A review by the Gwangju Institute of Science a

impression: Anthropogenic activities have led to enhanced quantities of mercury remaining discharged into aquatic methods, the place it accumulates in fish as methylmercury, an organic and natural form of mercury that is neurotoxic. Ultimately, the mercury makes its way up the food chain and enters the human entire body. In gentle of the potential risks of methylmercury accumulation, scientists from Korea monitored five artificial lakes to identify the resources and accumulation styles of methylmercury in sediment and fish.
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Credit score: Gwangju Institute of Science and Know-how (GIST)

All through the 1950s and 1960s, Minamata Bay in Japan was the web site of popular mercury poisoning brought on by the intake of fish containing methylmercury—a toxic variety of mercury that is synthesized when microbes react with mercury launched in water. Mercury poisoning caused deaths and popular neurological disorders, as well as intergenerational damage as several of the survivors experienced little ones with start defects. As methylmercury was saved in fish, it continued to keep on being in the food chain extended following the discharge of mercury into the atmosphere has ceased.

The potential risks posed by methylmercury to unborn little ones have involved Eunji Jung, a Ph.D. student who performs in the Trace Metal Biogeochemistry Laboratory at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technological innovation (GIST). As the health and fitness of infants and little ones is an essential challenge for all gals, I felt wonderful obligation as a female scientist even though conducting this investigate,” clarifies Jung. 

As element of a software to evaluate the methylmercury levels in aquatic programs in Korea, Jung and her colleagues below the guidance of GIST Professor Seunghee Han monitored mercury ranges in five artificial reservoirs in between 2016 and 2020. We analyzed total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in drinking water and sediment, and complete mercury concentrations in frequent fish species. Data from the national drinking water top quality monitoring network ended up used to comprehensively comprehend the temporal and spatial variations in reservoir circumstances this was required to assess the transport and fate of mercury,” explains Prof. Han.

Their conclusions ended up made readily available on the net on 5 January 2022 and were subsequently posted in Volume 293 of the journal Chemosphere in April 2022.

They uncovered that most of the mercury in the reservoirs originated from soil in the catchment parts. In reservoirs with shorter drinking water home time, i.e., from which water was commonly discharged, the key supply of methylmercury was surface runoff. In reservoirs with lengthier drinking water home time, where h2o was saved lengthier, the supply of the toxin was accumulated methylmercury in the sediment. Methylmercury in sediments was also the resource of mercury in fish, and greater mercury concentration have been found in fish from reservoirs with for a longer period residence situations.

The researchers clarify that it is attainable to cut down mercury contamination in reservoir fish by blocking accumulation of methylmercury in the reservoirs sediment. They suggest growing the charge of water discharge from reservoirs to achieve this. Lessening the synthesis charge of methylmercury by managing the water residence time should in the end exert a favourable impact on human well being,” observes Jung.

Continual monitoring of reservoir water high-quality could possibly assistance detect human action-induced alterations in mercury stages and decreased methylmercury poisoning thanks to fish consumption. 





DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.133545

Authors: Eunji Jung1, Hyogyeong Kim1, Daseul Yun1, Md Moklesur Rahman1, Jong-Hyeon Lee2, Suhyun Kim2, Chan-Kook Kim3, Seunghee Han1


1Gwangju Institute of Science and Engineering, Republic of Korea

2Environmental Human Investigation & Consulting (EHR&C), Republic of Korea

3Marine Ecosystem Research Institute, OCEANIC C&T Co., Ltd, Republic of Korea


About the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST)

The Gwangju Institute of Science and Engineering (GIST) was started in 1993 by the Korean government as a research-oriented graduate university to help make sure Korea’s continued economic progress and prosperity by producing advanced science and technology with an emphasis on collaboration with the international neighborhood. Due to the fact that time, GIST has pioneered a very regarded undergraduate science curriculum in 2010 that has develop into a design for other science universities in Korea. To find out additional about GIST and its remarkable opportunities for researchers and pupils alike, remember to visit: http://www.gist.ac.kr/.


About the authors

Eunji Jung is a Ph.D. pupil in the Trace Steel Biogeochemistry Laboratory in College of Earth Sciences and Environmental Engineering at GIST. Her exploration concentration is mercury methylation in lake sediment.

Seunghee Han is a professor and director of the Trace Metallic Biogeochemistry Laboratory in College of Earth Sciences and Environmental Engineering at GIST. Her team offers with the topics of biogeochemical conduct of trace metals and toxic inorganic pollutants in aquatic methods. She received an MS from the Division of Chemistry at Yonsei College and a Ph.D. from the Section of Oceanography at Texas A&M College.

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