Recent advances in the toxicology of methylmercury in wildlife
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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...
KeywordsMercury Selenium Methylmercury Biomagnification Mercury Exposure
- 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