Document Details

Mercury Contamination in Poplar Creek and the Clinch River
Subject Terms:
Clinch River; Mercury Contamination; Poplar Creek
Document Location:
DOE INFORMATION CENTER 1 Way, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; Eva Butler; Phone: 865-241-4780; Toll-Free: 800-382-6938, Option 6; FAX: 865-574-3521; Email:
Document Categories:
Health, Safety and Environment\Public Health and Safety
Document Type:
Publication Date:
1977 Jun 06
Declassification Status:
Never classified
Document Pages:
Accession Number:
Document Number(s):
Originating Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
OpenNet Entry Date:
1995 Mar 10
The East Fork of Poplar Creek, Poplar Creek, and the Clinch River below the mouth of Poplar Creek were found to be contaminated with mercury based on analyses and comparisons of Hg concentrations in fish and sediments collected from these environs. Concentrations of total mercury in muscle of all largemouth bass collected in Poplar Creek in 1976 exceeded the FDA's proposed action level for Hg in fish of .5 ppm, and 95 percent of the Hg in these fish was in methyl form. The permitted level of intake by humans of largemouth bass from Poplar Creek containing an average Hg concentration of .73 ppm is calculated to be 40 g/day, based on the FDA recommended maximum intake level of methylmercury. Largemouth bass weighing more than 200 g collected from the Clinch River at the mouth of Poplar Creek also contained Hg concentrations in excess of the FDA's proposed limit and data for this species indicate that Hg levels in the Clinch River are elevated 7 miles below the mouth of Poplar Creek relative to concentrations in largemouth bass from Melton Hill Reservoir. Sediment data show that Bear Creek and East Fork of Poplar Creek are potential sources of the elevated Hg concentrations in Poplar Creek and the Clinch River. Recommendations are given for further defining the sources of Hg contamination in these streams and for examining the mechanisms and rates of Hg transport in the Poplar Creek-Clinch River system.

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