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Toxic Substances Hydrology

Science Centers and scientists supported by Toxic Substances Hydrology develop and apply advanced analytical methods, field investigations, laboratory studies, and modeling capabilities to understand sources, movement, and exposure pathways of chemical and microbial contaminants in the environment. They are integrated in the Ecosystems Mission Area as the Environmental Health Program.

News

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USGS EcoNews | Winter 2024 - Vol. 5 | Issue 1

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GeoHEALTH—USGS Newsletter, July 2023

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Unintended consequences: New research shows all California condor flocks have been exposed to anticoagulant rodenticides

Publications

Broad-scale assessment of methylmercury in adult amphibians

Mercury (Hg) is a toxic contaminant that has been mobilized and distributed worldwide and is a threat to many wildlife species. Amphibians are facing unprecedented global declines due to many threats including contaminants. While the biphasic life history of many amphibians creates a potential nexus for methylmercury (MeHg) exposure in aquatic habitats and subsequent health effects, the broad-scal

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Brian J. Tornabene, Blake R. Hossack, Brian J. Halstead, Collin Eagles-Smith, Michael J. Adams, Adam R. Backlin, Adrianne Brand, Colleen Emery, Robert N. Fisher, Jillian Elizabeth Fleming, Brad Glorioso, Daniel A. Grear, Evan H. Campbell Grant, Patrick M. Kleeman, David Miller, Erin L. Muths, Christopher Pearl, Jennifer Rowe, Caitlin Teresa Rumrill, J. Hardin Waddle, Megan Winzeler, Kelly L. Smalling

Nitrifying microorganisms linked to biotransformation of perfluoroalkyl sulfonamido precursors from legacy aqueous film forming foams

Drinking water supplies across the United States have been contaminated by firefighting and fire-training activities that use aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Much of the AFFF is manufactured using electrochemical fluorination by 3M. Precursors with six perfluorinated carbons (C6) and non-fluorinated amine substituents make up approximately o
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Bridger J. Ruyle, Lara Schultes, Denise M. Akob, Cassandra Rashan Harris, Michelle Lorah, Simon Vojta, Jitka Becanova, Shelly McCann, Heidi M. Pickard, Ann Pearson, Rainer Lohmann, Chad D. Vecitis, Elsie M. Sunderland

Uptake of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances by fish, mussel, and passive samplers in mobile laboratory exposures using groundwater from a contamination plume at a historical fire training area, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Aqueous film-forming foams historically were used during fire training activities on Joint Base Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and created an extensive per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) groundwater contamination plume. The potential for PFAS bioconcentration from exposure to the contaminated groundwater, which discharges to surface water bodies, was assessed with mobile-laboratory experiments u
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Larry Barber, Heidi M. Pickard, David Alvarez, Jitka Becanova, Steffanie H. Keefe, Denis R. LeBlanc, Rainer Lohmann, Jeffery A. Steevens, Alan M. Vajda

Science

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6PPD-Quinone

6PPD-Q is a compound used to make tires more durable and is also linked to toxicity for Coho Salmon and other aquatic species.
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Increased Mercury, Reduced Insect Diversity, and Food Web impacts from Historical Mercury Mining

U.S. Geological Survey scientists are seeking to understand the impacts of mercury mining on headwater streams, organisms, and food webs, focused on potential effects from historical mining in central Idaho. Mercury associated with mine waste can leave a legacy of contamination that continues to impact stream health in culturally and ecologically important headwater streams after mining activities...
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Increased Mercury, Reduced Insect Diversity, and Food Web impacts from Historical Mercury Mining

U.S. Geological Survey scientists are seeking to understand the impacts of mercury mining on headwater streams, organisms, and food webs, focused on potential effects from historical mining in central Idaho. Mercury associated with mine waste can leave a legacy of contamination that continues to impact stream health in culturally and ecologically important headwater streams after mining activities...
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Toxin Producing Algae Across U.S. Landscapes—Are They Gaining a Foothold?

There are still many unknowns related to the occurrence and potential range of various types of algae in inland waters. To fill some of these gaps, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently published a review and synthesis of toxic algae in inland waters of the conterminous United States .
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Toxin Producing Algae Across U.S. Landscapes—Are They Gaining a Foothold?

There are still many unknowns related to the occurrence and potential range of various types of algae in inland waters. To fill some of these gaps, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently published a review and synthesis of toxic algae in inland waters of the conterminous United States .
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