Navigation Links
Dartmouth workshop sets research agenda for environmental mercury
Date:8/20/2008

HANOVER, NH Embracing the belief that an interdisciplinary and coordinated research agenda can have a profound impact on advancing science and influencing policy, a group of experts has developed a roadmap for improving our understanding of how mercury moves through the marine ecosystem and into the fish we eat.

Members of Dartmouth's Toxic Metals Research Program convened the group of 43 leading scientists, environmental regulators, and public health experts in November 2006 to set priorities for a research and biomonitoring agenda that can inform environmental regulation and public health policy. Their report is published in the current issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The group put a priority on monitoring and research across habitats with an integrated approach that considers the poorly understood links among marine sources, biotransfer processes, and bioaccumulation mechanisms that put humans at risk of exposure to mercury. For example, one unanswered question: does the toxic form of mercury produced and bioaccumulated in coastal ecosystems end up in fish such as tuna caught in the open ocean?

"We are intimately connected to the ocean ecosystem," says Celia Chen, a research associate professor of biology at Dartmouth and the lead author of the paper. "For example, seafood is one of the few wild foods still consumed by large numbers of people. Though we know that the mercury found in marine fish and shellfish poses a threat to humans not to mention the ecosystem itself we know very little about the physical and geochemical processes that link mercury in the atmosphere to the toxic form found in seafood."

Many of the 43 scientists at the 2006 workshop in Durham, N.H., have done extensive research on the way mercury accumulates in fish and other wildlife that inhabit inland forests, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. The meeting, titled "Fate and Bioavailability of Mercury in Aquatic Ecosystem and Effects on Human Exposure," also included experts on mercury in marine systems. All gathered agreed that insights from freshwater and upland systems should be applied to understanding mercury in marine ecosystems.

Dartmouth's Toxic Metals Research Program has been supported since 1995 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP). The 2006 workshop, funded by the SBRP with support from the New Hampshire SeaGrant Program, addressed three major themes: the biogeochemical cycling of mercury in marine ecosystems, the mechanisms of mercury transfer in the food web, and the risk of human exposure of mercury from seafood and shell fish consumption.

"Science should inform regulatory and public health decisions about issues such as the accumulation of mercury in our environment," says Nancy Serrell, the director of outreach at Dartmouth and a co-author on the paper. "The Superfund Basic Research Program provides support for workshops such as these that interpret findings in terms useful to decision makers that incorporate their perspectives into the research agenda."

Future efforts will include convening workshops to compile and evaluate existing mercury data in marine environments and in seafood.


'/>"/>

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

Related biology news :

1. Dartmouth awarded NSF grant for new polar sciences, engineering grad program
2. Dartmouth researchers identify an important gene for a healthy, nutritious plant
3. Dartmouth researchers discover gene signatures for scleroderma
4. Dartmouth researchers find the root of the evolutionary emergence of vertebrates
5. Dartmouth researchers alarmed by levels of mercury and arsenic in Chinese freshwater ecosystem
6. Dartmouth researchers show effects of low dose arsenic on development
7. International workshop to address capacity building for rainforest leaders
8. Workshop assesses interactions between climate, forests and land use in the Amazon Basin
9. Iridescence workshop promotes natures nanotechnology
10. ESFs workshop restores good name of sugar
11. Workshops on biotechnology and water for science journalists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016 ... ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange is ... users of its soon to be launched online site ... https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide potential shareholders ... of DNA technology to an industry that is notorious ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer Industry by ... & Others), Application (Communication & IT, Entertainment, ... - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... is expected to reach USD 26.76 Billion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed ... pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving ... signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its lead ... Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an orally ... stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is currently ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook ... Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their official ... Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic ... with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
Breaking Biology Technology: