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Water: News

Newsletter—August 2011

 Fox River Wisconsin Fishing

Fishermen at the Fox River in Montello, Wisconsin, USA. By User: Royalbroil (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)] via Wikimedia Commons

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Recent Advisory News

Native American teenagers have legacy of PCB pollution

A recent study conducted by the University of Albany and published in the journal Chemosphere revealed that teenagers from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation in New York state had polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations two times as high as the national average. PCB levels were higher in those subjects born before an advisory was issued to the Akwesasne community that recommended against eating traditional fish and animal foods. Higher amounts of PCBs were also found in first born children, those who were breast-fed and those who ate fish in the prior year.

Link to original article: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/mohawk-teenagers-have-a-legacy-of-pcb-pollutionExit EPA Disclaimer

Source: Environmental Health News, 6/1/2011.

Wisconsin releases updated fish consumption advice

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources issued a press release on July 26 announcing updates to the state’s fish consumption advice. Several changes were made to the advisory listing. Specific advisories were removed from two water bodies (Neshonic Lake and the Upper Fox River) and relaxed on one river segment (the Lower Fox River) due to declines in PCB levels in fish. Four new water bodies were placed under specific advisories due to mercury levels in fish. Several other minor changes were made to existing advisories. The statewide advisory for all inland waters in Wisconsin remains unchanged. The Wisconsin fish advisory listing is available online at http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/consumptionExit EPA Disclaimer. New this year, the state has alsomade available a two-minute video in Hmong and Spanish titled “Choose Wisely for Safe Eating.” Both videos, and the original English version, are available on the state advisory website.

Link to original press release: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_Article_Lookup.asp?id=1850Exit EPA Disclaimer

Source: Candy Schrank, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 7/26/2011.

Michigan fish advisory updated

The Michigan Department of Community Health has issued its updated Michigan Fish Advisory for 2011-2012. Several warnings were expanded, including the advisory for lake trout from Lake Michigan. The previous “do not eat” advisory covered only lake trout 22 inches or larger, while the updated advisory includes all legal-sized catch of lake trout (20 inches or larger). The change was made because recent samples of lake trout showed hazardous levels of PCBs, chlordane and dioxins in all fish of legal size. The updated Michigan Fish Advisory is available online at www.michigan.gov/eatsafefish.

Link to original article: http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2011/07/ready_to_edit_lake_trout_healt.htmlExit EPA Disclaimer

Source: Muskegon Chronicle (MI), 7/11/2011.

New fish advisory for central Jacksonville, Florida

The Duval County, Florida Department of Health has issued a fish consumption advisory to warn residents of elevated levels of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dieldrin found in fish from two tributaries in central Jacksonville near the site of an old gas plant: Hogan’s Creek and Long Branch. Following up on concerns from area residents, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) collaborated with the department to test the fish. Largemouth bass, striped mullet, and blue tilapia are listed under the advisory.

Link to original article: http://floridaindependent.com/38144/duval-county-department-of-health-officially-issues-fish-consumption-advisoryExit EPA Disclaimer

Source: The Florida Independent (FL), 7/6/2011.

Grand Calumet clean-up effort underway

This summer the EPA is beginning a project to clean up a section of the Grand Calumet River in Indiana, which runs past 5 Superfund sites. Contamination makes the Grand Calumet currently unsafe even for human contact. As part of the EPA project, contaminated sediment from a mile-long stretch of the river in Hammond, IN will be dredged and replaced with clean material and plastic liners. Some people are worried that, as the appearance of the river improves and fish return, people might be tempted to catch and eat the fish, which will remain highly contaminated and unsafe to eat for many years to come.

Link to original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/03/us/03cncriver.html?_r=2Exit EPA Disclaimer

Source: The New York Times (NY), 6/2/2011.


Recent Research

Please note: The following abstracts are reprinted verbatim unless otherwise noted.

Awake at the switch: Improving fish consumption advisories for at-risk women

Eating fish provides health benefits; however, nearly all fish contain at least some methylmercury which can impair human health. While government agencies have been issuing fish consumption advisories for 40 years, recent evaluation efforts highlight their poor performance. The benefit of an advisory can be measured by its ability to inform consumers as to both the positive and negative attributes of their potential choices, leading to appropriate changes in behavior. Because of the health benefits, fish advisories should not reduce fish consumption, even among at-risk individuals, but should lead consumers to switch away from highly contaminated fish toward those less contaminated. Although studies document how advisories reduce fish consumption (a negative outcome), no study indicates whether they lead to switching behavior (a positive outcome). We explore the effects of Maine Center of Disease Control and Prevention's advisory aimed at informing women who may become pregnant, nursing mothers and pregnant women about the benefits and risks of fish consumption. We examine how the advisory changes consumption, especially related to switching behavior. We demonstrate such changes in behavior both during and after pregnancy and compare the advisory-induced changes with those induced by other information sources. Although we find the advisory reduced some women's consumption of fish, we find the decrease is short-lived. Most importantly, the advisory induced appropriate switching behavior; women reading the advisory decreased their consumption of high-risk fish and increased their consumption of low-risk fish. We conclude a well-designed advisory can successfully transform a complex risk/benefit message into one that leads to appropriate knowledge and behavioral changes.

Source: Teisl, M. F., E. Fromberg, et al. (2011). "Awake at the switch: Improving fish consumption advisories for at-risk women." Sci Total Environ 409(18): 3257-3266.

Fish Oil: What is the Role in Cardiovascular Health?

Fish and fish oil supplements are often used to lower triglycerides; however, recent studies suggest the beneficial use of fish oil for other cardiovascular reasons. Studies have shown that in addition to decreasing triglycerides, fish oil has shown benefit in providing antiplatelet activity, improving heart failure, and improving vascular function in diabetes. Fish oil was shown to improve triglycerides in combination with other lipid-lowering therapy such as a statin or fibrate. Fish oil also had effects on lowering total cholesterol, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL). In terms of its antiplatelet activity, fish oil was shown to lower platelet aggregation when given in combination with clopidogrel and aspirin therapy during PCI, thus fish oil appears to enhance platelet response to clopidogrel. Fish oil has a role in heart failure as well. Fish oil was shown to slightly decrease morbidity and mortality in patients with class II-IV heart failure compared to placebo. Finally, fish oil showed benefit in patients with type II diabetes in terms of improving micro- and macrovascular function.

Source: Brinson, B. E. and S. Miller (2011). "Fish Oil: What is the Role in Cardiovascular Health?" J Pharm Pract 2011 Jun 6. [Epub ahead of print].

Resetting our priorities in environmental health: An example from the south-north partnership in Lake Chapala, Mexico

Lake Chapala is a major source of water for crop irrigation and subsistence fishing for a population of 300,000 people in central Mexico. Economic activities have created increasing pollution and pressure on the whole watershed resources. Previous reports of mercury concentrations detected in fish caught in Lake Chapala have raised concerns about health risks to local families who rely on fish for both their livelihood and traditional diet. Our own data has indicated that 27% of women of childbearing age have elevated hair mercury levels, and multivariable analysis indicated that frequent consumption of carp (i.e., once a week or more) was associated with significantly higher hair mercury concentrations. In this paper we describe a range of environmental health research projects. Our main priorities are to build the necessary capacities to identify sources of water pollution, enhance early detection of environmental hazardous exposures, and deliver feasible health protection measures targeting children and pregnant women. Our projects are led by the Children's Environmental Health Specialty Unit nested in the University of Guadalajara, in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Health of Harvard School of Public Health and Department of Pediatrics of the New York School of Medicine. Our partnership focuses on translation of knowledge, building capacity, advocacy and accountability. Communication will be enhanced among women's advocacy coalitions and the Ministries of Environment and Health. We see this initiative as an important pilot program with potential to be strengthened and replicated regionally and internationally.

Source: Cifuentes, E., F. Lozano Kasten, et al. (2011). "Resetting our priorities in environmental health: An example from the south-north partnership in Lake Chapala, Mexico." Environ Res 2011 Jun 29. [Epub ahead of print].

Landscape-level patterns of mercury contamination of fish in North Texas, USA

Mercury (Hg) is a toxic metal that is found in aquatic food webs and is hazardous to humans. An emerging conceptual model predicts that the areas of the landscape that have the potential to contain food webs with elevated concentrations of Hg are those that receive high amounts of Hg and sulfate deposition and have high coverage of forests and wetlands and low coverage of agriculture. The objective of the present study was to test this conceptual model using concentrations of Hg in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) from 145 reservoirs in four ecoregions of North Texas. The highest level of Hg contamination in fish was in the South Central Plains, the ecoregion that receives the highest levels of Hg and sulfate deposition and contains extensive forest and wetland habitat and little agriculture. The present study has important implications for other areas of the United States, because the South Central Plains extend into parts of Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas, covering a total area of 152,132 km2of the southern United States. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. (c) 2011 SETAC.

Source: Drenner, R. W., M. M. Chumchal, et al. (2011). "Landscape-level patterns of mercury contamination of fish in North Texas, USA." Environ Toxicol Chem 2011 Jun 3. doi: 10.1002/etc.589. [Epub ahead of print].

Dietary intakes of arachidonic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are associated with reduced risk of hip fracture in older adults

PUFA are hypothesized to influence bone health, but longitudinal studies on hip fracture risk are lacking. We examined associations between intakes of PUFA and fish, and hip fracture risk among older adults (n = 904) in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Participants (mean age ~75 y at baseline) were followed for incident hip fracture from the time they completed the baseline exam (1988-1989) until December 31, 2005. HR and 95% CI were estimated for energy-adjusted dietary fatty acid exposure variables [(n-3) fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), EPA, DHA, EPA+DHA; (n-6) fatty acids: linoleic acid, arachidonic acid (AA); and the (n-6):(n-3) ratio] and fish intake categories, adjusting for potential confounders and covariates. Protective associations were observed between intakes of ALA (P-trend = 0.02) and hip fracture risk in a combined sample of women and men and between intakes of AA (P-trend = 0.05) and hip fracture risk in men only. Participants in the highest quartile of ALA intake had a 54% lower risk of hip fracture than those in the lowest quartile (Q4 vs. Q1: HR = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.26-0.83). Men in the highest quartile of AA intake had an 80% lower risk of hip fracture than those in the lowest quartile (Q4 vs. Q1: HR = 0.20; 95% CI = 0.04-0.96). No significant associations were observed among intakes of EPA, DHA, EPA+DHA, or fish. These findings suggest dietary ALA may reduce hip fracture risk in women and men and dietary AA may reduce hip fracture risk in men.

Source: Farina, E. K., D. P. Kiel, et al. (2011). "Dietary intakes of arachidonic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are associated with reduced risk of hip fracture in older adults." J Nutr 141(6): 1146-1153.

Residues of PBDEs in northeastern Pacific marine fish: evidence for spatial and temporal trends

In the flesh (skinless fillet) of chinook, chum, coho, pink, and sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, O. keta, O. kisutch, O. gorbuscha, and O. nerka, respectively), sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) and walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) from several sites in the northeast Pacific sampled between 2002 and 2008, tetra- and pentabrominated diphenyl ethers (BDEs) (BDE 47, 49, 99, and 100) dominated the congener distribution. Chinook and sablefish contained the highest concentrations, followed by sockeye, coho, and pink salmon, and pollock. In sockeye from the Bering Sea - Aleutians and from the Gulf of Alaska, total tri- to hepta-BDE concentrations fell significantly between 2002 and 2005; in sablefish from Gulf of Alaska, there was a steady but statistically nonsignificant decline in BDE concentrations between 2002 and 2008. Relative proportions of the main BDE congeners did not change appreciably over time, within species or location. All species except sockeye salmon showed a clear southeastward increase in BDE concentrations, implying an increasing gradient in general ecosystem contamination. In chinook, coho, and sablefish, especially, the southeastward trend in increasing total concentrations was associated with increasing proportions of BDEs 47 and 100. Chinook returning to western North American natal streams appeared to accumulate most of their PBDE burden towards the end of their migration. Fish from more northern sampling sites often had higher proportions of more highly brominated congeners than those from more southern sites, perhaps reflecting contamination from Asian sources where higher-brominated commercial PBDE formulations are used. In sablefish and pollock, the relative proportions of BDEs 99 and 47 varied inversely in almost a 1:1 ratio, implying debromination of BDE 99 to 47.

Source: Ikonomou, M. G., H. J. Teas, et al. (2011). "Residues of PBDEs in northeastern Pacific marine fish: evidence for spatial and temporal trends." Environ Toxicol Chem 30(6): 1261-1271.

Fish consumption and severely depressed mood, findings from the first national nutrition follow-up study

The evidence obtained from prospective studies to support the hypothesis that fish consumption may improve mental status remains limited. The current study prospectively assessed a low frequency of fish consumption as a risk factor for depressed mood. Included were 5,068 adults aged 25-74 years examined in 1971-1975 as the baseline of the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-up Study. Frequency of eating fish at baseline was obtained using a 3-month food frequency questionnaire. Severely depressed mood (SDM) was defined as the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale scores >/=22 or taking anti-depressants. After an average of 10.6 years of follow-up, among men (n=2039), the percentage of individuals with SDM was 11.7%. Compared with frequent consumers (more than once a week), the odds ratios (ORs) were 1.43 (95%CI=0.66-3.11) and 2.08 (1.08-4.09) respectively for the men eating fish once a week and less than once a week (p for trend=0.03). Among women (n=3029), the percentage of individuals with SDM was 17.89%. The ORs were 1 (reference), 0.91 (0.68-1.22) and 1.15 (0.83-1.59) respectively for the women eating fish more than once, once, and less than once a week. These estimates were obtained after adjustment for indicators of social deprivation and major physical diseases. The study concluded that independently from social deprivation and physical diseases, low fish consumption was a risk factor for SDM among men. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and elucidate mechanisms for the difference between men and women.

Source: Li, Y., Q. Dai, et al. (2011). "Fish consumption and severely depressed mood, findings from the first national nutrition follow-up study." Psychiatry Res 2011 May 30. [Epub ahead of print].

Dietary intake of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and the risk of clinical depression in women: a 10-y prospective follow-up study

The associations between different sources of dietary n-3 (omega-3) and n-6 (omega-6) fatty acids and the risk of depression have not been prospectively studied. The objective was to examine the relation between different n-3 and n-6 types with clinical depression incidence. We prospectively studied 54,632 US women from the Nurses' Health Study who were 50-77 y of age and free from depressive symptoms at baseline. Information on diet was obtained from validated food-frequency questionnaires. Clinical depression was defined as reporting both physician-diagnosed depression and regular antidepressant medication use. During 10 y of follow-up (1996-2006), 2823 incident cases of depression were documented. Intake of long-chain n-3 fatty acids from fish was not associated with depression risk [relative risk (RR) for 0.3-g/d increment: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.88, 1.10], whereas alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) intake was inversely associated with depression risk (multivariate RR for 0.5-g/d increment: 0.82; 95% CI: 0.71, 0.94). The inverse association between ALA and depression was stronger in women with low linoleic acid (LA) intake (P for interaction = 0.02): a 0.5-g/d increment in ALA was inversely associated with depression in the first, second, and third LA quintiles [RR (95% CI): 0.57 (0.37, 0.87), 0.62 (0.41, 0.93), and 0.68 (0.47, 0.96), respectively] but not in the fourth and fifth quintiles. The results of this large longitudinal study do not support a protective effect of long-chain n-3 from fish on depression risk. Although these data support the hypothesis that higher ALA and lower LA intakes reduce depression risk, this relation warrants further investigation.

Source: Lucas, M., F. Mirzaei, et al. (2011). "Dietary intake of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and the risk of clinical depression in women: a 10-y prospective follow-up study." Am J Clin Nutr 93(6): 1337-1343.

The risk of child and adolescent overweight is related to types of food consumed

To investigate the association between the risk of overweight and the consumption of food groups in children and adolescents. We studied 1764 healthy children and adolescents (age 6-19y) attending 16 Seventh-Day Adventist schools and 13 public schools using a 106-item non-quantitative food frequency questionnaire from the late 1980 Child-Adolescent Blood Pressure Study. Logistic regression models were used to compute the risk of overweight according to consumption of grains, nuts, vegetables, fruits, meats/fish/eggs, dairy, and, low nutrient-dense foods (LNDF). The frequency of consumption of grains, nuts, vegetables and LNDF were inversely related to the risk of being overweight and dairy increased the risk. Specifically, the odds ratio (95% CI) for children in the highest quartile or tertile of consumption compared with the lowest quartile or tertile were as follows: grains 0.59(0.41-0.83); nuts 0.60(0.43-0.85); vegetables 0.67(0.48-0.94); LNDF 0.43(0.29-0.63); and, dairy 1.36(0.97, 1.92). The regular intake of specific plant foods may prevent overweight among children and adolescents.

Source: Matthews, V. L., M. Wien, et al. (2011). "The risk of child and adolescent overweight is related to types of food consumed." Nutr J 10: 71.

Preconception omega-3 fatty acid supplementation of adult male mice with a history of developmental TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin) exposure prevents preterm birth in unexposed female partners

We recently reported that adult male C57BL/6 mice exposed in utero to the environmental toxicant TCDD confer an increased risk of preterm birth (PTB) to unexposed females. Risk of PTB was coincident with decreased placental progesterone receptor (PR) mRNA expression and increased toll-like receptor-4 (TLR-4) mRNA expression, suggesting toxicant exposure induced a heightened inflammatory response at the maternal-fetal interface. Since omega-3 fatty acids exhibit anti-inflammatory activity, herein, we provided TCDD-exposed males a fish oil-enriched diet prior to mating. Although PTB was common in control females mated to TCDD-exposed males on the standard diet, fish oil supplementation of TCDD-exposed males eliminated PTB in unexposed partners. We also determined the influence of preconception, paternal fish oil supplementation on the placental inflammatory response in late pregnancy (E18.5) by examining expression of PR and TLR-4 mRNA as well as expression of 15-hydroxy prostaglandin dehydrogenase (PGDH). PGDH catabolizes the inflammatory PGE2 to an inactive form; thus, reduced expression of this enzyme would promote tissue inflammation. Compared to control pregnancies, examination of E18.5 placentas arising from TCDD-exposed males on the standard diet revealed a significant increase in TLR-4 mRNA expression corresponding to a reduction in PR mRNA and PGDH protein expression. In contrast, fish oil supplementation of toxicant-exposed males led to normalization of placental expression of both PR and TLR-4 mRNA and a marked increase in PGDH expression. These studies suggest that a paternal preconception diet which includes omega-3 fatty acids prevents the toxicant-associated increase in the placental inflammatory response at late gestation, preventing PTB.

Source: McConaha, M. E., T. Ding, et al. (2011). "Preconception omega-3 fatty acid supplementation of adult male mice with a history of developmental TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin) exposure prevents preterm birth in unexposed female partners." Reproduction 2011 Jun 8. [Epub ahead of print].

Spatiotemporal trends of mercury in walleye and largemouth bass from the Laurentian Great Lakes Region

The risk of mercury (Hg) exposure to humans and wildlife from fish consumption has driven extensive mercury analysis throughout the Great Lakes Region since the 1970s. This study compiled fish-Hg data from multiple sources in the region and assessed spatiotemporal trends of Hg concentrations in two representative top predator fish species. Walleye (Sander vitreus) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were chosen for the trend analysis because they had more Hg records (63,872) than other fish species that had been sampled from waters throughout the region. Waterbody types were inland lakes (70%), the Great Lakes, impoundments, and rivers. The compiled datasets were analyzed with a mixed effects statistical model having random effects of station, year, and fish length; and fixed effects of year, tissue type, fish length, habitat, and season. The results showed a generally declining temporal trend in fish-Hg for the region (1970-2009), with spatial trends of increasing Hg concentration from south to north and from west to east across the region. Nonlinearity was evident in the general downward trends of Ontario walleye, with a shift to an upward trend beginning in the 1990s. Only ongoing monitoring can reveal if this upward shift is an oscillation in a long-term decline, a statistical anomaly, or a sustained declining temporal trend in regional fish-Hg concentrations.

Source: Monson, B. A., D. F. Staples, et al. (2011). "Spatiotemporal trends of mercury in walleye and largemouth bass from the Laurentian Great Lakes Region." Ecotoxicology 2011 Jun 25. [Epub ahead of print].

Ecological risk of methylmercury to piscivorous fish of the Great Lakes region

Contamination of fish populations with methylmercury is common in the region of the Laurentian Great Lakes as a result of atmospheric deposition and methylation of inorganic mercury. Using fish mercury monitoring data from natural resource agencies and information on tissue concentrations injurious to fish, we conducted a screening-level risk assessment of mercury to sexually mature female walleye (Sander vitreus), northern pike (Esox lucius), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) in the Great Lakes and in interior lakes, impoundments, and rivers of the Great Lakes region. The assessment included more than 43,000 measurements of mercury in fish from more than 2000 locations. Sexually mature female fish that exceeded threshold-effect tissue concentrations of 0.20 µg g(-1) wet weight in the whole body occurred at 8% (largemouth bass) to 43% (walleye) of sites. Fish at 3% to 18% of sites were at risk of injury and exceeded 0.30 µg g(-1) where an alteration in reproduction or survival is predicted to occur. Most fish at increased risk were from interior lakes and impoundments. In the Great Lakes, no sites had sexually mature fish that exceeded threshold-effect concentrations. Results of this screening-level assessment indicate that fish at a substantive number of locations within the Great Lakes region are potentially at risk from methylmercury contamination and would benefit from reduction in mercury concentrations.

Source: Sandheinrich, M. B., S. P. Bhavsar, et al. (2011). "Ecological risk of methylmercury to piscivorous fish of the Great Lakes region." Ecotoxicology 2011 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print].

Mercury concentrations in snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) correlate with environmental and landscape characteristics

Mercury (Hg) deposited onto the landscape can be transformed into methylmercury (MeHg), a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates up the aquatic food chain. Here, we report on Hg concentrations in snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) across New York State, USA. The objectives of this study were to: (1) test which landscape, water, and biometric characteristics correlate with total Hg (THg) concentrations in snapping turtles; and (2) determine whether soft tissue THg concentrations correlate with scute (shell) concentrations. Forty-eight turtles were sampled non-lethally from ten lakes and wetlands across New York to observe patterns under a range of ecosystem variables and water chemistry conditions. THg concentrations ranged from 0.041 to 1.50 µg/g and 0.47 to 7.43 µg/g wet weight of muscle tissue and shell, respectively. The vast majority of mercury (~94%) was in the MeHg form. Sixty-one percent of turtle muscle samples exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) consumption advisory limit of 0.3 µg Hg/g for fish. Muscle THg concentrations were significantly correlated with sulfate in water and the maximum elevation of the watershed. Shell THg concentrations were significantly correlated with the acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) of water, the maximum elevation of the watershed, the percent open water in the watershed, the lake to watershed size, and various forms of atmospheric Hg deposition. Thus, our results demonstrate that THg concentrations in snapping turtles are spatially variable, frequently exceed advisory limits, and are significantly correlated with several landscape and water characteristics.

Source: Turnquist, M. A., C. T. Driscoll, et al. (2011). "Mercury concentrations in snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) correlate with environmental and landscape characteristics." Ecotoxicology 2011 Jun 19. [Epub ahead of print].

Spatial patterns of mercury in biota of Adirondack, New York lakes

We studied the spatial distribution patterns of mercury (Hg) in lake water, littoral sediments, zooplankton, crayfish, fish, and common loons in 44 lakes of the Adirondacks of New York State, USA, a region that has been characterized as a "biological Hg hotspot". Our study confirmed this pattern, finding that a substantial fraction of the lakes studied had fish and loon samples exceeding established criteria for human and wildlife health. Factors accounting for the spatial variability of Hg in lake water and biota were lake chemistry (pH, acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), percent carbon in sediments), biology (taxa presence, trophic status) and landscape characteristics (land cover class, lake elevation). Hg concentrations in zooplankton, fish and common loons were negatively associated with the lake water acid-base status (pH, ANC). Bioaccumulation factors (BAF) for methyl Hg (MeHg) increased from crayfish (mean log(10) BAF = 5.7), to zooplankton (5.9), to prey fish (6.2), to larger fish (6.3), to common loons (7.2). MeHg BAF values in zooplankton, crayfish, and fish (yellow perch equivalent) all increased with increasing lake elevation. Our findings support the hypothesis that bioaccumulation of MeHg at the base of the food chain is an important controller of Hg concentrations in taxa at higher trophic levels. The characteristics of Adirondack lake-watersheds (sensitivity to acidic deposition; significant forest and wetland land cover; and low nutrient inputs) contribute to elevated Hg concentrations in aquatic biota.

Source: Yu, X., C. T. Driscoll, et al. (2011). "Spatial patterns of mercury in biota of Adirondack, New York lakes." Ecotoxicology 2011 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print].

The following recent publications are also of interest, but the abstracts are not reprinted here due to copyright restrictions:

Associations between types of dietary fat and fish intake and risk of stroke in the Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS).
Atkinson, C., E. Whitley, et al. (2011). Public Health 125(6): 345-348.

Biomarker analyses in caged and wild fish suggest exposure to pollutants in an urban area with a landfill.
Hanson, N. N. and Å. Å. Larsson (2011). Environmental toxicology 26(3): 315-324.

Consumption of meat and fish and risk of lung cancer: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
Linseisen, J., S. Rohrmann, et al. (2011).Cancer Causes & Control 22(6): 909-918.

Brain as a critical target of mercury in environmentally exposed fish (Dicentrarchus labrax)--bioaccumulation and oxidative stress profiles.
Mieiro, C. L. C., M. E. M. Pereira, et al. (2011). Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 103(3-4): 233-240.


Meetings and Conferences

Upcoming
American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting
September 4-8, 2011 Seattle, Washington
http://www.fisheries.org/afs2011 Exit EPA Disclaimer
International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) - 21st Annual Meeting
October 23-27, 2011 Baltimore, Maryland
http://ises2011.memberclicks.net Exit EPA Disclaimer
14th World Lake Conference
October 31-November 4, 2011 Austin, Texas
http://www.wlc14.orgExit EPA Disclaimer
The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America 32nd Annual Meeting
November 13-17 2011, Boston, Massachusetts
http://boston.setac.orgExit EPA Disclaimer
Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting
December 4-7, 2011 Charleston, South Carolina
http://www.sra.org/events_2011_meeting.phpExit EPA Disclaimer

For More Information

Please email the newsletter (Fish_Advisory@epa.gov) if you would like to announce an upcoming meeting, conference, or to submit an article.


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