess Plateau, northwest China. The present study collected 26 pairs of topsoil and whole wheat samples (roots, stems, leaves, shells, and grains) from Dongdagou stream watershed and upper Xidagou stream watershed, Baiyin City, northwest China. Hg concentrations from these samples were used to identify their relationships with soil properties, interactions with other metals, localization of Hg in the different wheat tissues, bio-concentration and transfer of Hg, and major sources of Hg in wheat. Results show that Hg levels in 11 out of 26 sampled soils (42.3% of soil samples) exceeded Hg limit of grade II soil environmental quality standards in China (1.0mg·kg(-1)). Likewise, it was also found that Hg in over 50% of wheat grain samples reached or exceeded the maximum permissible food safety levels (0.02mg·kg(-1)) according to the General Standard of Contaminants in Food in China (GB 2762-2012). The spatial distribution pattern of Hg in wheats grains was different from that in the sampled soils. Hg concentrations in different wheat tissues were highest in roots, followed by leaves, stalks, shells, and grains, respectively. Bio-concentration factors (BCF) of Hg in almost all grains samples were one or two orders of magnitude lower than that in roots, except for two wheat samples. The translocation factors (TF) of Hg in wheat tissues on average were leaves>stems>shells>grains. The spatial distribution of Hg and its correlation with other heavy metal detected simultaneously in the soil samples suggested that the Hg soil contamination was probably caused by past sewage irrigation practices and atmospheric deposition. Correlation analysis revealed that the principle source of Hg in wheat roots was very likely from Hg contaminated soils.

  13. Menopause and blood mercury levels: the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008-2011.

    PubMed

    Yuk, Jin-Sung; Lee, Jung Hun; Jeon, Jin-Dong; Kim, Tai June; Lee, Myung-Hwa; Park, Won I

    2014-12-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the association between menopause and blood mercury concentrations in South Korean women. Women aged ≥20 years who participated in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008-2011 were included in this study. Primary and secondary analyses included women aged ≥20 years (n = 1,642) and 45-55 years (i.e., perimenopausal; n = 325), respectively. For all analyses, the mercury levels were log-transformed. The linear regression model for mercury levels was adjusted for age, body mass index, household income, menopausal status, hormone replacement therapy, use of oral contraceptives, smoking history, alcohol intake, physical activity, number of pregnancies, serum ferritin levels, and fish consumption. After adjusting for covariates, log-transformed blood mercury levels were significantly lower in women who were menopausal [β-coefficient -0.1488; 95 % confidence interval -0.2586, -0.0389; P = 0.01) than in those who were premenopausal. A similar relationship was identified in perimenopausal women (β-coefficient -0.1753; 95 % confidence interval -0.3357, -0.015; P = 0.03). The blood mercury concentration was lower in postmenopausal women than in premenopausal women. There was a significant positive correlation between blood mercury concentrations and both the frequency of alcohol intake and serum ferritin levels.

  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. 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.

  16. Age-dependent lower or higher levels of hair mercury in autistic children than in healthy controls.

    PubMed

    Majewska, Maria Dorota; Urbanowicz, Ewa; Rok-Bujko, Paulina; Namyslowska, Irena; Mierzejewski, Paweł

    2010-01-01

    An association between autism and early life exposure to mercury is a hotly debated issue. In this study, 91 autistic Polish children, male and female, 3-4 and 7-9 years old, were compared to 75 age- and sex-matched healthy children with respect to: demographic, perinatal, clinical and developmental measures, parental age, birth order, morphometric measures, vaccination history, and hair mercury content. In demographic and perinatal measures there were no consistent differences between the autistic and control groups. Autistic children had a significantly greater prevalence of adverse reactions after vaccinations and abnormal development than controls. Between 45 and 80% of autistic children experienced developmental regress. Autistic children significantly differed from healthy peers in the concentrations of mercury in hair: younger autistics had lower levels, while older - higher levels than their respective controls. The results suggest that autistic children differ from healthy children in metabolism of mercury, which seems to change with age.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Identification of Potential Sources of Mercury (Hg) in Farmland Soil Using a Decision Tree Method in China

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Taiyang; Chen, Dongmei; Zhang, Xiuying

    2016-01-01

    Identification of the sources of soil mercury (Hg) on the provincial scale is helpful for enacting effective policies to prevent further contamination and take reclamation measurements. The natural and anthropogenic sources and their contributions of Hg in Chinese farmland soil were identified based on a decision tree method. The results showed that the concentrations of Hg in parent materials were most strongly associated with the general spatial distribution pattern of Hg concentration on a provincial scale. The decision tree analysis gained an 89.70% total accuracy in simulating the influence of human activities on the additions of Hg in farmland soil. Human activities—for example, the production of coke, application of fertilizers, discharge of wastewater, discharge of solid waste, and the production of non-ferrous metals—were the main external sources of a large amount of Hg in the farmland soil. PMID:27834884

  1. Level of Mercury Manometer With Respect to Heart: Does it Affect Blood Pressure Measurement?

    PubMed

    Kapoor, Raj; Roy, V K; Manna, S; Bhattacharjee, M

    2015-01-01

    Measurement of blood pressure is an integral part of clinical examination. Over the years various types of instruments have been used to measure blood pressure but till date the mercury sphygmomanometer is regarded as the gold standard. However, there is a myth prevalent among health professionals regarding the level of the manometer in relation to heart at the time of measuring of blood pressure. Many professionals insist that it has to be placed at the level of the heart. We argue that the limb from which pressure is measured must be at the heart level rather than the manometer. We conducted a study in which we measured the blood pressure in adults by placing the manometer at three different levels with respect to the heart. The values of blood pressure obtained at all levels were similar and did not show any statistically significant difference. We therefore conclude that the level of sphygmomanometer per se does not affect blood pressure measurement.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-07

    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 delta15N 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Effect of lifestyles on the blood mercury level in Korean adults.

    PubMed

    Kim, N-Y; Ahn, S-J; Ryu, D-Y; Choi, B-S; Kim, H; Yu, I-J; Park, J-D

    2013-06-01

    Mercury (Hg) is widely distributed in the environment and oral exposure is a main route in the general population. In this study, we estimated the dietary intake of Hg and its relationship with blood Hg levels in Korean adults. The study subjects were recruited from three different districts (rural: 189, coastal: 208 and urban: 184). We used a general questionnaire to collect information about demographic factors, lifestyles and diet. Dietary habits were studied using the 24-h recall method. The estimation of Hg intake was performed using the database of Hg contents in 128 Korean foods based on the previous studies. Blood Hg was analyzed using Direct Mercury Analyzer with the gold-amalgam method. Daily intake of Hg by diet was estimated at 13.57 μg (0.22 μg/kg body weight). The geometric mean Hg concentration in whole blood was 3.92 μg/L. Blood Hg level and Hg intake by diet was higher in coastal areas than in urban or rural areas, respectively. Blood Hg level correlated with the intake of Hg consumed from diet. Seafood was highly responsible and account for 75.6% of total dietary Hg intake. In this study, blood Hg concentrations were found to be significantly affected by sex, age, individual lifestyles and especially the amount of seafood intake, which might play an important role in determining blood Hg levels in Korean adults.

  8. 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.

  9. Mercury distribution across 14 U.S. Forests. Part I: spatial patterns of concentrations in biomass, litter, and soils.

    PubMed

    Obrist, D; Johnson, D W; Lindberg, S E; Luo, Y; Hararuk, O; Bracho, R; Battles, J J; Dail, D B; Edmonds, R L; Monson, R K; Ollinger, S V; Pallardy, S G; Pregitzer, K S; Todd, D E

    2011-05-01

    Results from a systematic investigation of mercury (Hg) concentrations across 14 forest sites in the United States show highest concentrations in litter layers, strongly enriched in Hg compared to aboveground tissues and indicative of substantial postdepositional sorption of Hg. Soil Hg concentrations were lower than in litter, with highest concentrations in surface soils. Aboveground tissues showed no detectable spatial patterns, likely due to 17 different tree species present across sites. Litter and soil Hg concentrations positively correlated with carbon (C), latitude, precipitation, and clay (in soil), which together explained up to 94% of concentration variability. We observed strong latitudinal increases in Hg in soils and litter, in contrast to inverse latitudinal gradients of atmospheric deposition measures. Soil and litter Hg concentrations were closely linked to C contents, consistent with well-known associations between organic matter and Hg, and we propose that C also shapes distribution of Hg in forests at continental scales. The consistent link between C and Hg distribution may reflect a long-term legacy whereby old, C-rich soil and litter layers sequester atmospheric Hg depositions over long time periods. Based on a multiregression model, we present a distribution map of Hg concentrations in surface soils of the United States.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Mercury in ground water, septage, leach-field effluent, and soils in residential areas, New Jersey coastal plain.

    PubMed

    Barringer, Julia L; Szabo, Zoltan; Schneider, Donald; Atkinson, William D; Gallagher, Robert A

    2006-05-15

    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 2,000 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.

  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. Mercury characterization in a soil sample collected nearby the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation utilizing sequential extraction and thermal desorption method.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guangliang; Cabrera, Julio; Allen, Marshall; Cai, Yong

    2006-10-01

    A new attempt to characterize Hg speciation and to evaluate Hg mobility in soils was made by applying operationally defined speciation techniques coupled with fractionation of soil components to a soil sample collected just outside the Y-12 boundary of the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) site. The soil sample was fractionated based on redoximorphic features and particle size and a sequential extraction procedure and thermal desorption technique were then applied to the fractionated soil components. The redoximorphic concentration component was observed to have higher Hg concentrations than the redoximorphic depletion component in the soil, and fine particles contained higher concentrations of Hg compared with coarse particles. The preliminary results of using thermal desorption as well as the sequential extraction procedure suggested that Hg0 and other "easily" vaporized Hg species accounted for 10-30% of total Hg in the soil. Sequential extraction analysis showed that both soluble and bioavailable Hg fractions were relatively small proportions whereas the organic matter bound mercury fraction constituted the major form of Hg species in the sample. The results suggest that Hg retained in the redoximorphic concentrations was less volatile and labile than Hg in the redoximorphic depletions possibly due to the strong binding affinity of Fe/Mn oxides and organic matter to Hg.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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-Noële

    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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Mercury in soil near a long-term air emission source in southeastern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abbott, M.L.; Susong, D.D.; Olson, M.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.

    2003-01-01

    At the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory in southeastern Idaho, a 500??C fluidized bed calciner was intermittently operated for 37 years, with measured Hg emission rates of 9-11 g/h. Surface soil was sampled at 57 locations around the facility to determine the spatial distribution of Hg fallout and surface Hg variability, and to predict the total residual Hg mass in the soil from historical emissions. Measured soil concentrations were slightly higher (p<0.05) within 5 km of the source but were overall very low (15-20 ng/g) compared to background Hg levels published for similar soils in the USA (50-70 ng/g). Concentrations decreased 4%/cm with depth and were found to be twice as high under shrubs and in depressions. Mass balance calculations accounted for only 2.5-20% of the estimated total Hg emitted over the 37-year calciner operating history. These results suggest that much of the Hg deposited from calciner operations may have been reduced in the soil and re-emitted as Hg(0) to the global atmospheric pool.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Mercury retorting of calcine waste, contaminated soils and railroad ballast at the Idaho National Egineering Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Cotten, G.B.; Rothermel, J.S.; Sherwood, J.; Heath, S.A.; Lo, T.Y.R.

    1996-02-28

    The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) has been involved in nuclear reactor research and development for over 40 years. One of the earliest major projects involved the development of a nuclear powered aircraft engine, a long-term venture which used mercury as a shielding medium. Over the course of several years, a significant amount of mercury was spilled along the railroad tracks where the test engines were transported and stored. In addition, experiments with volume reduction of waste through a calcine process employing mercury as a catalyst resulted in mercury contaminated calcine waste. Both the calcine and Test Area North wastes have been identified in Department of Energy Action Memorandums to be retorted, thereby separating the mercury from the various contaminated media. Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company awarded the Mercury Retort contract to ETAS Corporation and assigned Parsons Engineering Science, Inc. to manage the treatment field activities. The mercury retort process entails a mobile unit which consists of four trailer-mounted subsystems requiring electricity, propane, and a water supply. This mobile system demonstrates an effective strategy for retorting waste and generating minimal secondary waste.

  11. Methylmercury levels and bioaccumulation in the aquatic food web of a highly mercury-contaminated reservoir.

    PubMed

    Carrasco, Luis; Benejam, Lluís; Benito, Josep; Bayona, Josep M; Díez, 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 μg/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 μg/g wet weight (ww); MeHg=0.672 ± 0.364 μg/g ww) than in non-piscivorous fish (THg=0.305 ± 0.163 μg/g ww; MeHg=0.278 ± 0.239 μg/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.

  12. [Distribution of Mercury in Plants at Water-Level-Fluctuating Zone in the Three Gorges Reservoir].

    PubMed

    Liang, Li; Wang, Yong-min; Li, Xian-yuan; Tang, Zhen-ya; Zhang, Xiang; Zhang, Cheng; WANG, Ding-yong

    2015-11-01

    The mercury (Hg) distribution and storage in plants at water-level-fluctuating zone (WLFZ) in the Three Gorges Reservoir were investigated by analyzing the total mercury(THg) and methylmercury ( MeHg) levels in different parts of plants collected from three typical sites including Shibaozhai, Zhenxi and Hanfeng Lake in WLFZ. The results indicated that THg and MeHg concentrations in plants ranged from (1.62 ± 0.57) to (49.42 ± 3.93) μg x kg(-1) and from (15.27 ± 7.09) to (1 974.67 ± 946.10) ng x kg(-1), respectively. In addition, THg levels in different plant parts followed the trend: root > leaf > stem, and similar trend for MeHg was observed with the highest level in root. An obvious spatial distribution was also found with the THg and MeHg levels in plants in Hanfeng higher than those in the same plants in the other two sampling sites (Shibaozhai and Zhenxi), and there was a difference of THg and MeHg storage in plants in various attitudes. The corresponding THg and MeHg storages were 145.3, 166.4, 124.3 and 88.2 mg x hm(-2), and 1.9, 2.7, 3.6 and 3.2 mg x hm(-2) in 145-150, 150-160, 160-170 and 170-175 m attitudes. The accumulation ability of dominant plants in WLFZ for THg (bioaccumulation factor, BAF < 1) was weaker than that for MeHg (BAF > 1).

  13. Are prenatal mercury levels associated with subsequent blood pressure in childhood and adolescence? The Avon prebirth cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Steve; Hibbeln, Joseph R; Taylor, Caroline M; Golding, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Objectives There have been conflicting data suggesting that prenatal mercury exposure is associated with adverse cardiovascular measures in children. We therefore analysed a large prospective population study to investigate whether prenatal mercury exposure might influence offspring blood pressure (BP) and heart rate adversely. Design Prospective birth cohort. Setting The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Participants Maternal whole blood collected in the first half of pregnancy was assayed for mercury and selenium. The offspring were followed throughout childhood and adolescence. Outcome measures Offspring resting BP and heart rates measured under standard conditions on six occasions between ages 7 and 17 years (numbers analysed: 1754 at 7 years to 1102 at 17). Results Statistical analyses took account of various factors present in pregnancy, including family adversity, maternal age, parity, smoking and alcohol intake. Unadjusted and adjusted regression analyses assessed the relationship between maternal prenatal mercury levels and offspring resting systolic and diastolic BP, and heart rates. A final set of analyses took account of selenium. Each analysis was carried out for all offspring, those whose mothers had, and those that had not, consumed fish during pregnancy. Further analysis for all offspring ascertained whether there were significant interaction effects between the sexes. There was little evidence to suggest that prenatal mercury exposure resulted in a clinically important increase in offspring BP in the whole group, since no effect size for an increase of 1 SD of blood mercury level was >0.3 mm Hg. Only 1 association was significant at p<0.05 and therefore likely due to chance. Conclusions This study reveals no evidence to support the hypothesis that prenatal mercury exposure has adverse long-term effects on offspring BP or heart rates during childhood or adolescence. PMID:27742626

  14. 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.

  15. [Effects of soil thickness on spatiotemporal pattern of soil moisture in catchment level].

    PubMed

    Chen, Jia; Shi, Zhi-Hua; Li, Lu; Luo, Xuan

    2009-07-01

    Based on the fixed-spot observation, this paper analyzed the effects of soil thicknesses on the spatiotemporal pattern of soil moisture in the Wulongchi catchment of Danjiangkou, China. The soil moisture content increased soon after precipitation events, followed by a decline as the soil dried down, whilst its spatial heterogeneity exhibited an opposite pattern. The profile-averaged soil moisture content differed significantly with soil thickness. The soil with a thickness of 20 cm had lower profile-averaged moisture content whose variation trend was similar to that of precipitation and varied obviously among seasons; medium thickness (20-40 cm) soil had medium level of profile-averaged moisture content whose seasonal variation was moderately and affected by the characteristics of precipitation; while the soil with a thicknesses of > 40 cm had higher profile-averaged moisture content whose seasonal variation was relatively small. The profile distribution pattern of soil moisture was determined by the integrated effects of precipitation, evapotranspiration, and leakage, exhibiting increasing-type at semi-humid stage, waving-type at humid stage, and both of the two types at arid stage. There was a significant positive correlation between profile-averaged soil moisture content and soil thickness, and the correlation coefficient was 0.630-0.855. The moisture content in 0-15 cm soil layer had less correlation with soil thickness, but the moisture content in 20-55 cm soil layer was significantly correlated with soil thickness.

  16. Check on level of environmental contamination by mercury and cleanup of Abetina Mining area (Grosseto-Italia)

    SciTech Connect

    Belardi, G.; Marabini, A.M.; Passariello, B.

    1996-12-31

    The purpose of the study was to check on the level of environmental contamination and to design a project for cleaning up the Abetina Mine area at Piancastagnaio (Grosseto, Italy). Contamination of this area had occurred during the mining and treatment of cinnabar (HgS) over a prolonged period. The aim of the project is to remove the sources of contamination or render them harmless. Mining of the Piancastagnaio deposit started in 1840, mercury metal being extracted from the ore by thermal treatment. Together with Spain, Italy was the first country to produce this metal and was the world leader in this field between 1936 and 1943. Though mercury production in the Monte Amiata region of Tuscany ceased in 1974 the ensuing environmental impact is very evident, taking the form of rusty old mining and processing works, plus waste tips which still contain considerable amount of mercury even after the ore had been subject to thermal extraction treatment. The research which has been conducted included mapping the area to identify the main sources of mercury and arsenic pollution, as well as the level of environmental contamination. Mercury and arsenic values in excess of 16,000 and 150 ppm respectively are encountered in the most highly-contaminated places. 11 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs.

  17. 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.

  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)

    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.

  19. Prenatal low-level mercury exposure and neonatal anthropometry in rural northern China.

    PubMed

    Ding, Guodong; Cui, Chang; Chen, Limei; Gao, Yu; Zhou, Yijun; Shi, Rong; Tian, Ying

    2013-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous heavy metal that can negatively affect human health; however, few studies have examined the impact of prenatal low-level Hg exposure on fetal growth. We investigated prenatal exposure levels of Hg and the relationship between Hg levels and neonatal anthropometrics, including birth weight, length, and head circumference. A total of 258 mother-infant pairs were recruited from a rural community located on the southern coastal area of Laizhou Bay of the Bohai Sea in northern China between September 2010 and December 2011. We measured maternal and cord whole blood Hg levels and examined their association with neonatal anthropometrics. The geometric means (GMs) of Hg in maternal and cord whole blood were 0.84μgL(-1) and 1.46μgL(-1), respectively. The Hg exposure levels in our study population were much lower than those reported in previous domestic studies. No significant associations were found between maternal or cord blood Hg levels and birth weight, length, and head circumference. However, our results should be interpreted with caution given the high toxicity of Hg and its persistence in the body. Studies focusing on long-term adverse outcomes are needed to further examine the cumulative effects of low-level Hg exposure.

  20. 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...

  1. Using native epiphytic ferns to estimate the atmospheric mercury levels in a small-scale gold mining area of West Java, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Kono, Yuriko; Rahajoe, Joeni S; Hidayati, Nuril; Kodamatani, Hitoshi; Tomiyasu, Takashi

    2012-09-01

    Mercury pollution is caused by artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) operations along the Cikaniki River (West Java, Indonesia). The atmosphere is one of the primary media through which mercury can disperse. In this study, atmospheric mercury levels are estimated using the native epiphytic fern Asplenium nidus complex (A. nidus) as a biomonitor; these estimates shed light on the atmospheric dispersion of mercury released during mining. Samples were collected from 8 sites along the Cikaniki Basin during September-November, 2008 and September-November, 2009. The A. nidus fronds that were attached to tree trunks 1-3m above the ground were collected and measured for total mercury concentration using cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (CVAAS) after acid-digestion. The atmospheric mercury was collected using porous gold collectors, and the concentrations were determined using double-amalgam CVAAS. The highest atmospheric mercury concentration, 1.8 × 10(3) ± 1.6 × 10(3) ngm(-3), was observed at the mining hot spot, and the lowest concentration of mercury, 5.6 ± 2.0 ngm(-3), was observed at the remote site from the Cikaniki River in 2009. The mercury concentrations in A. nidus were higher at the mining village (5.4 × 10(3) ± 1.6 × 10(3) ngg(-1)) than at the remote site (70 ± 30 ngg(-1)). The distribution of mercury in A. nidus was similar to that in the atmosphere; a significant correlation was observed between the mercury concentrations in the air and in A. nidus (r=0.895, P<0.001, n=14). The mercury levels in the atmosphere can be estimated from the mercury concentration in A. nidus using a regression equation: log (Hg(A.nidu)/ngg(-1))=0.740 log (Hg(Air)/ngm (-3)) - 1.324.

  2. Mercury cycling in terrestrial watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shanley, James B.; Bishop, Kevin; Banks, Michael S.

    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.

  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

  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.

  5. Results from the low level mercury sorbent test at the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant in Tennessee.

    PubMed

    Hollerman, W; Holland, L; Ila, D; Hensley, J; Southworth, G; Klasson, T; Taylor, P; Johnston, J; Turner, R

    1999-09-10

    A mercury sorbent test was performed near the headwaters of the Upper East Fork Poplar Creek at the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant in Tennessee. The sorbents SIR-200 (ResinTech), Keyle:X (SolmeteX), and GT-73 (Rohm and Haas) were the best materials tested for low level mercury removal. Each of these sorbents has a thiol-based active site. None of the tested sorbents reduced the mercury concentration to less than the existing 12 ng/l NPDES limit. For this small scale test, SIR-200, Keyle:X, and GT-73 reduced the mercury concentration to less than 51 ng/l, which is a regulatory treatment goal. The other sorbents tested, including granular activated carbon (Filtrasorb 300), did not reduce the mercury concentration below 51 ng/l at any tested flow up to 5 bed volumes per minute. Because of the cost and large volume of sorbent, a wastewater treatment plant for this stream would be prohibitively expensive to construct and maintain.

  6. 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.

  7. Determination of mercury in ash and soil samples by oxygen flask combustion method--cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry (CVAFS).

    PubMed

    Geng, Wenhua; Nakajima, Tsunenori; Takanashi, Hirokazu; Ohki, Akira

    2008-06-15

    A simple method was developed for the determination of mercury (Hg) in coal fly ash (CFA), waste incineration ash (WIA), and soil by use of oxygen flask combustion (OFC) followed by cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry (CVAFS). A KMnO4 solution was used as an absorbent in the OFC method, and the sample containing a combustion agent and an ash or soil sample was combusted by the OFC method. By use of Hg-free graphite as the combustion agent, the determination of Hg in ash and soil was successfully carried out; the Hg-free graphite was prepared by use of a mild pyrolysis procedure at 500 degrees C. For six certified reference materials (three CFA samples and three soil samples), the values of Hg obtained by this method were in good agreement with the certified or reference values. In addition, real samples including nine CFAs collected from some coal-fired power plants, five WIAs collected from waste incineration plants, and two soils were analyzed by the present method, and the data were compared to those from microwave-acid digestion (MW-AD) method.

  8. [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.

  9. 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)

  10. POPULATION-LEVEL RESPONSE OF THE COMMON LOON TO MERCURY IN TWO CANADIAN PROVINCES: A MATRIX MODELING APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    We used data collected from Common Loon Gavia immer populations in two Canadian provinces to demonstrate a matrix population modeling approach for evaluating population-level responses to stressors and to understand how these populations may have responded to mercury contaminatio...

  11. 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.

  12. 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)].

  13. Mercury accumulation in soils and plants in the Almadén mining district, Spain: one of the most contaminated sites on Earth.

    PubMed

    Molina, José Antonio; Oyarzun, Roberto; Esbrí, José María; Higueras, Pablo

    2006-10-01

    Although mercury (Hg) mining in the Almadén district ceased in May 2002, the consequences of 2000 years of mining in the district has resulted in the dissemination of Hg into the surrounding environment where it poses an evident risk to biota and human health. This risk needs to be properly evaluated. The uptake of Hg has been found to be plant-specific. To establish the different manners in which plants absorb Hg, we carried out a survey of Hg levels in the soils and plants in the most representative habitats of this Mediterranean area and found that the Hg concentrations varied greatly and were dependent on the sample being tested (0.13-2,695 microg g(-1) Hg). For example, the root samples had concentrations ranging from 0.06 (Oenanthe crocata, Rumex induratus) to 1095 (Polypogon monspeliensis) microg g(-1) Hg, while in the leaf samples, the range was from 0.16 (Cyperus longus) to 1278 (Polypogon monspeliensis) microg g(-1) Hg. There are four well-differentiated patterns of Hg uptake: (1) the rate of uptake is constant, independent of Hg concentration in the soil (e.g., Pistacia lentiscus, Quercus rotundifolia); (2) after an initial linear relationship between uptake and soil concentration, no further increase in Hg(plant) is observed (e.g., Asparagus acutifolius, Cistus ladanifer); (3) no increase in uptake is recorded until a threshold is surpassed, and thereafter a linear relationship between Hg(plant) and Hg(soil) is established (e.g., Rumex bucephalophorus, Cistus crispus); (4) there is no relationship between Hg(plant) and Hg(soil )(e.g., Oenanthe crocata and Cistus monspeliensis). Overall, the Hg concentrations found in plants from the Almadén district clearly reflect the importance of contamination processes throughout the study region.

  14. A study on blood lipid profiles, aluminum and mercury levels in college students

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Eunim; Hyun, Whajin; Ro, Yoona; Lee, Hongmie

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES College students are in a period of transition from adolescence to adulthood, in which proper dietary habits and balanced nutritional intake are very important. However, improper dietary habits and lifestyles can bring several health problems. This study was performed to investigate blood lipid profiles, blood aluminum and mercury in college students and the relationships among them. SUBJECTS/METHODS The subjects were 80 college students (43 males and 37 females) in Gyeonggi-do. General characteristics, anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, blood lipids, SGOT, SGPT, and blood aluminum and mercury of the subjects were measured and analyzed, and their relationship was studied. RESULTS The BMI was significantly higher in males, 23.69 ± 3.20 kg/m2, than in females, 20.38 ± 2.37 kg/m2 (P < 0.001). The blood pressure was significantly higher in males with 128.93 ± 12.92 mmHg systolic pressure and 77.14 ± 10.31 mmHg diastolic pressure compared to females with 109.78 ± 11.97 mmHg and 65.95 ± 6.92 mmHg, respectively (P < 0.001). HDL cholesterol in males, 61.88 ± 13.06 mg/dl, was lower than 64.73 ± 12.16 mg/dl in females, but other blood lipid levels were higher in males. Blood aluminum was significantly higher in males, 9.12 ± 2.11 µg/L, than in females, 8.03 ± 2.14 µg/L (P < 0.05), and blood mercury was higher in males, 3.08 ± 1.55 µg/L, than in females, 2.64 ± 1.49 µg/L. The blood lipids showed positive correlation with obesity and blood pressure. CONCLUSIONS The degree of obesity, blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol were higher in males, suggesting possible association with chronic disease incidence such as hyperlipidemia and hypertension. Thus, it is considered that a systematic health education is needed for college students, especially for males. PMID:27478552

  15. A simulation study of inorganic sulfur cycling in the water level fluctuation zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir, China and the implications for mercury methylation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jiang; Jiang, Tao; Huang, Rong; Wang, Dingyong; Zhang, Jinzhong; Qian, Sheng; Yin, Deliang; Chen, Hong

    2017-01-01

    The water level fluctuation zone (WLFZ) of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) in China experiences a drying and wetting rotation every year, and the water level induced redox variation may influence inorganic sulfur speciation and mercury methylation. In this work, a simulative flooding and drying experiment and a sulfate added flooding experiment were conducted to study this topic. The results showed that sulfate was reduced from the 10th d during the flooding period based on the detected sulfide in water and the increased elemental sulfur (S(0)) in sediment. Sulfate reduction and sulfide re-oxidation led to the increase of S(0) contents with the maximal values of 1.86 and 0.46 mg kg(-1) during the flooding and drying period, respectively. Methylmercury (MeHg) content in sediment displayed a rising trend (0.16-0.28 μg kg(-1)) in the first 40 d during the flooding period, and then declined from 0.28 to 0.15 μg kg(-1). A positive correlation between MeHg content and S(0) content in soil (r = 0.53, p < 0.05) was found during the flooding period, and a positive but not significant correlation between the percent of MeHg in THg (%MeHg) and S(0) content (r = 0.85, p = 0.08). In sulfate added flooding simulation, MeHg content in sediment did not increase with the sulfate concentration increasing. The increased pyrite in high-sulfate treatment may fix mercury through adsorption process. This study demonstrated that inorganic sulfur species especially S(0) and chromium reducible sulfur (CRS) play an important role on mercury methylation in the WLFZ of the TGR.

  16. 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.

  17. Trophic calculations reveal the mechanism of population-level variation in mercury concentrations between marine ecosystems: case studies of two polar seabirds.

    PubMed

    Brasso, Rebecka L; Polito, Michael J

    2013-10-15

    The incorporation of quantitative trophic level analysis in ecotoxicological studies provides explanatory power to identify the factors, trophic or environmental, driving population-level variation in mercury exposure at large geographic scales. In the Antarctic marine ecosystem, mercury concentrations and stable isotope values in Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) were compared between the Antarctic Peninsula and the Ross Sea. Correcting tissue δ(15)N values for baseline δ(15)N values revealed population-level differences in trophic position which contributes to differences in mercury. Data from Thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) were synthesized from published values from Baffin Bay and Svalbard to demonstrate the utility of baseline δ(15)N values in identifying differences in environmental mercury exposure independent of diet. Here, we demonstrate the importance of calculating population-specific trophic level data to uncover the source of variation in mercury concentrations between geographically distinct populations of marine predators.

  18. 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.

  19. Lead, cadmium and mercury levels in pregnancy: the need for international consensus on levels of concern.

    PubMed

    Taylor, C M; Golding, J; Emond, A M

    2014-02-01

    For heavy metals that have any degree of transfer though the placenta to the fetus, it is unlikely that there are safe limits for maternal blood levels. The only means of reducing fetal exposure is to minimise maternal exposure. There are few recommendations for levels of concern. With the exception of US recommendations for maternal Pb levels, but there are no international levels of concern or cut-off levels specifically for pregnancy for heavy metals, so that comparisons can generally only be made with national reference values relating to similar physiological statuses or age groups. These include recommendations for Cd levels by Germany (reference value for non-smoking adults aged 18-69 years, 1 µg/l) and for Hg by Germany (reference value for adults age 18-60 years with fish intake < or =3 times per month, 2.0 µg/l) and the USA (cut-off level for women, 5.8 µg/dl). To illustrate the lack of cohesion, we present data on blood Pb, Cd and Hg levels from pregnant women enroled in the UK Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children study and compare the values with present levels of concern and recommended cut-off values. We also compare the levels with those found in other groups of pregnant women worldwide to strengthen the database for the development of levels of concern in pregnancy. The need for clarity of terminology in describing levels of concern is discussed. There is a pressing need for international consensus on levels of concern for all age groups and physiological statuses, particularly for pregnancy.

  20. Characterization of Soil Organic Matter in Peat Soil with Different Humification Levels using FTIR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teong, I. T.; Felix, N. L. L.; Mohd, S.; Sulaeman, A.

    2016-07-01

    Peat soil is defined as an accumulation of the debris and vegetative under the water logging condition. Soil organic matter of peat soil was affected by the environmental, weather, types of vegetative. Peat soil was normally classified based on its level of humification. Humification can be defined as the transformation of numerous group of substances (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, etc.) and individual molecules present in living organic matter into group of substances with similar properties (humic substances). During the peat transformation process, content of soil organic matter also will change. Hence, that is important to determine out the types of the organic compound. FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) is a machine which is used to differential soil organic matter by using infrared. Infrared is a types of low energy which can determine the organic minerals. Hence, FTIR can be suitable as an indicator on its level of humification. The main objective of this study is to identify an optimized method to characterization of the soil organic content in different level of humification. The case study areas which had been chosen for this study are Parit Sulong, Batu Pahat and UCTS, Sibu. Peat soil samples were taken by every 0.5 m depth until it reached the clay layer. However, the soil organic matter in different humification levels is not significant. FTIR is an indicator which is used to determine the types of soil, but it is unable to differentiate the soil organic matter in peat soil FTIR can determine different types of the soil based on different wave length. Generally, soil organic matter was found that it is not significant to the level of humification.

  1. Mercury hair levels and factors that influence exposure for residents of Huancavelica, Peru

    EPA Science Inventory

    Between 1564 and 1810, nearly 17,000 metric tons of mercury (Hg) vapor were released to the environment during cinnabar refining in the small town of Huancavelica, Peru. The present study characterizes individual exposure to mercury using total and speciated Hg from residential s...

  2. 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

    2012-08-07

    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.

  3. Acute effects of mercuric chloride on intracellular GSH levels and mercury distribution in the fish Oreochromic aureus

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, P.; Min, S.Y.; Keong, W.M.

    1988-02-01

    In recent years there has been much interest in the effects of trace metals on intracellular levels of reduced glutathione (GSH). Most of the research has been performed on rats. As GSH is ubiquitous in living organisms it is of interest to establish a relationship between mercury intoxication and intracellular GSH levels in fish; especially as fish living in rivers and coastal areas are often expose to mercury as an aquatic pollutant. The role of GSH in fish trace metal toxicity has not been thoroughly investigated. The distribution of total glutathione (oxidized + reduced) in selected black sea bass organs seems to follow the established pattern for mammalian organs. Thus, it would appear that teleostian and mammalian glutathione metabolism may have many similarities. There are few reports concerning the effects of mercury during the first few hours of exposure. The aim of this investigation is to establish any changes in organ GSH and mercury levels following just 2 h exposure to mercuric chloride (HgCl/sub 2/).

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Fish consumption, low-level mercury, lipids, and inflammatory markers in children.

    PubMed

    Gump, Brooks B; MacKenzie, James A; Dumas, Amy K; Palmer, Christopher D; Parsons, Patrick J; Segu, Zaneer M; Mechref, Yehia S; Bendinskas, Kestutis G

    2012-01-01

    There is considerable evidence that consuming fish has numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. However, fish is also the primary source of human exposure to mercury (Hg). In a cross-sectional study of 9-11 year old children (N=100), we measured fish consumption, blood lipids, total blood Hg, diurnal salivary cortisol (4 samples collected throughout the day), and performed a proteomic analysis of serum proteins using spectral count shotgun proteomics. Children who consumed fish had a significantly more atheroprotective lipid profile but higher levels of blood Hg relative to children that did not consume fish. Although the levels of blood Hg were very low in these children (M=0.77 μg/L; all but 1 participant had levels below 3.27 μg/L), increasing blood Hg was significantly associated with blunted diurnal cortisol levels. Blood Hg was also significantly associated with acute-phase proteins suggesting systemic inflammation, and several of these proteins were found to significantly reduce the association between Hg and diminished cortisol when included in the model. This study of a pediatric population is the first to document an association between blood Hg, systemic inflammation, and endocrine disruption in humans. Without a better understanding of the long-term consequences of an atheroprotective lipid profile relative to blunted diurnal cortisol and systemic inflammation, a determination of the risk-benefit ratio for fish consumption by children is not possible.

  7. Fish Consumption, Low-Level Mercury, Lipids, and Inflammatory Markers in Children

    PubMed Central

    Gump, Brooks B.; MacKenzie, James A.; Dumas, Amy K.; Palmer, Christopher D.; Parsons, Patrick J.; Segu, Zaneer M.; Mechref, Yehia S.; Bendinskas, Kestutis

    2011-01-01

    There is considerable evidence that consuming fish has numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. However, fish is also the primary source of human exposure to mercury (Hg). In a cross-sectional study of 9–11 year old children (N = 100), we measured fish consumption, blood lipids, total blood Hg, diurnal salivary cortisol (4 samples collected throughout the day), and performed a proteomic analysis of serum proteins using spectral count shotgun proteomics. Children that consumed fish had a significantly more atheroprotective lipid profile but higher levels of blood Hg relative to children that did not consume fish. Although the levels of blood Hg were very low in these children (M = 0.77 μg/L; all but 1 participant had levels below 3.27 μg/L), increasing blood Hg was significantly associated with blunted diurnal cortisol levels. Blood Hg was also significantly associated with acute-phase proteins suggesting systemic inflammation, and several of these proteins were found to significantly reduce the association between Hg and diminished cortisol when included in the model. This study of a pediatric population is the first to document an association between blood Hg, systemic inflammation, and endocrine disruption in humans, in a pediatric sample. Without a better understanding of the long-term consequences of an atheroprotective lipid profile relative to blunted diurnal cortisol and systemic inflammation, a determination of the risk-benefit ratio for fish consumption by children is not possible. PMID:22030286

  8. Relating land cover characteristics and common loon mercury levels using geographic information systems.

    PubMed

    Kramar, David; Goodale, Wing M; Kennedy, L M; Carstensen, L W; Kaur, Taranjit

    2005-03-01

    This effort models the relationship between mercury (Hg) levels in the common loon (Gavia immer) and land cover types as defined by the National Land Cover Database (NLCD). We constructed the model within the framework of a GIS to analyze the spatial relationships between land cover types and blood Hg levels in male common loons. Thiessan polygons were used to generate the territory for each loon. We created 150, 300, and 600-m buffers around the Thiessan polygons and modeled the relationships that existed in each distance class. Within the 150-m buffer, three cover types, crop land, shrub land, and wetland were significantly related to blood Hg levels (r2 = 0.552, p < 0.001), which may indicate that the proximity of these cover types influences Hg availability in loon territories. Cropland exhibited a negative relationship with blood Hg levels and may play a role in reducing the amount of available Hg within the study area while wetlands and shrub lands exhibit a positive relationship. The study area consisted of five major lakes and eleven smaller ponds in northwest Maine, and data included a total of 61 male common loon blood Hg samples.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Decreased glutathione and elevated hair mercury levels are associated with nutritional deficiency-based autism in Oman.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, Nathaniel W; Waly, Mostafa I; Al-Farsi, Yahya M; Al-Sharbati, Marwan M; Al-Farsi, Omar; Ali, Amanat; Ouhtit, Allal; Zang, Tianzhu; Zhou, Zhaohui Sunny; Deth, Richard C

    2014-06-01

    Genetic, nutrition, and environmental factors have each been implicated as sources of risk for autism. Oxidative stress, including low plasma levels of the antioxidant glutathione, has been reported by numerous autism studies, which can disrupt methylation-dependent epigenetic regulation of gene expression with neurodevelopmental consequences. We investigated the status of redox and methylation metabolites, as well as the level of protein homocysteinylation and hair mercury levels, in autistic and neurotypical control Omani children, who were previously shown to exhibit significant nutritional deficiencies in serum folate and vitamin B₁₂. The serum level of glutathione in autistic subjects was significantly below control levels, while levels of homocysteine and S-adenosylhomocysteine were elevated, indicative of oxidative stress and decreased methionine synthase activity. Autistic males had lower glutathione and higher homocysteine levels than females, while homocysteinylation of serum proteins was increased in autistic males but not females. Mercury levels were markedly elevated in the hair of autistic subjects vs. control subjects, consistent with the importance of glutathione for its elimination. Thus, autism in Oman is associated with decreased antioxidant resources and decreased methylation capacity, in conjunction with elevated hair levels of mercury.

  12. Fate and aqueous transport of mercury in light of the Clean Air Mercury Rule for coal-fired electric power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arzuman, Anry

    coefficients were derived. Mercury air-phase removal efficiency was studied as a function of dominant mercury species vapor pressures, the amount of chlorine, sorbent injection rate and adsorption capacities, and process temperature and modifications. A mercury air phase removal algorithm was derived which defines the future removal efficiencies as a function of activated carbon injection rate. Mercury adsorption on soil was studied as a function of Mercury Mass Law incorporating the dominant aquatic mercury species, pH, chlorine and sulfur concentrations, and the amount of complexed hydroxyl groups. Aquatic mercury longitudinal plume delineation was studied using the Domenico and Robbins function. A Monte Carlo simulation was performed using random number series (5000) for all of the variables in the Domenico and Robbins and mercury retardation functions. The probability that the Maximum Contaminant Level for mercury will be exceeded was found to be equal approximately 1 percent of all soil-related fly ash applications.

  13. Lake levels and water quality in comparison to fish mercury body burdens, Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, 2013–15

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christensen, Victoria G.; Larson, James H.; Maki, Ryan P.; Sandheinrich, Mark B.; Brigham, Mark E.; Kissane, Claire; LeDuc, Jamie F.

    2017-01-18

    Within Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, lake levels are controlled by a series of dams to support a variety of uses. Previous research indicates a link between these artificially maintained water levels, referred to as rule curves, and mercury concentrations in fish owing to the drying and rewetting of wetlands and other nearshore areas, which may release methylmercury into the water when inundated. The U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service, and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse cooperated in a study to assess the importance of lake-level fluctuation and other factors affecting mercury concentrations in Perca flavescens (yellow perch) in the lakes of Voyageurs National Park. For this study, mercury body burdens were determined for young-of-the-year yellow perch collected from the large lakes within Voyageurs National Park during 2013–15. These mercury body burdens were compared to lake levels and water-quality constituents from the same period.Field properties and profiles of lake water quality indicated that Sand Point, Little Vermilion, and Crane Lakes were anoxic at times near the lake bottom sediments, where sulfate-reducing bacteria may convert mercury to methylmercury. The median dissolved sulfate concentration was highest in Crane Lake, the median total organic carbon concentration was highest in Sand Point Lake, and the median total phosphorus concentration was highest in Kabetogama Lake, all of which is consistent with previous research. All lakes had median chlorophyll a concentrations of 3.6 micrograms per liter or less with the exception of Kabetogama Lake, where the median concentrations were 4.3 micrograms per liter for the midlake sites and 7.1 micrograms per liter and 9.0 micrograms per liter for the nearshore sites.Mercury concentrations in sampled fish varied widely between years and among lakes, from 14.7 nanograms per gram in fish samples from Kabetogama Lake in 2015 to 178 nanograms per gram in fish samples from Crane Lake in

  14. 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.

  15. Mercury and methylmercury levels in the main traded fish species in Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Chung, S W C; Kwong, K P; Tang, A S P; Xiao, Y; Ho, P Y Y

    2008-01-01

    Levels of total mercury (tHg) and mono-methylmercury (MeHg) were measured in 280 different fish, including fresh/frozen raw whole fish of 89 different species and canned tuna fish of three different species, that are traded mainly in Hong Kong, China. These samples were purchased from different commercial outlets between April and August 2007. All samples of raw whole fish were identified at species level by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The range for tHg and MeHg of all samples were 3-1370 and 3-1010 µg kg(-1), respectively, with medians of 63 and 48 µg kg(-1), respectively. The results show that, according to Hong Kong legislation, the products on the market are generally 'safe'. A total of 277 samples (99?) contained tHg and MeHg below the legal limit of 500 µg kg(-1). The remaining three samples of alfonsino (species: Beryx splendens) were found to contain tHg and MeHg at levels higher than 500 µg kg(-1) (tHg: 609-1370 µg kg(-1); MeHg: 509-1010 µg kg(-1)). The ratios of MeHg to tHg in the different fish species ranged from 0.46 to 0.99.

  16. 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...

  17. Maternal fish intake during pregnancy, blood mercury levels, and child cognition at age 3 years in a US cohort.

    PubMed

    Oken, Emily; Radesky, Jenny S; Wright, Robert O; Bellinger, David C; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra J; Kleinman, Ken P; Hu, Howard; Gillman, Matthew W

    2008-05-15

    The balance of contaminant risk and nutritional benefit from maternal prenatal fish consumption for child cognitive development is not known. Using data from a prospective cohort study of 341 mother-child pairs in Massachusetts enrolled in 1999-2002, the authors studied associations of maternal second-trimester fish intake and erythrocyte mercury levels with children's scores on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) and Wide Range Assessment of Visual Motor Abilities (WRAVMA) at age 3 years. Mean maternal total fish intake was 1.5 (standard deviation, 1.4) servings/week, and 40 (12%) mothers consumed >2 servings/week. Mean maternal mercury level was 3.8 (standard deviation, 3.8) ng/g. After adjustment using multivariable linear regression, higher fish intake was associated with better child cognitive test performance, and higher mercury levels with poorer test scores. Associations strengthened with inclusion of both fish and mercury: effect estimates for fish intake of >2 servings/week versus never were 2.2 (95% confidence interval (CI): -2.6, 7.0) for the PPVT and 6.4 (95% CI: 2.0, 10.8) for the WRAVMA; for mercury in the top decile, they were -4.5 (95% CI: -8.5, -0.4) for the PPVT and -4.6 (95% CI: -8.3, -0.9) for the WRAVMA. Fish consumption of < or =2 servings/week was not associated with a benefit. Dietary recommendations for pregnant women should incorporate the nutritional benefits as well as the risks of fish intake.

  18. Factors affecting mercury and selenium levels in New Jersey flatfish: low risk to human consumers.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Jeitner, Christian; Donio, Mark; Shukla, Sheila; Gochfeld, Michael

    2009-01-01

    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 (microg/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 microg/kg body weight/d of methylmercury (MeHg). However, high-end fish eaters consuming several such meals per week may

  19. 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 (μg/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 μg/kg body weight/d of methylmercury (MeHg). However, high-end fish eaters consuming several such meals per week may exceed

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Assessment of total mercury level in fish collected from East Calcutta Wetlands and Titagarh sewage fed aquaculture in West Bengal, India.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Subarna; Chaudhuri, Punarbasu; Dutta, Siddartha; Santra, Subhas Chandra

    2010-05-01

    Total mercury levels were quantified in Tilapia mossambicus, Cirrhinus mrigela and Labio rohita, captured from East Calcutta Wetlands and Titagarh sewage fed aquaculture ponds. The bioconcentration factor of collected fish was assessed. Total mercury level ranged from 0.073 to 0.94 microg/g in both pre and post monsoon season. T. mossambicus in both season and C. mrigela at pre monsoon, cross the Indian recommended maximum limit (0.50 microg/g wet weight) for food consumption and according to World Health Organization guidelines all fish were not recommended for pregnant women and individuals under 15 years ages. A significant correlation was observed between mercury content of aquaculture pond water and fish muscle tissue. Total mercury concentration in experimental sites were higher than the control area (Wilcoxon Ranked-Sum test p > 0.05), which suggested the connection between mercury bioaccumulation and sewage fed aquaculture.

  5. 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

  6. Are We Under-Estimating Mercury in Soils? Experimental Acidification and Sample Collection Timing Demonstrate Variability in Estimates of Mercury in O-Horizon Soils at a Maine Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, S. J.; Johnson, K. B.

    2009-12-01

    Sampling protocols, including sample timing, collection methods, preservation, and preparation, can strongly influence the results of any analysis. Organic soil horizons are a large pool of mercury (Hg) in most temperate, forested sites; minimizing the potential for under- or over- estimates in this medium is critical for discerning the fate and transport of Hg. Detailed guidance is available for ultra-clean and semi-clean handling for Hg sampling in surface waters. However, neither guidance regarding the proper time of year to sample soils nor methodological studies regarding post-sampling preservation and handling were available in the scientific literature for soil Hg sampling. Here we report on pilot work that (1) provides data for Hg in soils (O-horizon) through an entire year, to determine whether seasonality affects Hg estimates; and (2) documents the effect of treating a soil with acidic water prior to preparation and analysis. We collected O-horizon soil samples monthly from a single plot during 2008, and analyzed them for total Hg. Each month, samples were split; half were ‘control’ samples (dried then analyzed) and half were ‘acidified’ (treated with acidic (pH 2.0) ultrapure water prior to drying and analysis). We observed: (1) a three-fold range of Hg values (148-446 ppb) for the control samples (all collected within the same 2-m2 plot), varying across the twelve months in 2008 during which samples were collected; (2) differences of ~15-20% between acidified and control samples; and, (3) an apparent loss of ~100 ppb of Hg (~22%) if acidification of the dry sample was delayed a day or more. Soils collected when the antecedent period had been wet lost Hg when soils were treated with pH 2.0 solution, potentially because soluble Hg in solution could have been leached during acid treatment. This finding may help to explain why researchers have seen large pulses of Hg in streamwater flux during snowmelt. Further, our results may help to inform

  7. The level of mercury contamination in mariculture sites at the estuary of Pearl River and the potential health risk.

    PubMed

    Tao, H C; Zhao, K Y; Ding, W Y; Li, J B; Liang, P; Wu, S C; Wong, M H

    2016-12-01

    In the present study, the Hg contamination in mariculture sites located at the estuary of Pearl River was to investigate with an attempt to analyse associated health risks of dietary exposure to both total mercury (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) in cultured fish and shellfish. The highest total mercury concentration (7.037 ± 0.556 ng L(-1)) of seawater was observed at Zhuhai Estuary. The Hg concentrations of sediment in Guishan Island were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than in Daya Bay (away from the Pearl River). Besides, the both THg and MeHg levels in sediment at mariculture sites were higher (p < 0.05) than corresponding reference sites. It was attributed to the fact that mariculture activities increased Hg loading and promoted MeHg production. The vertical distribution of Hg in sediment cores demonstrated that mercury methylation mostly occurred at the sediment-water interface. Results of health risk assessments showed that fish consumption would impose a higher risk to children but less to adults, while shellfish produced in the studied area was safe for consumption.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. DEVELOPING SOIL SCREENING LEVELS FOR SOIL INVERTEBRATES AND PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), as part of a collaborative effort among USEPA, DoD, DOE, states, universities and industry, is developing Ecological Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) for approximately 24 of the most common contaminants founrd at Superfund sites. Eco-SSLs ...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Mercury concentration in the feathers of birds from various trophic levels in Fereydunkenar International wetland (Iran).

    PubMed

    Ahmadpour, Mousa; Lan-Hai, Li; Ahmadpour, Mohsen; Hoseini, Seyed Hamid; Mashrofeh, Abdolreza; Binkowski, Łukasz J

    2016-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is one of the main global pollutants that may biomagnify in food nets, especially in wetlands. Birds may be useful in the biomonitoring of Hg in such habitats and may even serve in vivo samples. This paper examined Hg concentration in the feathers of seven bird species foraging on Fereydunkenar International wetland (in 2013). Mean Hg concentrations found ranged from 0.005 ± 0.002 μg g(-1) d.w. (dry weight) (Common hoopoe) to 0.38 ± 0.047 μg g(-1) d.w. (Greylag goose). Significant differences in Hg concentrations were noted between bird species as well as between trophic levels (one-way ANOVAs, p < 0.001). The decrease in mean Hg concentration in feathers was as follows: Greylag goose > Northern pintail ≥ Gadwall ≥ Mallard > Eurasian bittern ≥ Little bittern > Common hoopoe. The position in the trophic chain significantly influenced Hg concentrations, which were the highest in omnivorous species. Hg concentrations may also depend on migration routes and breeding habitats, but the evaluation of the exposure exceeds the ambit of this paper. The Hg concentrations found generally were low, lower than the safe thresholds reported in the literature.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. High levels of mercury in wetland resources from three river basins in Ghana: a concern for public health.

    PubMed

    Gbogbo, Francis; Otoo, Samuel D; Huago, Robert Quaye; Asomaning, Obed

    2016-12-29

    Crustaceans, mollusks, and fish are wetland resources that constitute an important source of protein and foreign exchange for the Ghanaian population, and many species of these are sold in the open market and restaurants, yet studies on their heavy metal contents are generally scarce. This paper evaluates the levels of mercury in five species of crustaceans, two species of mollusks, and ten species of fish inhabiting three river basins with different catchment activities in Ghana. These include the Ankobra Basin, characterized with mining and agriculture, Densu Basin, associated with urban waste discharges and agriculture, and Lower Volta River Basin, associated with agricultural activities. Mercury concentration was highest in Ankobra (2.5 ± 2.59 μg g(-1)) followed by Densu (1.75 ± 1.35 μg g(-1)) and Volta (0.74 ± 1.46 μg g(-1)). The mercury load of the organisms range from <0.1 to 4 μg g(-1) with the highest load in Cynoglossus senegalensis at Ankobra. Except for Panaeus notialis from Densu and Ankobra, and three other species from Ankobra (Tympanotonus fuscatus, Cardisoma armatum, Callinectes amnicola) in which mercury was not detected, mercury loads of all the organisms were above the permissible limit of 0.5 mg kg(-1) established by Commission Regulation-EC (2006) for fishery products and muscle meat of fish. Weekly quantities of crustaceans and mollusks considered safe for consumption by adults ranged from 88 and 1000 g while that of the fishes were between 70 and 700 g (on a dry weight basis) depending on the species. It was clear that some caution needs to be exercised in the consumption of Ghana's fresh and brackish water fisheries.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Relationship between mercury accumulation in young-of-the-year yellow perch and water-level fluctuations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sorensen, J.A.; Kallemeyn, L.W.; Sydor, M.

    2005-01-01

    A three-year (2001 -2003) monitoring effort of 14 northeastern Minnesota lakes was conducted to document relationships between water-level fluctuations and mercury bioaccumulation in young-of-the-year (YOY) yellow perch (Perca flavescens) collected in the fall of each year at fixed locations. Six of those lakes are located within or adjacent to Voyageurs National Park and are influenced by dams on the outlets of Rainy and Namakan lakes. One site on Sand Point Lake coincides with a location that has nine years of previous monitoring suitable for addressing the same issue over a longer time frame. Mean mercury concentrations in YOY yellow perch at each sampling location varied significantly from year to year. For the 12-year monitoring site on Sand Point Lake, values ranged from 38 ng gww-1 in 1998 to 200 ng gww -1 in 2001. For the 14-lake study, annual mean concentrations ranged by nearly a factor of 2, on average, for each lake over the three years of record. One likely factor responsible for these wide variations is that annual water-level fluctuations are strongly correlated with mercury levels in YOY perch for both data sets. ?? 2005 American Chemical Society.

  4. SMOS CATDS Level 3 products, Soil Moisture and Brightness Temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berthon, L.; Mialon, A.; Al Bitar, A.; Cabot, F.; Kerr, Y. H.

    2012-12-01

    The ESA's (European Space Agency) SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) mission, operating since november 2009, is the first satellite dedicated to measuring the surface soil moisture and the ocean salinity. The CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) has developed the CATDS (Centre Aval de Traitement des Données SMOS) ground segment. The CATDS provides temporal synthesis products (referred to as level 3) of soil moisture, which are now covering the whole SMOS period, i.e. since January 2010. These products have different time resolutions: daily products, 3-day global products (insuring a complete coverage of the Earth surface), 10-day composite products, and monthly averaged products. Moreover, a new product provides brightness temperatures at H and V polarizations which are computed at fixed incidence angles every 5 degrees. As the instrument measures L-band brightness temperatures at the antenna frame (X/Y polarizations), a rotation is applied to transform the observations to V/H polarizations. All the CATDS products are presented in the NetCDF format and on the EASE grid (Equal Area Scalable Earth grid) with a spatial resolution of ~ 25*25 km2 The soil moisture level 3 algorithm is based on ESA's (European Space Agency) level 2 retrieval scheme with the improvement of using several overpasses (3 at most) over a 7-day window. The use of many revisits is expected to improve the retrieved soil moisture. This communication aims at presenting the soil moisture and brightness temperature products from the CATDS as well as the other geophysical parameters retrieved, such as the vegetation optical depth or the dielectric constant of the surface. SMOS Level 3 soil moisture. 3-days aggregation product, the best estimation of soil moisture is chosen.

  5. 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.

  6. The redox processes in Hg-contaminated soils from Descoberto (Minas Gerais, Brazil): implications for the mercury cycle.

    PubMed

    Windmöller, Cláudia C; Durão Júnior, Walter A; de Oliveira, Aline; do Valle, Cláudia M

    2015-02-01

    Investigations of the redox process and chemical speciation of Hg(II) lead to a better understanding of biogeochemical processes controlling the transformation of Hg(II) into toxic and bioaccumulative monomethyl mercury, mainly in areas contaminated with Hg(0). This study investigates the speciation and redox processes of Hg in soil samples from a small area contaminated with Hg(0) as a result of gold mining activities in the rural municipality of Descoberto (Minas Gerais, Brazil). Soil samples were prepared by adding Hg(0) and HgCl2 separately to dry soil, and the Hg redox process was monitored using thermodesorption coupled to atomic absorption spectrometry. A portion of the Hg(0) added was volatilized (up to 37.4±2.0%) or oxidized (from 36±7% to 88±16%). A correlation with Mn suggests that this oxidation is favored, but many other factors must be evaluated, such as the presence of microorganisms and the types of organic matter present. The interaction of Hg with the matrix is suggested to involve Hg(II)-complexes formed with inorganic and organic sulfur ligands and/or nonspecific adsorption onto oxides of Fe, Al and/or Mn. The kinetics of the oxidation reaction was approximated for two first-order reactions; the faster reaction was attributed to the oxidation of Hg(0)/Hg(I), and the slower reaction corresponded to Hg(I)/Hg(II). The second stage was 43-139 times slower than the first. The samples spiked with Hg(II) showed low volatilization and a shifting of the signal of Hg(II) to lower temperatures. These results show that the extent, rate and type of redox process can be adverse in soils. Descoberto can serve as an example for areas contaminated with Hg(0).

  7. 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.

  8. 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, ...

  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.

  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. Relationship between Blood Mercury Level and Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases: Results from the Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES IV) 2008–2009

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young-Nam; Kim, Young A; Yang, Ae-Ri; Lee, Bog-Hieu

    2014-01-01

    Limited epidemiologic data is available regarding the cardiovascular effects of mercury exposure. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between mercury exposure from fish consumption and cardiovascular disease in a nationally representative sample of Korean adults using the Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES IV 2008~2009). Survey logistic regression models accounting for the complex sampling were used to estimate the odds ratios (OR) adjusted for fish consumption frequency, age, education, individual annual income, household annual income, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), alcohol consumption status, and smoking status. The mean blood mercury level in the population was 5.44 μg/L. Trends toward increased blood mercury levels were seen for increased education level (P=0.0011), BMI (P<0.0001), WC (P<0.0001), and fish (i.e., anchovy) consumption frequency (P=0.0007). The unadjusted OR for hypertension in the highest blood mercury quartile was 1.450 [95% confidential interval (CI): 1.106~1.901] times higher than that of the lowest quartile. The fish consumption-adjusted OR for hypertension in the highest blood mercury quartile was 1.550 (95% CI: 1.131~2.123) times higher than that of the lowest quartile, and the OR for myocardial infarction or angina in the highest blood mercury quartile was 3.334 (95% CI: 1.338~8.308) times higher than that of the lowest quartile. No associations were observed between blood mercury levels and stroke. These findings suggest that mercury in the blood may be associated with an increased risk of hypertension and myocardial infarction or angina in the general Korean population. PMID:25580399

  12. [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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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; Newhouse, Michael; Jeitner, Christian; Gochfeld, Michael; 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

  16. Understanding the paradox of selenium contamination in mercury mining areas: high soil content and low accumulation in rice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hua; Feng, Xinbin; Jiang, Chengxin; Li, Qiuhua; Liu, Yi; Gu, Chunhao; Shang, Lihai; Li, Ping; Lin, Yan; Larssen, Thorjørn

    2014-05-01

    Rice is an important source of Se for billions of people throughout the world. The Wanshan area can be categorized as a seleniferous region due to its high soil Se content, but the Se content in the rice in Wanshan is much lower than that from typical seleniferous regions with an equivalent soil Se level. To investigate why the Se bioaccumulation in Wanshan is low, we measured the soil Se speciation using a sequential partial dissolution technique. The results demonstrated that the bioavailable species only accounted for a small proportion of the total Se in the soils from Wanshan, a much lower quantity than that found in the seleniferous regions. The potential mechanisms may be associated with the existence of Hg contamination, which is likely related to the formation of an inert Hg-Se insoluble precipitate in soils in Wanshan.

  17. DIETARY METHYL MERCURY EXPOSURE IN AMERICAN KESTRELS; PILOT STUDY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Anthropogenic mercury emissions have increased atmospheric mercury levels about threefold since the advent of industrial activity. Atmospheric deposition is the primary source of mercury in the environment hence mercury contamination has increased in similar fashion. Methyl mercu...

  18. Assessment of soil organic matter fluxes at the EU level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobin, Anne; Campling, Paul

    2010-05-01

    Soil has a complex relationship with climate change. Soil helps take carbon dioxide out of the air and as such it absorbs millions of tons each year, but with the Earth still warming micro-organisms grow faster, consume more soil organic matter and release carbon dioxide. The net result is a relative decline in soil organic carbon. With a growing population and higher bio-energy demands, more land is likely to be required for settlement, for commercial activity and for bio-energy production. Conversions from terrestrial ecosystems to urban and commercial activity will alter both the production and losses of organic matter, and have an indirect impact on potential SOM levels. Conversions between different terrestrial ecosystems have a direct impact on SOM levels. Net SOM losses are reported for several land conversions, e.g. from grassland to arable land, from wetlands to drained agricultural land, from crop rotations to monoculture, reforestation of agricultural land. In the context of looking for measures to support best practices to manage soil organic matter in Europe we propose a method to assess soil organic matter fluxes at the EU level. We adopt a parsimonious approach that is comparable to the nutrient balance approaches developed by the OECD and Eurostat. We describe the methodology and present the initial results of a European carbon balance indicator that uses existing European statistical and land use change databases. The carbon balance consists of the following components: organic matter production (I), organic matter losses (O), land use changes that effect both production and losses (E). These components are set against the (mostly legislative) boundary conditions that determine the maximum input potential (MIP) for soil organic matter. In order to budget SOM losses due to mineralisation, runs will be made with a multi-compartment SOM model that takes into account management practices, climate and different sources of organic matter.

  19. Mercury levels in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) from regulated and unregulated rivers.

    PubMed

    Dharampal, Prarthana S; Findlay, Robert H

    2017-03-01

    Within areas of comparable atmospheric mercury deposition rates methylmercury burden in largemouth bass populations vary significantly between regulated and unregulated rivers. To investigate if trophic dynamics strongly influenced pollutant body load, we sampled largemouth bass from two adjacent rivers, one regulated and one unregulated, and applied a suite of biochemical and stable isotope assays to compare their trophic dynamics. Total mercury burden in the bass from the unregulated Sipsey River (Elrod, AL, USA) and the regulated Black Warrior River (Demopolis, AL, USA) averaged 0.87 mg kg(-1) and 0.19 mg kg(-1) wet weight, respectively. For both populations, age, weight, and length were positively correlated with muscle mercury concentration. Compound specific stable isotope analysis of amino acids showed the trophic position of both populations was just under four. Quantitative and isotopic analysis of neutral lipid fatty acid of Sipsey River bass indicated a greater reliance upon the detrital component of the food web compared to Demopolis Reservoir bass which fed within the autochthonous, pelagic component of the food web. Since the close proximity of the rivers makes differences in atmospheric deposition unlikely and both populations had similar trophic position, our findings indicate that food web dynamics should be included among the factors that can strongly influence mercury concentration in fish.

  20. Chlorinated hydrocarbon and mercury levels in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) found dead in British Columbia, 1988--1993

    SciTech Connect

    Elliott, J.E.; Wilson, L.K.; Norstrom, R.J.; Langelier, K.M.

    1994-12-31

    Liver samples from 70 bald eagles found dead or dying in British Columbia between 1988 and 1993 were analyzed for organochlorine and mercury levels. A subset of 11 eagles found around the Strait of Georgia, an area of known pulp mill pollution, in summer (and therefore presumably resident birds) were analyzed for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDS) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). Levels of DDE and PCBs ranged from less than 1 mg/kg to 190 and 65 mg/kg respectively. Levels of other organochlorines were generally less than 1 mg/kg, with the exception of some chlordane-related compounds which were occasionally over 2 mg/kg. All birds analyzed for PCDDs/PCDFs contained detectable levels of the major 2,378-substituted isomers. Some birds had extremely high levels, one eagle collected near a kraft pulp mill site contained: 400 ng/kg 2378-TCDD, 1400 ng/kg 12378-PnCDD and 4400 ng/kg 123678-HxCDD. All but two eagles had > 1 mg/kg dry wt. of mercury in liver; most contained less than 1 0 mg/kg d.w. but one bird had 130 mg/kg, a level of toxicological concern. All carcasses were autopsied and cause of death determined wherever possible. The relationship between cause of death and sublethal exposure to OCs and Hg is analyzed and discussed.

  1. 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

  2. Groundwater Modeling Of Mercury Pollution At A Former Mercury Cell Chlor Alkali Facility In Pavoldar, Kazakhstan

    EPA Science Inventory

    In Kazakhstan, there is a serious case of mercury pollution near the city of Pavlodar from an old mercury cell chlor-alkali plant.