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 July 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 July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 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