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Metals Exposure and Effects

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Bioaccumulation of Mercury in Fish Varied by Species and Location in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed—Summary of Existing Data and a Roadmap for Integrated Monitoring

Fish mercury data from State monitoring programs and research studies within the Chesapeake Bay were compiled and summarized to provide a comprehensive overview of the variation in fish mercury concentrations among species and habitats within the watershed. These data are put into context with existing health benchmarks for humans, birds, and fish. Scientists also provide a roadmap for an...
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Bioaccumulation of Mercury in Fish Varied by Species and Location in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed—Summary of Existing Data and a Roadmap for Integrated Monitoring

Fish mercury data from State monitoring programs and research studies within the Chesapeake Bay were compiled and summarized to provide a comprehensive overview of the variation in fish mercury concentrations among species and habitats within the watershed. These data are put into context with existing health benchmarks for humans, birds, and fish. Scientists also provide a roadmap for an...
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How are Mercury Sources Determined?

USGS scientists use innovative isotopic identification methods to determine mercury sources in air, water, sediments, and wildlife.
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How are Mercury Sources Determined?

USGS scientists use innovative isotopic identification methods to determine mercury sources in air, water, sediments, and wildlife.
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Food Web Changes Dampen Expected Reductions in Lake Trout Mercury Levels in Lake Michigan—Invasive Species Play Major Role

Combined analyses of mercury, nitrogen, and carbon isotopes in archived lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) tissues and sediment cores in Lake Michigan from 1978 to 2012 indicated that lake trout mercury concentrations mirrored declines in mercury sources prior to the arrival of invasive species that changed mercury transfer through the food and dampened the expected decreases in mercury...
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Food Web Changes Dampen Expected Reductions in Lake Trout Mercury Levels in Lake Michigan—Invasive Species Play Major Role

Combined analyses of mercury, nitrogen, and carbon isotopes in archived lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) tissues and sediment cores in Lake Michigan from 1978 to 2012 indicated that lake trout mercury concentrations mirrored declines in mercury sources prior to the arrival of invasive species that changed mercury transfer through the food and dampened the expected decreases in mercury...
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Mercury Isotope Ratios used to Determine Sources of Mercury to Fish in Northeast U.S. Streams

Mercury isotope analyses were used to distinguish different sources of mercury to fish in 23 streams along a forested-rural to urban-industrial land-use gradient in the Northeastern United States. The use of mercury isotope measurements in fish tissue allow for distinguishing different sources of mercury that are bioaccumulating into the food web. Mercury isotope signatures in fish in forested...
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Mercury Isotope Ratios used to Determine Sources of Mercury to Fish in Northeast U.S. Streams

Mercury isotope analyses were used to distinguish different sources of mercury to fish in 23 streams along a forested-rural to urban-industrial land-use gradient in the Northeastern United States. The use of mercury isotope measurements in fish tissue allow for distinguishing different sources of mercury that are bioaccumulating into the food web. Mercury isotope signatures in fish in forested...
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Science to Help Understand Exposure and Toxicological Effects of Environmental Mercury to Representative Birds

Exposure and toxicity of environmental mercury to birds can be enhanced or lessened due to the available sources and forms of mercury and other species dependent factors such as life stage, migratory patterns, foraging and nesting behaviors, transfer of mercury from mothers to eggs, and sex. For example, mercury exposure can lead to sublethal toxicological effects that can influence parental...
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Science to Help Understand Exposure and Toxicological Effects of Environmental Mercury to Representative Birds

Exposure and toxicity of environmental mercury to birds can be enhanced or lessened due to the available sources and forms of mercury and other species dependent factors such as life stage, migratory patterns, foraging and nesting behaviors, transfer of mercury from mothers to eggs, and sex. For example, mercury exposure can lead to sublethal toxicological effects that can influence parental...
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Amphibians Exposed to Oil and Gas Co-Produced Wastewaters: Differentiating the Actual and the Perceived Inorganic Contaminant Hazards — Prairie Pothole Region

Chloride and metals in oil and gas co-produced wastewaters (often referred to as brines) are commonly perceived as contaminant hazards for biota. Amphibian abundance in the Prairie Pothole Region affected by historic oil and gas co-produced wastewaters was lower in wetlands with high concentrations of chloride indicating an actual contaminant hazard. Metals detected in sediments and amphibian...
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Amphibians Exposed to Oil and Gas Co-Produced Wastewaters: Differentiating the Actual and the Perceived Inorganic Contaminant Hazards — Prairie Pothole Region

Chloride and metals in oil and gas co-produced wastewaters (often referred to as brines) are commonly perceived as contaminant hazards for biota. Amphibian abundance in the Prairie Pothole Region affected by historic oil and gas co-produced wastewaters was lower in wetlands with high concentrations of chloride indicating an actual contaminant hazard. Metals detected in sediments and amphibian...
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Uranium in Springs Sampled Near the Grand Canyon Likely from Natural Sources

Scientists measured nine naturally occurring elements including uranium at 37 spring sites in the Grand Canyon area to establish baseline conditions and to understand the sources of uranium to local springs. Scientists found relatively greater concentrations of uranium at 6 of the 37 springs. A comprehensive geochemical analysis coupled with an understanding of the flow patterns in the area...
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Uranium in Springs Sampled Near the Grand Canyon Likely from Natural Sources

Scientists measured nine naturally occurring elements including uranium at 37 spring sites in the Grand Canyon area to establish baseline conditions and to understand the sources of uranium to local springs. Scientists found relatively greater concentrations of uranium at 6 of the 37 springs. A comprehensive geochemical analysis coupled with an understanding of the flow patterns in the area...
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Is Uranium in Water Resources near the Grand Canyon a Health Hazard?

The public is concerned that uranium in natural geologic formations, mine tailings, dusts, water, and other geologic materials can pose a health hazard to humans and wildlife. Our specialized teams of hydrologists, chemists, and geologists working together at a field site in the Grand Canyon region of the United States have shown: Elevated uranium concentrations (above the drinking water standard)...
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Is Uranium in Water Resources near the Grand Canyon a Health Hazard?

The public is concerned that uranium in natural geologic formations, mine tailings, dusts, water, and other geologic materials can pose a health hazard to humans and wildlife. Our specialized teams of hydrologists, chemists, and geologists working together at a field site in the Grand Canyon region of the United States have shown: Elevated uranium concentrations (above the drinking water standard)...
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Can There be Unintended Benefits when Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure is Upgraded?

Science from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other entities has shown that a mixture of natural and synthetic estrogens and other similar chemicals are discharged from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to streams and rivers.
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Can There be Unintended Benefits when Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure is Upgraded?

Science from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other entities has shown that a mixture of natural and synthetic estrogens and other similar chemicals are discharged from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to streams and rivers.
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Minerals Science Team

The Minerals Integrated Science Team focuses on contaminant exposures in the environment that might originate from mineral resource activities including, transportation, storage, extraction and waste management. Perceived health risks to humans and other organisms will be distinguished from actual risks, if any. If actual risks are identified the science produced by this team can inform how to...
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Minerals Science Team

The Minerals Integrated Science Team focuses on contaminant exposures in the environment that might originate from mineral resource activities including, transportation, storage, extraction and waste management. Perceived health risks to humans and other organisms will be distinguished from actual risks, if any. If actual risks are identified the science produced by this team can inform how to...
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Microbial Biogeochemistry — Menlo Park, California

About the ResearchThe Environmental Health Program collaborates with microbiologists at the Microbial Biogeochemistry Laboratory to develop and apply innovative methods to measure key microbial processes. These methods are used to better understand how major biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and iron) interact with and control the speciation and fate of metals like mercury and...
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Microbial Biogeochemistry — Menlo Park, California

About the ResearchThe Environmental Health Program collaborates with microbiologists at the Microbial Biogeochemistry Laboratory to develop and apply innovative methods to measure key microbial processes. These methods are used to better understand how major biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and iron) interact with and control the speciation and fate of metals like mercury and...
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Passive Sampling Research — Columbia, Missouri

About the LaboratoryThe scientists at the Environmental Chemistry Laboratory at the Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC), Missouri, are pioneers in the development and application of passive sampling techniques for environmental monitoring. The goal of passive sampling is to provide a link between chemical occurrence and biological exposure.
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Passive Sampling Research — Columbia, Missouri

About the LaboratoryThe scientists at the Environmental Chemistry Laboratory at the Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC), Missouri, are pioneers in the development and application of passive sampling techniques for environmental monitoring. The goal of passive sampling is to provide a link between chemical occurrence and biological exposure.
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