Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Model Predicts Hot Spots For Mercury In Fish

Date:
December 2, 2008
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Mercury levels in fish are prompting widespread consumption advisories and uncertainty among consumers over which species are safe to eat. Now researchers have developed a model that will help scientists and regulators around the country predict which areas are likely to have fish with high mercury levels -- a breakthrough that should help officials address public uncertainty by developing health advisories for specific water bodies and fish species.

Mercury levels in fish are prompting widespread consumption advisories and uncertainty among consumers over which species are safe to eat. Now researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a model that will help scientists and regulators around the country predict which areas are likely to have fish with high mercury levels – a breakthrough that should help officials address public uncertainty by developing health advisories for specific water bodies and fish species.

The NC State researchers have created a statistical model that can incorporate data on the variety of factors that influence mercury levels in fish tissue – such as the pH of the water and the size and species of the fish – to identify those aquatic ecosystems that are likely to have fish with high mercury levels. "We want to be predictive," says NC State's Dr. Derek Aday, "rather than reacting to events after they've happened." Aday, an assistant professor of biology at NC State who is part of the research team, says the model can be used "to develop specific health advisories for water bodies and species rather than sweeping advisories." Current advisories tend to restrict consumption of certain species for an entire state or region out of concern that mercury levels in the fish could adversely affect human health.

While the NC State effort has so far focused on North Carolina, Aday says, "The goal is to create a template that could be used in systems throughout the country. Specific variables may change, but the approach would be the same." In fact, Aday says, "we've identified a suite of variables that we believe will be consistent in driving mercury dynamics across many aquatic systems." The new model is a synthesis of a number of smaller statistical models that allows researchers to examine the combination of factors that can drive contaminants in aquatic systems.

In order to collect data for use in the new model, the researchers synthesized water quality, fish tissue mercury and environmental data that had been collected by North Carolina agencies since 1990. That database was then used to construct the statistical model.

The researchers recently presented their findings in a mercury symposium at the University of North Carolina System's Water Resources Research Institute Annual Conference, which was held in October at NC State. Dana K. Sackett, a Ph.D. student in biology at NC State, was the lead author of the presentation. The co-authors were Aday; Dr. James A. Rice, professor of biology at NC State; and Dr. W. Gregory Cope, associate professor of toxicology at NC State. The study was entitled "A statewide assessment of fish tissue mercury dynamics"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "New Model Predicts Hot Spots For Mercury In Fish." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201112532.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2008, December 2). New Model Predicts Hot Spots For Mercury In Fish. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201112532.htm
North Carolina State University. "New Model Predicts Hot Spots For Mercury In Fish." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201112532.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins