Environmental Health

Publications

Dive into our publications and explore our science.

View Our Bibliography

GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

The GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter provides information on new USGS science activities related to safeguarding the health of fish, wildlife, domesticated animals, livestock, and people from environmental exposures to contaminants and pathogens.

Get the Newsletter

Featured Science Activities

Featured Science Activities

Lean about our Featured Science Activities through our pages that highlight studies, publications, and results.

Get Science
Filter Total Items: 4,059
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

Selenium: Mercury molar ratios in freshwater fish in the Columbia River Basin: Potential applications for specific fish consumption advisories

Fish provide a valuable source of beneficial nutrients and are an excellent source of low fat protein. However, fish are also the primary source of methylmercury exposure in humans. Selenium often co-occurs with mercury and there is some evidence that selenium can protect against mercury toxicity yet States issue fish consumption advisories based...

Cusack, Leanne K.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Harding, Anna K.; Kile, Molly; Stone, Dave

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

Trace element contamination in feather and tissue samples from Anna’s hummingbirds

Trace element contamination (17 elements; Be, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Mo, Cd, Ba, Hg, Tl, and Pb) of live (feather samples only) and deceased (feather and tissue samples) Anna's hummingbirds (Calypte anna) was evaluated. Samples were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS; 17 elements) and atomic...

Mikoni, Nicole A.; Poppenga, Robert H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Foley, Janet E.; Hazlehurst, Jenny; Purdin, Güthrum; Aston, Linda; Hargrave, Sabine; Jelks, Karen; Tell, Lisa A.
Mikoni, NA, R Poppenga, JT Ackerman, J Foley, J Hazlehurst, G Purdin, L Aston, S Hargrave, K Jelks, LA Tell. 2017. Trace element contamination in feather and tissue samples from Anna’s hummingbirds. Ecological Indicators 80: 96-105. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.04.053

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

Widespread occurrence and potential for biodegradation of bioactive contaminants in Congaree National Park, USA

Organic contaminants with designed molecular bioactivity, such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals, originate from human and agricultural sources, occur frequently in surface waters, and threaten the structure and function of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Congaree National Park in South Carolina (USA) is a vulnerable park unit due to its...

Bradley, Paul M.; Battaglin, William A.; Clark, Jimmy M.; Henning, Frank; Hladik, Michelle L.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Journey, Celeste A.; Riley, Jeffrey W.; Romanok, Kristin M.
Bradley, P.M., W.A. Battaglin, J.M. Clark, F.P. Henning, M.L. Hladik, L.R. Iwanowicz, C.A. Journey, J.W. Riley, and K.M. Romanok. 2017. Widespread Occurrence and Potential for Biodegradation of Bioactive Contaminants in Protected Wilderness of Congaree National Park, USA. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.3873

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

Season, molt, and body size influence mercury concentrations in grebes

We studied seasonal and physiological influences on mercury concentrations in western grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark's grebes (A. occidentalis) across 29 lakes and reservoirs in California, USA. Additionally, at three of these lakes, we conducted a time series study, in which we repeatedly sampled grebe blood mercury concentrations...

Hartman, C. Alex; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.
Hartman, C.A., Ackerman, J.T., Herzog, M.P., Eagles-smith, C.A., 2017. Season, molt, and body size influence mercury concentrations in grebes. Environmental Pollution 229: 29–39. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2017.05.058

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

Density-driven free-convection model for isotopically fractionated geogenic nitrate in sabkha brine

Subsurface brines with high nitrate (NO3−) concentration are common in desert environments as atmospheric nitrogen is concentrated by the evaporation of precipitation and little nitrogen uptake. However, in addition to having an elevated mean concentration of ∼525 mg/L (as N), NO3− in the coastal sabkhas of Abu Dhabi is enriched in 15N (mean δ15N...

Wood, Warren W.; Böhlke, John K.
Wood, W.W., and Böhlke, J.K., 2017, Density-driven free-convection model for isotopically fractionated geogenic nitrate in sabkha brine. Groundwater, v. 55(2), p. 199-207, doi: 10.1111/gwat.12463

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

Occurrence and in vitro bioactivity of estrogen, androgen, and glucocorticoid compounds in a nationwide screen of United States stream waters

In vitro bioassays are sensitive, effect-based tools used to quantitatively screen for chemicals with nuclear receptor activity in environmental samples. We measured in vitro estrogen (ER), androgen (AR), and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) activity, along with a broad suite of chemical analytes, in streamwater from 35 well-characterized sites (3...

Conley, Justin M.; Evans, Nicola; Cardon, Mary C.; Rosenblum, Laura; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Hartig, Phillip C.; Schenck, Kathleen M.; Bradley, Paul M.; Wilson, Vickie S.
Justin M. Conley, Nicola Evans, Mary C. Cardon, Laura Rosenblum, Luke R. Iwanowicz, Phillip C. Hartig, Kathleen M. Schenck, Paul M. Bradley, Vickie S. Wilson. 2017. Occurrence and in vitro bioactivity of estrogen, androgen, and glucocorticoid compounds in a nationwide screen of United States stream waters. Environmental Science & Technology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b06515

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

Geographic and temporal patterns of variation in total mercury concentrations in blood of harlequin ducks and blue mussels from Alaska

We compared total mercury (Hg) concentrations in whole blood of harlequin ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) sampled within and among two geographically distinct locations and across three years in southwest Alaska. Blue mussels were collected to assess correlation between Hg concentrations in locally available forage and birds. Mercury...

Savoy, Lucas; Flint, Paul L.; Zwiefelhofer, Denny; Brant, Heather; Perkins, Christopher R.; Taylor, Robert J.; Lane, Oksana P.; Hall, Jefferson S.; Evers, David C.; Schamber, Jason
Savoy, L., Flint, P., Zwiefelhofer, D., Brant, H., Perkins, C., Taylor, R., Lane, O., Hall, J., Evers, D., and Schamber, J., 2017, Geographic and temporal patterns of variation in total mercury concentrations in blood of harlequin ducks and blue mussels from Alaska, vol. 117, no. 1-2, p. 178-183. Doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.01.084

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

Migratory ducks and protected wetlands in India

India is the most important wintering ground for migratory ducks in the Central Asian Flyway. Because of its latitudinal and climatic extent, the country provides a diversity of wetland habitats for migratory ducks (Ali & Ripley 1978). India is the seventh largest country in the world with an area of about 3.3 million km2 or 2.4% of the world’...

Namgail, Tsewang; Takekawa, John Y.; Balachandran, Sivananinthaperumal; Mundkur, Taej; Sathiyaselvam, Ponnusamy; Prosser, Diann J.; McCracken, Tracy; Newman, Scott H.
Namgail, T., Takekawa, J.Y., Balachandran, S., Mundkur, T., Sathiyaselvam, P., Prosser, D.J., McCracken, T., and Newman, S.H., 2017, Migratory ducks and protected wetlands in India, in Prins, H. and Namgail, T., editors, Bird Migration across the Himalayas: Wetland Functioning amidst Mountains and Glaciers: Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, p. 373-379.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

Mercury and water level fluctuations in lakes of northern Minnesota

Large lake ecosystems support a variety of ecosystem services in surrounding communities, including recreational and commercial fishing. However, many northern temperate fisheries are contaminated by mercury. Annual variation in mercury accumulation in fish has previously been linked to water level (WL) fluctuations, opening the possibility of...

Larson, James H.; Maki, Ryan P.; Christensen, Victoria G.; Sandheinrich, Mark B.; LeDuc, Jaime F.; Kissane, Claire; Knights, Brent C.
Larson, J.H., Maki, R.P., Christensen, V.G., Sandheinrich, M.B., LeDuc, J.F., Kissane, C., Knights, B.C. 2017. Mercury and water level fluctuations in lakes of northern Minnesota. bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/118638.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

A critical evaluation of the utility of eggshells for estimating mercury concentrations in avian eggs

Eggshells are a potential tool for non-lethally sampling contaminant concentrations in bird eggs, yet few studies have examined their utility to represent mercury exposure. We assessed mercury concentrations in eggshell components for 23 bird species and determined whether they correlated with total mercury (THg) in egg contents. We designed a...

Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Hartman, C. Alex; Herzog, Mark P.
Peterson, SH, JT Ackerman, CA Eagles-Smith, CA Hartman, MP Herzog. 2017. A critical evaluation of the utility of eggshells for estimating mercury concentrations in avian eggs. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. doi: 10.1002/etc.3777

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

Importance of the 2014 Colorado River Delta pulse flow for migratory songbirds: Insights from foraging behavior

The Lower Colorado River provides critical riparian areas in an otherwise arid region and is an important stopover site for migrating landbirds. In order to reverse ongoing habitat degradation due to drought and human-altered hydrology, a pulse flow was released from Morelos Dam in spring of 2014, which brought surface flow to dry stretches of the...

Darrah, Abigail J.; Greeney, Harold F.; van Riper, Charles
Darrah, Abigail .J., Harold F. Greeney and Charles van Riper III. 2016. Importance of the 2014 Colorado River Delta pulse flow for migratory songbirds: Insights from foraging behavior. Ecological Engineering. early online. Full cite to follow.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2017

An evaluation of inorganic toxicity reference values for use in assessing hazards to American robins (Turdus migratorius)

When performing screening-level and baseline risk assessments, assessors usually compare estimated exposures of wildlife receptor species with toxicity reference values (TRVs). We modeled the exposure of American robins (Turdus migratorius) to 10 elements (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Pb, Se, Zn, and V) in spring and early summer, a time when...

Beyer, W. Nelson; Sample, Bradley E.
Beyer, W. N. and Sample, B. E., 2016, An evaluation of inorganic toxicity reference values for use in assessing hazards to American robins (Turdus migratorius): Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management , v. 13, no. 2, p. 352-359.