Environmental Laboratory

  • Recent research of mercury pollution in fish and environmental samples

Recent research of mercury pollution in fish and environmental samples

Sep 02 2019

Mercury is a ubiquitous heavy metal that biomagnifies at successively higher levels in the aquatic food chain. It can have adverse effects on the fish population itself as well as on both humans and fish-eating wildlife.

Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin and a persistent environmental contaminant that accumulates in the tissues of fish in regions where artisanal scale gold mining exists. Consuming contaminated fish is one of the primary Hg exposure pathways. Studies conducted by the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology found that many of the consumed fish species sold in the markets of Madre de Dios, an Amazonian region in southern Peru, had levels of mercury well above international reference limits. This indicated a serious public health and environmental problem.

Several methods exist for the determination of mercury in fish and biological tissues including cold vapor atomic adsorption (CVAA) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Both require a preliminary sample pretreatment step of acid digestion.

On the other hand, the DMA-80 evo Direct Mercury Analyser from Milestone can measure total mercury in both solid and liquid matrices without any sample preparation, providing much faster analysis than conventional techniques.

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