Navigation Links
Dartmouth workshop sets research agenda for environmental mercury

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
Dartmouth College

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:
(Date:10/27/2015)... October 27, 2015 Munich, ... Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile ... Glasses , so that they can be quantitatively ... Munich, Germany , October 28-29, 2015. ... data from mobile eye tracking videos created with ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... LAS VEGAS , Oct. 26, 2015 ... an innovator in modern authentication and a founding member ... launch of its latest version of the Nok Nok™ ... to use standards-based authentication that supports existing and emerging ... Suite is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing applications that ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... California , October 23, 2015 ... (SMI) announce a mobile plug and play integration of ... real-world tasks SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) present ... wearable solutions for eye tracking and physiological data registration. ... SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2w and physiological ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Matthew “Tex” VerMilyea, PhD, HCLD, has joined Texas ... oversee all IVF lab procedures as well as continue his research efforts into the ... miles to Auckland, New Zealand to bring home a High Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... announced the opening of a new core patient care hub with the opening of ... are part of GSCG’s expansion efforts in Latin America. , Both the Arica and ... from around the world. , The clinics will be headed by Victor Perez, M.D. and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... HART ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered ... has received written notification from The NASDAQ Stock ... minimum bid price requirements. The letter noted that ... of HART,s common stock having exceeded $1.00 per ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), the genomics-based, technology-driven ... Genomics, Inc., a leading genome informatics company offering highly ... The San Diego -based company has ... and Co-founder, Ashley Van Zeeland , Ph.D., who is ... of the deal were not disclosed. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: