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Contamination of mercury in the biological and physical environment of northwest Quebec

Journal Article:

Abstract

Mercury and its compounds are present in the environment of northwest Quebec and present serious risks to human health. This study shows that all bodies of water investigated yield fish with mercury concentrations in excess of the Canadian safe limit (0.5 ppm) for human consumption. Data are reported for total mercury in 902 fishes from 58 bodies of water sampled between 1972 and 1976. Out of these, 158 were Coregonus clupeaformis with an average concentration of 0.27 ppm of mercury, 82 were Catostomus commersoni with 0.38 ppm, 287 were Stizostedion vitreum vitreum with 0.79 ppm, 364 were Esox lucius with 0.84 ppm, and 11 were Acipenser fulvescens with 0.36 ppm. It is concluded that walleye and pike are rarely safe to eat in northwest Quebec. Data on limited numbers of molluscs, benthic organisms, plankton, aquatic birds and aquatic mammals from this area are also reported and show only a few in excess of the safe level. Exceptions are found in ducks, grebes, mergansers and otters, mink and marten. Mercury in sediments varied from 50 ppb (background level) to more than 1000 ppb, depending on the body of water and its proximity to zones of influence of human activity. Surface waters  More>>
Authors:
Publication Date:
Oct 01, 1977
Product Type:
Journal Article
Reference Number:
EDB-85-158535
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Can Soc Environ Biol Newsletter/Bull; (Canada); Journal Volume: 34:3
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; BIRDS; CONTAMINATION; FISHES; FOOD CHAINS; GROUND WATER; MAMMALS; MERCURY; ECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; MONITORING; MOLLUSCS; PLANKTON; SEDIMENTS; SURFACE WATERS; QUEBEC; WATER POLLUTION; ANIMALS; AQUATIC ORGANISMS; CANADA; ELEMENTS; HYDROGEN COMPOUNDS; INVERTEBRATES; METALS; NORTH AMERICA; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; POLLUTION; VERTEBRATES; WATER; 520200* - Environment, Aquatic- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport- (-1989); 560304 - Chemicals Metabolism & Toxicology- Invertebrates- (-1987); 560305 - Chemicals Metabolism & Toxicology- Vertebrates- (-1987)
OSTI ID:
5267595
Research Organizations:
Environment Canada, Montreal, Quebec
Country of Origin:
Canada
Language:
French
Submitting Site:
HEDB
Size:
Pages: 63-83
Announcement Date:

Journal Article:

Citation Formats

Delisle, C E. Contamination of mercury in the biological and physical environment of northwest Quebec. Canada: N. p., 1977. Web.
Delisle, C E. Contamination of mercury in the biological and physical environment of northwest Quebec. Canada.
Delisle, C E. 1977. "Contamination of mercury in the biological and physical environment of northwest Quebec." Canada.
@misc{etde_5267595,
title = {Contamination of mercury in the biological and physical environment of northwest Quebec}
author = {Delisle, C E}
abstractNote = {Mercury and its compounds are present in the environment of northwest Quebec and present serious risks to human health. This study shows that all bodies of water investigated yield fish with mercury concentrations in excess of the Canadian safe limit (0.5 ppm) for human consumption. Data are reported for total mercury in 902 fishes from 58 bodies of water sampled between 1972 and 1976. Out of these, 158 were Coregonus clupeaformis with an average concentration of 0.27 ppm of mercury, 82 were Catostomus commersoni with 0.38 ppm, 287 were Stizostedion vitreum vitreum with 0.79 ppm, 364 were Esox lucius with 0.84 ppm, and 11 were Acipenser fulvescens with 0.36 ppm. It is concluded that walleye and pike are rarely safe to eat in northwest Quebec. Data on limited numbers of molluscs, benthic organisms, plankton, aquatic birds and aquatic mammals from this area are also reported and show only a few in excess of the safe level. Exceptions are found in ducks, grebes, mergansers and otters, mink and marten. Mercury in sediments varied from 50 ppb (background level) to more than 1000 ppb, depending on the body of water and its proximity to zones of influence of human activity. Surface waters rarely exceed 0.20 ppb mercury even in areas where sediment contamination is high. Ground water reached 48 ppb in some areas, however, suggesting contamination from natural sources.}
journal = {Can Soc Environ Biol Newsletter/Bull; (Canada)}
volume = {34:3}
journal type = {AC}
place = {Canada}
year = {1977}
month = {Oct}
}