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All-time releases of mercury to the atmosphere from human activities.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature129775
Source
Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Dec 15;45(24):10485-91
Publication Type
Article
Date
Dec-15-2011
Author
David G Streets
Molly K Devane
Zifeng Lu
Tami C Bond
Elsie M Sunderland
Daniel J Jacob
Author Affiliation
Decision and Information Sciences Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, United States. dstreets@anl.gov
Source
Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Dec 15;45(24):10485-91
Date
Dec-15-2011
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Air Pollutants - toxicity
Air Pollution - statistics & numerical data
Atmosphere - chemistry
Environmental monitoring
Humans
Mercury - analysis
Mining - statistics & numerical data
Power Plants - statistics & numerical data
Water Pollutants, Chemical - analysis
Water Pollution, Chemical - statistics & numerical data
Abstract
Understanding the biogeochemical cycling of mercury is critical for explaining the presence of mercury in remote regions of the world, such as the Arctic and the Himalayas, as well as local concentrations. While we have good knowledge of present-day fluxes of mercury to the atmosphere, we have little knowledge of what emission levels were like in the past. Here we develop a trend of anthropogenic emissions of mercury to the atmosphere from 1850 to 2008-for which relatively complete data are available-and supplement that trend with an estimate of anthropogenic emissions prior to 1850. Global mercury emissions peaked in 1890 at 2600 Mg yr(-1), fell to 700-800 Mg yr(-1) in the interwar years, then rose steadily after 1950 to present-day levels of 2000 Mg yr(-1). Our estimate for total mercury emissions from human activities over all time is 350 Gg, of which 39% was emitted before 1850 and 61% after 1850. Using an eight-compartment global box-model of mercury biogeochemical cycling, we show that these emission trends successfully reproduce present-day atmospheric enrichment in mercury.
Notes
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PubMed ID
22070723 View in PubMed
Less detail

Assessing sources of human methylmercury exposure using stable mercury isotopes.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature268003
Source
Environ Sci Technol. 2014;48(15):8800-6
Publication Type
Article
Date
2014
Author
Miling Li
Laura S Sherman
Joel D Blum
Philippe Grandjean
Bjarni Mikkelsen
Pál Weihe
Elsie M Sunderland
James P Shine
Source
Environ Sci Technol. 2014;48(15):8800-6
Date
2014
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Animals
Chemical Fractionation
Denmark
Environmental monitoring
Fishes
Gulf of Mexico
Hair - chemistry
Humans
Mercury - analysis
Mercury Isotopes - analysis
Methylmercury compounds - analysis
Seafood - analysis
Whales, Pilot
Abstract
Seafood consumption is the primary route of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure for most populations. Inherent uncertainties in dietary survey data point to the need for an empirical tool to confirm exposure sources. We therefore explore the utility of Hg stable isotope ratios in human hair as a new method for discerning MeHg exposure sources. We characterized Hg isotope fractionation between humans and their diets using hair samples from Faroese whalers exposed to MeHg predominantly from pilot whales. We observed an increase of 1.75‰ in d(202)Hg values between pilot whale muscle tissue and Faroese whalers' hair but no mass-independent fractionation. We found a similar offset in d(202)Hg between consumed seafood and hair samples from Gulf of Mexico recreational anglers who are exposed to lower levels of MeHg from a variety of seafood sources. An isotope mixing model was used to estimate individual MeHg exposure sources and confirmed that both ?(199)Hg and d(202)Hg values in human hair can help identify dietary MeHg sources. Variability in isotopic signatures among coastal fish consumers in the Gulf of Mexico likely reflects both differences in environmental sources of MeHg to coastal fish and uncertainty in dietary recall data. Additional data are needed to fully refine this approach for individuals with complex seafood consumption patterns.
Notes
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PubMed ID
24967674 View in PubMed
Less detail

Atmospheric Concentrations and Wet/Dry Loadings of Mercury at the Remote Experimental Lakes Area, Northwestern Ontario, Canada.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature301563
Source
Environ Sci Technol. 2019 Jul 16; 53(14):8017-8026
Publication Type
Journal Article
Date
Jul-16-2019
Author
Vincent L St Louis
Jennifer A Graydon
Igor Lehnherr
Helen M Amos
Elsie M Sunderland
Kyra A St Pierre
Craig A Emmerton
Ken Sandilands
Michael Tate
Alexandra Steffen
Elyn R Humphreys
Author Affiliation
Department of Biological Sciences , University of Alberta , Edmonton , Alberta T6G 2E9 , Canada.
Source
Environ Sci Technol. 2019 Jul 16; 53(14):8017-8026
Date
Jul-16-2019
Language
English
Publication Type
Journal Article
Abstract
Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant released from both natural and human sources. Here we compare long-term records of wet deposition loadings of total Hg (THg) in the open to dry deposition loadings of THg in throughfall and litterfall under four boreal mixedwood canopy types at the remote Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. We also present long-term records of atmospheric concentrations of gaseous elemental (GEM), gaseous oxidized (GOM), and particle bound (PBM) Hg measured at the ELA. We show that dry THg loadings in throughfall and litterfall are 2.7 to 6.1 times greater than wet THg loadings in the open. GEM concentrations showed distinct monthly and daily patterns, correlating positively in spring and summer with rates of gross ecosystem productivity and respiration. GOM and PBM concentrations were less variable throughout the year but were highest in the winter, when concentrations of anthropogenically sourced particles and gases were also high. Forest fires, Arctic air masses, and road salt also impacted GEM, GOM, and PBM concentrations at the ELA. A nested GEOS-Chem simulation for the ELA region produced a dry/wet deposition ratio of >5, suggesting that the importance of dry deposition in forested regions can be reasonably modeled by existing schemes for trace gases.
PubMed ID
31250626 View in PubMed
Less detail

Can profiles of poly- and Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in human serum provide information on major exposure sources?

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature289389
Source
Environ Health. 2018 Feb 01; 17(1):11
Publication Type
Journal Article
Date
Feb-01-2018
Author
Xindi C Hu
Clifton Dassuncao
Xianming Zhang
Philippe Grandjean
Pál Weihe
Glenys M Webster
Flemming Nielsen
Elsie M Sunderland
Author Affiliation
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. xhu@mail.harvard.edu.
Source
Environ Health. 2018 Feb 01; 17(1):11
Date
Feb-01-2018
Language
English
Publication Type
Journal Article
Abstract
Humans are exposed to poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) from diverse sources and this has been associated with negative health impacts. Advances in analytical methods have enabled routine detection of more than 15 PFASs in human sera, allowing better profiling of PFAS exposures. The composition of PFASs in human sera reflects the complexity of exposure sources but source identification can be confounded by differences in toxicokinetics affecting uptake, distribution, and elimination. Common PFASs, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and their precursors are ubiquitous in multiple exposure sources. However, their composition varies among sources, which may impact associated adverse health effects.
We use available PFAS concentrations from several demographic groups in a North Atlantic seafood consuming population (Faroe Islands) to explore whether chemical fingerprints in human sera provide insights into predominant exposure sources. We compare serum PFAS profiles from Faroese individuals to other North American populations to investigate commonalities in potential exposure sources. We compare individuals with similar demographic and physiological characteristics and samples from the same years to reduce confounding by toxicokinetic differences and changing environmental releases.
Using principal components analysis (PCA) confirmed by hierarchical clustering, we assess variability in serum PFAS concentrations across three Faroese groups. The first principal component (PC)/cluster consists of C9-C12 perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) and is consistent with measured PFAS profiles in consumed seafood. The second PC/cluster includes perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) and the PFOS precursor N-ethyl perfluorooctane sulfonamidoacetate (N-EtFOSAA), which are directly used or metabolized from fluorochemicals in consumer products such as carpet and food packaging. We find that the same compounds are associated with the same exposure sources in two North American populations, suggesting generalizability of results from the Faroese population.
We conclude that PFAS homologue profiles in serum provide valuable information on major exposure sources. It is essential to compare samples collected at similar time periods and to correct for demographic groups that are highly affected by differences in physiological processes (e.g., pregnancy). Information on PFAS homologue profiles is crucial for attributing adverse health effects to the proper mixtures or individual PFASs.
Notes
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PubMed ID
29391068 View in PubMed
Less detail

Can profiles of poly- and Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in human serum provide information on major exposure sources?

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature296906
Source
Environ Health. 2018 02 01; 17(1):11
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
Date
02-01-2018
Author
Xindi C Hu
Clifton Dassuncao
Xianming Zhang
Philippe Grandjean
Pál Weihe
Glenys M Webster
Flemming Nielsen
Elsie M Sunderland
Author Affiliation
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. xhu@mail.harvard.edu.
Source
Environ Health. 2018 02 01; 17(1):11
Date
02-01-2018
Language
English
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
Keywords
Adolescent
Adult
Aged
Alkanesulfonic Acids - blood
Child
Denmark
Environmental Exposure
Environmental monitoring
Environmental pollutants - blood
Female
Fluorocarbons - blood
Humans
Male
Middle Aged
Nutrition Surveys
Prospective Studies
United States
Young Adult
Abstract
Humans are exposed to poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) from diverse sources and this has been associated with negative health impacts. Advances in analytical methods have enabled routine detection of more than 15 PFASs in human sera, allowing better profiling of PFAS exposures. The composition of PFASs in human sera reflects the complexity of exposure sources but source identification can be confounded by differences in toxicokinetics affecting uptake, distribution, and elimination. Common PFASs, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and their precursors are ubiquitous in multiple exposure sources. However, their composition varies among sources, which may impact associated adverse health effects.
We use available PFAS concentrations from several demographic groups in a North Atlantic seafood consuming population (Faroe Islands) to explore whether chemical fingerprints in human sera provide insights into predominant exposure sources. We compare serum PFAS profiles from Faroese individuals to other North American populations to investigate commonalities in potential exposure sources. We compare individuals with similar demographic and physiological characteristics and samples from the same years to reduce confounding by toxicokinetic differences and changing environmental releases.
Using principal components analysis (PCA) confirmed by hierarchical clustering, we assess variability in serum PFAS concentrations across three Faroese groups. The first principal component (PC)/cluster consists of C9-C12 perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) and is consistent with measured PFAS profiles in consumed seafood. The second PC/cluster includes perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) and the PFOS precursor N-ethyl perfluorooctane sulfonamidoacetate (N-EtFOSAA), which are directly used or metabolized from fluorochemicals in consumer products such as carpet and food packaging. We find that the same compounds are associated with the same exposure sources in two North American populations, suggesting generalizability of results from the Faroese population.
We conclude that PFAS homologue profiles in serum provide valuable information on major exposure sources. It is essential to compare samples collected at similar time periods and to correct for demographic groups that are highly affected by differences in physiological processes (e.g., pregnancy). Information on PFAS homologue profiles is crucial for attributing adverse health effects to the proper mixtures or individual PFASs.
PubMed ID
29391068 View in PubMed
Less detail

Eurasian river spring flood observations support net Arctic Ocean mercury export to the atmosphere and Atlantic Ocean.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature296148
Source
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Nov 26; :
Publication Type
Journal Article
Date
Nov-26-2018
Author
Jeroen E Sonke
Roman Teisserenc
Lars-Eric Heimbürger-Boavida
Mariia V Petrova
Nicolas Marusczak
Theo Le Dantec
Artem V Chupakov
Chuxian Li
Colin P Thackray
Elsie M Sunderland
Nikita Tananaev
Oleg S Pokrovsky
Author Affiliation
Laboratoire Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, CNRS/Institute for Research and Development/Université Paul Sabatier-Toulouse III, 31400 Toulouse, France; jeroen.sonke@get.omp.eu.
Source
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Nov 26; :
Date
Nov-26-2018
Language
English
Publication Type
Journal Article
Abstract
Midlatitude anthropogenic mercury (Hg) emissions and discharge reach the Arctic Ocean (AO) by atmospheric and oceanic transport. Recent studies suggest that Arctic river Hg inputs have been a potentially overlooked source of Hg to the AO. Observations on Hg in Eurasian rivers, which represent 80% of freshwater inputs to the AO, are quasi-inexistent, however, putting firm understanding of the Arctic Hg cycle on hold. Here, we present comprehensive seasonal observations on dissolved Hg (DHg) and particulate Hg (PHg) concentrations and fluxes for two large Eurasian rivers, the Yenisei and the Severnaya Dvina. We find large DHg and PHg fluxes during the spring flood, followed by a second pulse during the fall flood. We observe well-defined water vs. Hg runoff relationships for Eurasian and North American Hg fluxes to the AO and for Canadian Hg fluxes into the larger Hudson Bay area. Extrapolation to pan-Arctic rivers and watersheds gives a total Hg river flux to the AO of 44 ± 4 Mg per year (1s), in agreement with the recent model-based estimates of 16 to 46 Mg per year and Hg/dissolved organic carbon (DOC) observation-based estimate of 50 Mg per year. The river Hg budget, together with recent observations on tundra Hg uptake and AO Hg dynamics, provide a consistent view of the Arctic Hg cycle in which continental ecosystems traffic anthropogenic Hg emissions to the AO via rivers, and the AO exports Hg to the atmosphere, to the Atlantic Ocean, and to AO marine sediments.
PubMed ID
30478039 View in PubMed
Less detail

Eurasian river spring flood observations support net Arctic Ocean mercury export to the atmosphere and Atlantic Ocean.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature298008
Source
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 12 11; 115(50):E11586-E11594
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Date
12-11-2018
Author
Jeroen E Sonke
Roman Teisserenc
Lars-Eric Heimbürger-Boavida
Mariia V Petrova
Nicolas Marusczak
Theo Le Dantec
Artem V Chupakov
Chuxian Li
Colin P Thackray
Elsie M Sunderland
Nikita Tananaev
Oleg S Pokrovsky
Author Affiliation
Laboratoire Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, CNRS/Institute for Research and Development/Université Paul Sabatier-Toulouse III, 31400 Toulouse, France; jeroen.sonke@get.omp.eu.
Source
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 12 11; 115(50):E11586-E11594
Date
12-11-2018
Language
English
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Keywords
Air Pollutants - analysis
Arctic Regions
Asia
Atlantic Ocean
Environmental monitoring
Europe
Floods
Humans
Mercury - analysis
Models, Theoretical
Rivers - chemistry
Seasons
Water Pollutants, Chemical - analysis
Abstract
Midlatitude anthropogenic mercury (Hg) emissions and discharge reach the Arctic Ocean (AO) by atmospheric and oceanic transport. Recent studies suggest that Arctic river Hg inputs have been a potentially overlooked source of Hg to the AO. Observations on Hg in Eurasian rivers, which represent 80% of freshwater inputs to the AO, are quasi-inexistent, however, putting firm understanding of the Arctic Hg cycle on hold. Here, we present comprehensive seasonal observations on dissolved Hg (DHg) and particulate Hg (PHg) concentrations and fluxes for two large Eurasian rivers, the Yenisei and the Severnaya Dvina. We find large DHg and PHg fluxes during the spring flood, followed by a second pulse during the fall flood. We observe well-defined water vs. Hg runoff relationships for Eurasian and North American Hg fluxes to the AO and for Canadian Hg fluxes into the larger Hudson Bay area. Extrapolation to pan-Arctic rivers and watersheds gives a total Hg river flux to the AO of 44 ± 4 Mg per year (1s), in agreement with the recent model-based estimates of 16 to 46 Mg per year and Hg/dissolved organic carbon (DOC) observation-based estimate of 50 Mg per year. The river Hg budget, together with recent observations on tundra Hg uptake and AO Hg dynamics, provide a consistent view of the Arctic Hg cycle in which continental ecosystems traffic anthropogenic Hg emissions to the AO via rivers, and the AO exports Hg to the atmosphere, to the Atlantic Ocean, and to AO marine sediments.
PubMed ID
30478039 View in PubMed
Less detail

Freshwater discharges drive high levels of methylmercury in Arctic marine biota.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature265998
Source
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 8;
Publication Type
Article
Date
Sep-8-2015
Author
Amina T Schartup
Prentiss H Balcom
Anne L Soerensen
Kathleen J Gosnell
Ryan S D Calder
Robert P Mason
Elsie M Sunderland
Source
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 8;
Date
Sep-8-2015
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Abstract
Elevated levels of neurotoxic methylmercury in Arctic food-webs pose health risks for indigenous populations that consume large quantities of marine mammals and fish. Estuaries provide critical hunting and fishing territory for these populations, and, until recently, benthic sediment was thought to be the main methylmercury source for coastal fish. New hydroelectric developments are being proposed in many northern ecosystems, and the ecological impacts of this industry relative to accelerating climate changes are poorly characterized. Here we evaluate the competing impacts of climate-driven changes in northern ecosystems and reservoir flooding on methylmercury production and bioaccumulation through a case study of a stratified sub-Arctic estuarine fjord in Labrador, Canada. Methylmercury bioaccumulation in zooplankton is higher than in midlatitude ecosystems. Direct measurements and modeling show that currently the largest methylmercury source is production in oxic surface seawater. Water-column methylation is highest in stratified surface waters near the river mouth because of the stimulating effects of terrestrial organic matter on methylating microbes. We attribute enhanced biomagnification in plankton to a thin layer of marine snow widely observed in stratified systems that concentrates microbial methylation and multiple trophic levels of zooplankton in a vertically restricted zone. Large freshwater inputs and the extensive Arctic Ocean continental shelf mean these processes are likely widespread and will be enhanced by future increases in water-column stratification, exacerbating high biological methylmercury concentrations. Soil flooding experiments indicate that near-term changes expected from reservoir creation will increase methylmercury inputs to the estuary by 25-200%, overwhelming climate-driven changes over the next decade.
PubMed ID
26351688 View in PubMed
Less detail

Future Impacts of Hydroelectric Power Development on Methylmercury Exposures of Canadian Indigenous Communities.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature277987
Source
Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Dec 06;50(23):13115-13122
Publication Type
Article
Date
Dec-06-2016
Author
Ryan S D Calder
Amina T Schartup
Miling Li
Amelia P Valberg
Prentiss H Balcom
Elsie M Sunderland
Source
Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Dec 06;50(23):13115-13122
Date
Dec-06-2016
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Abstract
Developing Canadian hydroelectric resources is a key component of North American plans for meeting future energy demands. Microbial production of the bioaccumulative neurotoxin methylmercury (MeHg) is stimulated in newly flooded soils by degradation of labile organic carbon and associated changes in geochemical conditions. We find all 22 Canadian hydroelectric facilities being considered for near-term development are located within 100 km of indigenous communities. For a facility in Labrador, Canada (Muskrat Falls) with planned completion in 2017, we probabilistically modeled peak MeHg enrichment relative to measured baseline conditions in the river to be impounded, downstream estuary, locally harvested fish, birds and seals, and three Inuit communities. Results show a projected 10-fold increase in riverine MeHg levels and a 2.6-fold increase in estuarine surface waters. MeHg concentrations in locally caught species increase 1.3 to 10-fold depending on time spent foraging in different environments. Mean Inuit MeHg exposure is forecasted to double following flooding and over half of the women of childbearing age and young children in the most northern community are projected to exceed the U.S. EPA's reference dose. Equal or greater aqueous MeHg concentrations relative to Muskrat Falls are forecasted for 11 sites across Canada, suggesting the need for mitigation measures prior to flooding.
PubMed ID
27934282 View in PubMed
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Future trends in environmental mercury concentrations: implications for prevention strategies.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature117519
Source
Environ Health. 2013;12:2
Publication Type
Article
Date
2013
Author
Elsie M Sunderland
Noelle E Selin
Author Affiliation
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health & School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. elsie_sunderland@harvard.edu
Source
Environ Health. 2013;12:2
Date
2013
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Environmental Exposure - economics
Environmental Pollutants - analysis
Female
Hair - chemistry
Humans
Methylmercury compounds - analysis
Neurotoxicity Syndromes - economics
Pregnancy
Abstract
In their new paper, Bellanger and coauthors show substantial economic impacts to the EU from neurocognitive impairment associated with methylmercury (MeHg) exposures. The main source of MeHg exposure is seafood consumption, including many marine species harvested from the global oceans. Fish, birds and other wildlife are also susceptible to the impacts of MeHg and already exceed toxicological thresholds in vulnerable regions like the Arctic. Most future emissions scenarios project a growth or stabilization of anthropogenic mercury releases relative to present-day levels. At these emissions levels, inputs of mercury to ecosystems are expected to increase substantially in the future, in part due to growth in the legacy reservoirs of mercury in oceanic and terrestrial ecosystems. Seawater mercury concentration trajectories in areas such as the North Pacific Ocean that supply large quantities of marine fish to the global seafood market are projected to increase by more than 50% by 2050. Fish mercury levels and subsequent human and biological exposures are likely to also increase because production of MeHg in ocean ecosystems is driven by the supply of available inorganic mercury, among other factors. Analyses that only consider changes in primary anthropogenic emissions are likely to underestimate the severity of future deposition and concentration increases associated with growth in mercury reservoirs in the land and ocean. We therefore recommend that future policy analyses consider the fully coupled interactions among short and long-lived reservoirs of mercury in the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial ecosystems. Aggressive anthropogenic emission reductions are needed to reduce MeHg exposures and associated health impacts on humans and wildlife and protect the integrity of one of the last wild-food sources globally. In the near-term, public health advice on safe fish consumption choices such as smaller species, younger fish, and harvests from relatively unpolluted ecosystems is needed to minimize exposure risks.
Notes
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Comment On: Environ Health. 2013;12:323289875
PubMed ID
23289850 View in PubMed
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