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

Recent advances in the toxicology of methylmercury in wildlife

  • Anton M. Scheuhammer
  • Mark B. Sandheinrich

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...


Mercury Selenium Methylmercury Biomagnification Mercury Exposure 
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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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