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Ecotoxicology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 67–68 | Cite as

Recent advances in the toxicology of methylmercury in wildlife

  • Anton M. Scheuhammer
  • Mark B. Sandheinrich
Article

Numerous local and regional environments are contaminated with mercury from a variety of industrial sources, such as chloro-alkali plant emissions and mining wastes. In addition, many remote and semi-remote ecosystems have become contaminated with anthropogenic mercury deposited after atmospheric transport from emission sources, including the combustion of fossil fuels (coal), and large-scale waste incineration. Current levels of mercury in the environment are about threefold greater than pre-industrial values (Lamborg et al. 2002; Lindberg et al. 2007). In mercury-sensitive landscapes, methylation of inorganic mercury and subsequent bioaccumulation and biomagnification of methylmercury commonly results in elevated mercury concentrations in aquatic biota, presenting a potential health risk to some species of fish and wildlife (Scheuhammer et al. 2007).

Assessing the health risks associated with elevated exposure to methylmercury in fish and wildlife has been an ongoing concern for more...

Keywords

Mercury Selenium Methylmercury Biomagnification Mercury Exposure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Energy Information Administration (2007) International energy outlook 2007. Office of integrated analysis and forecasting. US Department of Energy, Washington, DC. http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/index.html. Accessed 16 Oct 2007
  2. Lamborg CH, Fitzgerald WF, Damman WH, Benoit JM, Balcom PH, Engstrom DR (2002) Modern and historic atmospheric mercury fluxes in both hemispheres: global and regional mercury cycling implications. Global Biogeochem Cycles 16:204. doi: 10.1029/2001GB1847 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  4. Scheuhammer AM, Meyer MW, Sandheinrich MB, Murray MW (2007) Effects of environmental methylmercury on the health of wild birds, mammals, and fish. Ambio 36:12–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environment Canada, National Wildlife Research CentreCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Biology, River Studies CenterUniversity of Wisconsin-La CrosseLa CrosseUSA

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