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GLRPPR Sector Resource: A New Source of Methylmercury Entering the Pacific Ocean

A New Source of Methylmercury Entering the Pacific Ocean

A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist and his university colleagues have discovered a new source of methylmercury entering the waters of the eastern North Pacific Ocean. Consumption of ocean fish and shellfish account for over 90 percent of human methylmercury exposure in the United States, and tuna harvested in the Pacific Ocean account for 40 percent of this total exposure (Sunderland, 2007). Given the obvious importance of marine food webs to human methylmercury exposure, scientists were still trying to answer the question - where do fish, such as Pacific Ocean tuna, acquire their methylmercury? The findings of these scientists published in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, might be a major step forward toward solving this mystery.


U.S. Geological Survey

Resource Type:

Date of Publication:
May 1, 2009

Associated Sectors:

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