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:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   Acuant ... and verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ... solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and ... products that add functional enhancements to existing ... corporations and venues with an automated ID ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... 16, 2016 The global ... to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according ... Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial ... to drive the market growth.      ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric ...
(Date:6/7/2016)...  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union ... integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into ... result in greater convenience for SACU members and ... existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... healthier lives through the development of innovative products and ... the United States denied its petition ... claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") ... established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Liquid Biotech USA , ... Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ... cancer patients.  The funding will be used to ... clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety ... employed to support the design of a therapeutic, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona ... or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the ... are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... A person commits a crime, and the detective ... the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness ... (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that ... It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge ... illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: