Mercury and climate change


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  • Component of many rocks and is released continually, but very slowly into natural waters by normal chemical weathering processes. Small quantities vaporize into the atmosphere from mercury-containing rocks. In bodies of water hg Settle at the body and adhere to sediment.
    Mercury is used int eh production of chemiscals, paints, plastics, pharmaceuticals, steel, electrical equipment. fungicides.
  • Elemental mercury not readily absorbed. Anaerobic bacteria in the bottom convert these forms of mercury to organic methyl mercury ion which is very soluble and readily absorbed.
  • Can damage nervous system, kidneys, liver birth defects.
  • 1800s that the phrase "mad as a hatter" was coined because of the chronic mercury exposure that the felters faced because mercury was used in hat making.
    Mercury toxicity in environmental pollution is a major concern because of increased usage of fossil fuels and agricultural products, both of which contain mercury.
    inorganic form can be further divided into elemental mercury and mercuric salts. Organic mercury can be found in long and short alkyl and aryl compounds.
    Mercury in any form is toxic. The difference lies in how it is absorbed, the clinical signs and symptoms, and the response to treatment modalities. Mercury poisoning can result from vapor inhalation, ingestion, injection, or absorption through the skin.
    Neurologic, gastrointestinal, and renal systems are the most commonly affected organ systems in mercury exposur
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reduced the allowable intake of methylmercury from 0.5 ug to 0.1 ug of mercury per kilogram per day
    potential toxic effects
    (30,000 ng/g; Thompson, 1996). Smith and Armstrong
    (1975) reported Innuit sled dogs, subsisting largely on
    seal meat,which had levels ofHg, up to 11,500 ng/g in the
    liver, without apparent harm.
    Themean values of THg for theYukonRiver
    village sled dogs exceed the no effects hazard concentrations
    for river otters (660 ng/g) and
  • 50 ppm = 50,000 ng/g
    Mercury EPA upper allowable limit of 0.1 ug/kg of body weight
    WHO safe value of 50 ppm hair
    EPA, WHO, FDA suggest maximum consumption of 226 g of fish per week for a 70 kg person
  • Mercury and climate change

    1. 1. Mercury & climate change Kriya Dunlap University of Alaska Fairbanks
    2. 2. what do you know about mercury?
    3. 3. mercury in the environment …
    4. 4. biomagnification and bioaccumulation
    5. 5. the risks of mercury exposure + H g H C 3 Mercury has a strong for sulfhydryl – S-H affinity groups (Thiol)
    6. 6. 19th Century Felters
    7. 7. 950’s plastic factory in Minimata Bay
    8. 8. salmon-fed sled potential risks and Mercury levels in dogs; the benefits of subsistence diets
    9. 9. • low incidence diseases • 4.8 kg • 60% of age and nutritional subsistence foods per week of subsistence foods is finfish
    10. 10. Village sled dogs
    11. 11. wild Alaskan SALMON
    12. 12. the benefits… Eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5ω-3) Docosahexaenoic acid (22:ω-3) astaxanthin
    13. 13. Phospholipid membrane Phospholipase A2 O HO Eicosapentaenoicacid Arachidonic aci Cyclooxygenases (COX) Prostaglandins (PG) & Thromboxanes (TX) Lipoxygenases (LOX) Leukotrienes -less biologically active -poor substrate for cyclooxygena -gives rise to series 5 leukotri
    14. 14. mercury exposure What is the in salmon-fed sled dogs at different location along the Yukon River ? health implications? What are the
    15. 15. Why the Yukon River? Fort Yukon Rampart Galena Russian Mission Salcha
    16. 16. Russian Mission Ryan Housler
    17. 17. Rampart Linda Johnson
    18. 18. Galena Paddy Nolner
    19. 19. Josh Cadzow
    20. 20. Sci Total Environ. 3):80-5 2007 Oct 15;385(1-
    21. 21. Why? Life Cycle…
    22. 22. Yu ko n Ri ve r Sa lm on
    23. 23. Health Implications of wild AK salmon? •WHO Upper Allowable Threshold of 50 ng/g) •EPA suggests a maximum consumption of fish per week for a 70 kg person •Reported adverse effects as low as ppm (50,000 of 226 g 300 ng/g •Russian Mission sled dogs have some of the highest reported mercury concentrations of any Alaskan mammal
    24. 24. Future direction…
    25. 25. Special Thank you to… Reynolds Joee Reddington Paddy Nolner Linda Johnson Cadzow Scott Campbell Nestlé Purina INBRE Josh Arleigh Jr.