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Title: Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement

Abstract

Changes in physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic habitats made to reduce or eliminate ecological risks can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. Environmental management activities on the U.S. Dept. of Energy reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee,have succeeded in improving water quality in streams impacted by discharges fi-om industrial facilities and waste disposal sites. The diversity and abundance of pollution-sensitive components of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities of three streams improved after new waste treatment systems or remedial actions reduced inputs of various toxic chemicals. Two of the streams were known to be mercury-contaminated from historical spills and waste disposal practices. Waterborne mercury concentrations in the third were typical of uncontaminated systems. In each case, concentrations of mercury in fish, or the apparent biological availability of mercury increased over the period during which ecological metrics indicated improved water quality. In the system where waterborne mercury concentrations were at background levels, increased mercury bioaccumulation was probably a result of reduced aqueous selenium concentrations; however, the mechanisms for increased mercury accumulation in the other two streams remain under investigation. In each of the three systems, reduced inputs of metals and inorganic anions was followed by improvements in the health of aquatic invertebrate communities. However, thismore » reduction in risk to aquatic invertebrates was accompanied by increased risk to humans and piscivorous wildlife related to increased mercury concentrations in fish.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (US)
OSTI Identifier:
14054
Report Number(s):
ORNL/CP-104656
TRN: AH200136%%354
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-96OR22464
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Mercury in the Environment, Minneapolis, MN (US), 09/15/1999--09/17/1999; Other Information: PBD: 15 Sep 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; BIOLOGICAL ACCUMULATION; BIOLOGICAL AVAILABILITY; MERCURY; REMEDIAL ACTION; WASTE DISPOSAL; WASTE PROCESSING; WATER QUALITY

Citation Formats

Bogle, M.A., Peterson, M.J., Smith, J.G., and Southworth, G.R. Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement. United States: N. p., 1999. Web.
Bogle, M.A., Peterson, M.J., Smith, J.G., & Southworth, G.R. Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement. United States.
Bogle, M.A., Peterson, M.J., Smith, J.G., and Southworth, G.R. Wed . "Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/14054.
@article{osti_14054,
title = {Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement},
author = {Bogle, M.A. and Peterson, M.J. and Smith, J.G. and Southworth, G.R.},
abstractNote = {Changes in physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic habitats made to reduce or eliminate ecological risks can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. Environmental management activities on the U.S. Dept. of Energy reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee,have succeeded in improving water quality in streams impacted by discharges fi-om industrial facilities and waste disposal sites. The diversity and abundance of pollution-sensitive components of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities of three streams improved after new waste treatment systems or remedial actions reduced inputs of various toxic chemicals. Two of the streams were known to be mercury-contaminated from historical spills and waste disposal practices. Waterborne mercury concentrations in the third were typical of uncontaminated systems. In each case, concentrations of mercury in fish, or the apparent biological availability of mercury increased over the period during which ecological metrics indicated improved water quality. In the system where waterborne mercury concentrations were at background levels, increased mercury bioaccumulation was probably a result of reduced aqueous selenium concentrations; however, the mechanisms for increased mercury accumulation in the other two streams remain under investigation. In each of the three systems, reduced inputs of metals and inorganic anions was followed by improvements in the health of aquatic invertebrate communities. However, this reduction in risk to aquatic invertebrates was accompanied by increased risk to humans and piscivorous wildlife related to increased mercury concentrations in fish.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1999},
month = {9}
}

Conference:
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