Navigation Links
Dartmouth researchers alarmed by levels of mercury and arsenic in Chinese freshwater ecosystem
Date:1/9/2008

A team of researchers, led by biologists at Dartmouth, has found potentially dangerous levels of mercury and arsenic in Lake Baiyangdian, the largest lake in the North China Plain and a source of both food and drinking water for the people who live around it.

The researchers studied three separate locations in Lake Baiyangdian, all at varying distances from major sources of pollution, such as coal emissions, agricultural runoff, and sewage discharge. They found concentrations of arsenic and mercury in fish were above the threshold considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pose a risk to humans and wildlife.

The findings were published online on Dec. 24, 2007, in the journal Water, Air, and Soil Pollution.

Its important to study this system because it is typical of many throughout China where human activity and industrialization are having detrimental effects on the environment with major human health implications, says Celia Chen 78, a research associate professor of biological sciences. It makes perfect sense to apply what were learning about lakes in the U.S. to other places in the world, like China, that have a growing global impact.

Chen and her team were curious to learn how arsenic and mercury, two toxic environmental metals, moved through the food web in a freshwater ecosystem known to be polluted and contaminated. In a process called bioaccumulation, mercury and arsenic were found throughout the food web, from the water, into the algae, through the tiny algae-eating zooplankton, to the fish. As expected, the researchers found that more nutrient-rich environments supported larger algal blooms, which resulted in lower concentrations of mercury and arsenic in the water due to uptake by the algae.

In their previous work, the researchers found that when there is a lot of algae present, mercury and arsenic are biodiluted, or more dispersed, so zooplankton that eat the algae are exposed to lower levels of the metals and transfer less to fish.

Despite this potential interaction a decrease in bioaccumulation due to high algal biomass the mercury and arsenic in this system are high enough to be of concern to humans and wildlife that drink the water and consume fish, says Chen. For example, we saw arsenic levels in the water that represent more than fifty times the EPA-recommended limit for consumption of fish and shellfish.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sue Knapp
sue.knapp@dartmouth.edu
603-646-3661
Dartmouth College
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Dartmouth researchers show effects of low dose arsenic on development
2. Leading researchers and experts gather to discuss latest advancements in drug discovery
3. Medical breakthrough for organ transplants and cardiovascular diseases by Flemish researchers
4. Researchers uncover key trigger for potent cancer-fighting marine product
5. Worth a thousand words: Hopkins researchers paint picture of cancer-promoting culprit
6. Novel mechanism for long-term learning identified by Carnegie Mellon researchers
7. Cornell researchers prove how plants transport sugars
8. Researchers discover protein that controls bone growth
9. Dolphin therapy a dangerous fad, Emory researchers warn
10. ASU researchers use NASA satellites to improve pollution modeling
11. OHSU researchers reveal the science of shivering
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2017)... Feb. 1, 2017  Central to its deep ... advances worldwide, The Japan Prize Foundation today announced ... have pushed the envelope in their respective fields ... Three scientists are being recognized with the 2017 ... not only contribute to the advancement of science ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... 2017  Crossmatch, a leading provider of security and ... at combatting fraud, waste and abuse in assistance operations ... Action on Disaster Relief conference in Panama ... agencies and foreign assistance organizations throughout Latin ... are a largely unacknowledged problem in the foreign assistance ...
(Date:1/24/2017)...  It sounds simple and harmless—an electronic sensor ... signs and alerts parents on their smart phones ... drops. But pediatric experts argue that such devices ... evidence of medical benefits, especially to healthy babies. ... parents of healthy babies, promising peace of mind ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... 24, 2017  Driven by consumers, preference towards ... the fastest growing categories, finds the recently published ... Personal Care: Multi-regional Market Analysis and Opportunities ... firm Kline. "Biotechnology actives are derived ... more effective for skin and hair care applications," ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... BEIJING, Feb. 23, 2017 China Biologic Products, Inc. ... integrated plasma-based biopharmaceutical company in China, today announced its financial ... Fourth Quarter 2016 Financial Highlights ... increased by 21.7% in RMB terms, or increased by 13.6% ... the same quarter of 2015. Gross profit ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 23, ... , a leading digital health company, and ... of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, announce they ... reimbursements.  DN Telehealth maximizes collaboration ... real-time, extending consultations beyond a physical clinical setting ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... - The Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT) and ... to report that Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Fusion) has closed ... Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC) as the lead investor. ... Partners, and Genesys Capital, as well as founding investor ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: