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:3/9/2016)... NEW YORK , March 9, 2016 ... current and future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA ... in segments such as instruments, tools and reagents, data ... Analyze various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such ... RNA-Sequencing services Identify the main factors affecting each segment ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... Calif. , March 3, 2016  FlexTech, a ... the categories of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership in ... Leadership. This is the 9 th year of ... group of companies and individuals from past years ... based on a pre-described set of criteria, by a ...
(Date:3/2/2016)... 2016 http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/cmt3hk/global_biometrics ) ... "Global Biometrics as a Service Market 2016-2020" ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/cmt3hk/global_biometrics ) has announced the ... a Service Market 2016-2020" report to ... and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/cmt3hk/global_biometrics ) has announced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Looking for a ... Diego’s premiere hands-on cooking experience. Offering everything from gourmet cooking classes to weekend ... won’t forget. , Guests that visit LaJollaCooks4u share an experience unlike any other. ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , ... May 04, 2016 , ... PBI-Gordon Corporation is ... Agricultural Sales. , Doug began his career at PBI-Gordon in February 1988, after ... a wide variety of roles, ranging from customer service to national product manager, to ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Leading CEOs ... on May 31st and June 1st at The Four Seasons Hotel Boston. , ... the life sciences, offering exclusive access to key decision makers who influence deal ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Dr. Thomas ... surgeon in The Woodlands, Texas , ... 24 percent of treated fat cells in just 25-minutes, ... Close to 90 percent of Americans report feeling bothered ... Nonsurgical fat reduction procedures are a growing industry. This ...
Breaking Biology Technology: