Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High levels of mercury found in Cataraqui River, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Date:
March 17, 2010
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
The Inner Harbour on the Cataraqui River in Kingston, Ont., has mercury levels in sediment more than two times the Canadian government's most severe effect limits, according to a new study.

Student Nathan Manion took part in the Queen's study that examined the sediment of the Cataraqui River.
Credit: Photo by Michael Onesi

The Inner Harbour on the Cataraqui River in Kingston, Ont., has mercury levels in sediment more than two times the Canadian government's most severe effect limits, according to a Queen's University study.

"Mercury levels in this part of the river have never been studied before," says biology professor Linda Campbell. "Now we know the sources of the problem and just how widespread it is."

Most of the western shore of the Cataraqui River south of Belle Park and above the LaSalle Causeway Bridge had levels of contamination, with the worst area around the Cataraqui Canoe Club, just south of the former Davis Tannery.

Over the past century, the area has been home to many industries, such as a coal gasification plant, tannery and lead smelter, municipal dump, textile mill and fuel depot. The report found rain is washing contaminated shoreline soil near the canoe club into the river, adding to the sediment already contaminated by decades of industry.

The mercury comes in two forms, mercury and its organic and more toxic form, methylmercury. Right now, most of the mercury around the rowing club seems to be associated with the sediment in its inorganic form, with very little if any actually being mobile in the river water.

Rower and canoeists don't have to be too concerned about the high mercury levels because they don't drink the water or spend a long periods of time swimming there. But more studies will be needed to determine the impact on marine life.

Allison Rutter, Director of Analytical Services Unit in the Environmental Studies department worked on the study with Dr. Campbell, along with geography PhD student Nathan Manion.

"People have always been worried about lead, chromium and PCBs in the Cataraqui River," says Professor Rutter. "This study looked at mercury. We need to know what and where the major sources of contamination are before we can make a decision on how to solve the problem."

The findings are were just published in Science of the Total Environment. The City of Kingston and Ontario Ministry of Environment have also received the study results for consideration when making future decisions about contaminants in the river.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "High levels of mercury found in Cataraqui River, Kingston, Ontario, Canada." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317131938.htm>.
Queen's University. (2010, March 17). High levels of mercury found in Cataraqui River, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317131938.htm
Queen's University. "High levels of mercury found in Cataraqui River, Kingston, Ontario, Canada." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317131938.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) Organizers of the People's Climate March and other rallies taking place in 166 countries hope to move U.N. officials to action ahead of their summit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
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