Mercury in the Atmospheric and Coastal Environments of Mexico
Technological Institute of Mazatlán, 757, Mazatlán, Sinaloa, 82000, Mexico, .Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology (Impact Factor: 3.74). 04/2013; 226:65-99. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-6898-1_3
Though mercury (Hg) occurs naturally in the environment, anthropogenic activities have affected its global cycle in ways that mobilize increasing amounts of this metal; currently, such human-related activities mobilize more Hg than do natural processes (Fitzgerald and Lamborg 2005). It has been estimated that the quantity of Hg mobilized into the atmosphere has increased from two to five times (Nriagu and Pacyna 1988) since the beginning of the industrial age. The mercury cycle is complex and involves diverse environmental media that include air, land, and water. For any country that is not landlocked, the estuaries and coastal waters constitute an important link between the terrestrial environment and the open oceanic waters (Mason et al. 1994). However, research thus far performed on Hg as an environmental contaminant has been focused mainly on terrestrial ecosystems (Fitzgerald and Mason 1996). The focus on land contamination by Hg has occurred despite the prominent role played by Hg in the atmosphere (transported by wind and deposited under both dry and wet conditions) and in oceanic processes (horizontal and vertical transportation, accumulation in sediments, and bacterial transformations).
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ABSTRACT: The healthcare sector is an important contributor to mercury (Hg) pollution because of the potential presence of mercury in thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, amalgams, etc. There are also other potential sources of mercury in this sector which are used frequently and in high volumes where the presence of the metal is not obvious and which might be collectively contributing to pollution. For instance, some chemicals used for the clinical diagnosis of illness may contain mercury. The goal of this study was to investigate potential sources of mercury pollution, which originate from clinical laboratory discharges, using an exploratory approach. The focus was on the residue generated during automatic analysis of patients' bodily fluids at a medical center in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. This study shows an overview of what might be happening in the region or the country related to non-obvious sources of mercury in the healthcare sector. The results showed measurable levels of mercury in the residues coming from urine sediment analysis. These amounts do not exceed the maximum allowed by Mexican environmental regulations; nevertheless, the frequency and cumulative volume of residues generated, combined with the potential for persistence and the bioaccumulation of mercury in the environment, warrant attention. The work carried out in this study is being taken as a model for future studies for pollution prevention in the healthcare sector with the goal of measuring mercury emissions to the environment from clinical laboratory wastewater, including identifying sources which-while not obvious- could be important given the frequency and volume of their use in the clinical diagnosis.
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ABSTRACT: The main objective of this study was to evaluate the total mercury content in hepatopancreas and edible muscle of the whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei cultured along the NW coast of Mexico, and to evaluate the potential human health risk due to their consumption. Samples were obtained between May and June 2010 in 26 shrimp farms from the three most important shrimp-producing states of NW Mexico, and total Hg was analyzed after reduction with SnCl2 in a mercury analyzer. The ranges of Hg concentrations of the hepatopancreas were 0.101±0.03-0.184±0.13μgg(-1) in Sonora, 0.077±0.055-0.813±0.363μgg(-1) in Sinaloa and 0.139±0.037-0.791±0.33μgg(-1) in Nayarit. In the muscle, values were from 0.078±0.02 to 0.539±0.09μgg(-1) in Sonora, 0.154±0.03-0.861±0.423μgg(-1) in Sinaloa and 0.121±0.041-1.48±0.44μgg(-1) in Nayarit. Considering the concentrations of Hg in the muscle and the national consumption rate, shrimp farmed in NW Mexico does not represent a risk for human health (HQ<1).
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