Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Mercury Related Abstracts

22 The Environmental Effects of Amalgam Tooth Fillings

Authors: Abdulsalam I. Rafida, Abdulhmid M. Alkout, Abdultif M. Alroba


This study investigates the heavy metal content in the saliva of persons with amalgam tooth fillings. For this purpose, samples of saliva have been collected based on two factors i.e. the number of amalgam fillings in the mouth (one, two or three fillings), and the time factor i.e. the time since the fillings have been in place (less than a year and more than a year). Samples of saliva have also been collected from persons with no amalgam tooth fillings for control. The samples that have been collected so far, have been examined for the basic heavy metal content featuring amalgam, which include mercury (Hg) and silver (Ag). However, all the above mentioned elements have been detected in the samples of saliva of the persons with amalgam tooth fillings, though with varying amounts depending on the number of fillings. Thus, for persons with only one filling the average quantities were found to be 0.00061 ppm and 0.033 ppm for Hg and Ag respectively. On the other hand for persons with two fillings the average quantities were found to be 0.0012 ppm and 0.029 ppm for each of the two elements respectively. However, in order to understand the chemical reactions associated with amalgam tooth fillings in the mouth, the material have been treated outside the mouth using some nutrient media. Those media included drinking water, fizzy drinks and hot tea. All three media have been found to contain the three elements after amalgam treatment. Yet, the fizzy drink medium was found to contain the highest levels of those elements.

Keywords: Media, Mercury, Silver, amalgam, fizzy drinks

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21 Olive Oil (Olea europea L.) Protects against Mercury (II) Induced Oxidative Tissue Damage in Rats

Authors: Ahlem Bahi, Youcef Necib, Sakina Zerizer, Cherif Abdennour, Mohamed Salah Boulakoud


Mercury (II) is a highly toxic metal which induces oxidative stress in the body. In this study, we aimed to investigate the possible protective effect of olive oil, an antioxidant agent, against experimental mercury toxicity in rat model. Administration of mercuric chloride induced significant increase in serum: ALT, AST, and LPA activities; interleukine1, interleukine6, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), creatinine, urea, and uric acid levels. Mercuric chloride also induced oxidative stress, as indicate by decreased tissue of GSH level, GSH-Px, and GST activities along with increase the level of lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, treatment with mercuric chloride caused a marked elevation of kidney and liver weight and decreased body weight. Virgin olive oil treatment markedly reduced elevated serum: AST, ALT, and LPA activities; interleukine1, interleukine6, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), creatinine, urea, and uric acid levels and contracted the deterious effects of mercuric chloride on oxidative stress markers changes caused by HgCl2 in tissue as compared to control group. Our results implicate that mercury induced oxidative damage in liver and kidney tissue protected by virgin olive oil, with its antioxidant effects.

Keywords: Mercury, Lipid Peroxidation, antioxidant enzymes, pro-inflammatory cytokine, virgin olive oil

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20 Functionalized Nanoparticles as Sorbents for Removal of Toxic Species

Authors: Jerina Majeed, Jayshree Ramkumar, S. Chandramouleeswaran, A. K. Tyagi


Removal of various toxic species from aqueous streams is of great importance. Sorption is one of the important remediation procedures as it involves the use of cheap and easily available materials. Also the advantage of regeneration of the sorbent involves the possibility of using novel sorbents. Nanosorbents are very important as the removal is based on the surface phenomena and this is greatly affected by surface charge and area. Functionalization has been very important to bring about the removal of metal ions with greater selectivity.

Keywords: Mercury, lead, thiol functionalization, ZnO NPs

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19 Mercury Detection in Two Fishes from the Persian Gulf

Authors: Zahra Khoshnood, Mehdi Kazaie, Sajedeh Neisi


In 2013, 24 fish samples were taken from two fishery regions in the north of Persian Gulf near the Iranian coastal lines. The two flatfishes were Yellofin seabream (Acanthopagrus latus) and Longtail tuna (Thannus tonggol). We analyzed total Hg concentration of liver and muscle tissues by Mercury Analyzer (model LECO AMA 254). The average concentration of total Hg in edible Muscle tissue of deep-Flounder was measured in Bandar-Abbas and was found to be 18.92 and it was 10.19 µg.g-1 in Bandar-Lengeh. The corresponding values for Oriental sole were 8.47 and 0.08 µg.g-1. The average concentration of Hg in liver tissue of deep-Flounder, in Bandar-Abbas was 25.49 and that in Bandar-Lengeh was 12.52 µg.g-1.the values for Oriental sole were 11.88 and 3.2 µg.g-1 in Bandar-Abbas and Bandar-Lengeh, respectively.

Keywords: Mercury, Persian Gulf, Acanthopagrus latus, Thannus tonggol

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18 Mercury Removal Using Pseudomonas putida (ATTC 49128): Effect of Acclimatization Time, Speed, and Temperature of Incubator Shaker

Authors: A. A. M. Azoddein, R. M. Yunus, N. M. Sulaiman, A. B. Bustary, K. Sabar


Microbes have been used to solve environmental problems for many years. The use microorganism to sequester, precipitate or alter the oxidation state of various heavy metals has been extensively studied. Processes by which microorganism interacts with toxic metal are very diverse. The purpose of this research is to remove the mercury using Pseudomonas putida, pure culture ATTC 49128 at optimum growth parameters such as techniques of culture, acclimatization time and speed of incubator shaker. Thus, in this study, the optimum growth parameters of P.putida were obtained to achieve the maximum of mercury removal. Based on the optimum parameters of Pseudomonas putida for specific growth rate, the removal of two different mercury concentration, 1 ppm and 4 ppm were studied. A mercury-resistant bacterial strain which is able to reduce ionic mercury to metallic mercury was used to reduce ionic mercury from mercury nitrate solution. The overall levels of mercury removal in this study were between 80% and 90%. The information obtained in this study is of fundamental for understanding of the survival of P.putida ATTC 49128 in mercury solution. Thus, microbial mercury environmental pollutants removal is a potential biological treatment for waste water treatment especially in petrochemical industries in Malaysia.

Keywords: Mercury, biosorption, pseudomonas putida, growth kinetic, petrochemical waste water

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17 Chronic Exposure of Mercury on Amino Acid Level in Freshwater Fish Clarias batrachus (Linn.)

Authors: Mary Josephine Rani


Virtually all metals are toxic to aquatic organisms because of the devastating effect of these metals on humans; heavy metals are one of the most toxic forms of aquatic pollution. Metal concentrations in aquatic organisms appear to be of several magnitudes higher than concentrations present in the ecosystem. Mercury is one of the most toxic heavy metals in the environment. The principal sources of contamination in wastewater are chloralkali plants, battery factories, mercury switches, and medical wastes. Elevated levels of mercury in aquatic organisms specially fish represent both an ecological and human concern. Amino acid levels were estimated in five tissues (gills, liver, kidney, brain and muscle) of Clariasbatrachus after 28 days of chronic exposure to mercury. Free amino acids serve as precursor for energy production under stress and for the synthesis of required proteins to face the metal challenge.

Keywords: Toxicity, Fish, Amino Acids, Mercury

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16 Effects of Climate Change and Land Use, Land Cover Change on Atmospheric Mercury

Authors: Shiliang Wu, Huanxin Zhang


Mercury has been well-known for its negative effects on wildlife, public health as well as the ecosystem. Once emitted into atmosphere, mercury can be transformed into different forms or enter the ecosystem through dry deposition or wet deposition. Some fraction of the mercury will be reemitted back into the atmosphere and be subject to the same cycle. In addition, the relatively long lifetime of elemental mercury in the atmosphere enables it to be transported long distances from source regions to receptor regions. Global change such as climate change and land use/land cover change impose significant challenges for mercury pollution control besides the efforts to regulate mercury anthropogenic emissions. In this study, we use a global chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem) to examine the potential impacts from changes in climate and land use/land cover on the global budget of mercury as well as its atmospheric transport, chemical transformation, and deposition. We carry out a suite of sensitivity model simulations to separate the impacts on atmospheric mercury associated with changes in climate and land use/land cover. Both climate change and land use/land cover change are found to have significant impacts on global mercury budget but through different pathways. Land use/land cover change primarily increase mercury dry deposition in northern mid-latitudes over continental regions and central Africa. Climate change enhances the mobilization of mercury from soil and ocean reservoir to the atmosphere. Also, dry deposition is enhanced over most continental areas while a change in future precipitation dominates the change in mercury wet deposition. We find that 2000-2050 climate change could increase the global atmospheric burden of mercury by 5% and mercury deposition by up to 40% in some regions. Changes in land use and land cover also increase mercury deposition over some continental regions, by up to 40%. The change in the lifetime of atmospheric mercury has important implications for long-range transport of mercury. Our case study shows that changes in climate and land use and cover could significantly affect the source-receptor relationships for mercury.

Keywords: Climate Change, Deposition, Mercury, atmospheric transport, toxic pollutant

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15 FTIR Characterization of EPS Ligands from Mercury Resistant Bacterial Isolate, Paenibacillus jamilae PKR1

Authors: Debajit Kalita, Macmillan Nongkhlaw, S. R. Joshi


Mercury (Hg) is a highly toxic heavy metal released both from naturally occurring volcanoes and anthropogenic activities like alkali and mining industries as well as biomedical wastes. Exposure to mercury is known to affect the nervous, gastrointestinal and renal systems. In the present study, a bacterial isolate identified using 16S rRNA marker as Paenibacillus jamilae PKR1 isolated from India’s largest sandstone-type uranium deposits, containing an average of 0.1% U3O8, was found to be resistance to Hg contamination under culture conditions. It showed strong hydrophobicity as revealed by SAT, MATH, PAT, SAA adherence assays. The Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectra showed the presence of hydroxyl, amino and carboxylic functional groups on the cell surface EPS which are known to contribute in the binding of metals. It is proposed that the characterized isolate tolerating up to 4.0mM of mercury provides scope for its application in bioremediation of mercury from contaminated sites.

Keywords: Mercury, Uranium, FTIR, hydrophobicity, Domiasiat, paenibacillus jamilae

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14 Amelioration of Arsenic and Mercury Induced Vasoconstriction by Eugenol, Linalool and Carvone

Authors: Swati Kundu, Seemi Farhat Basir, Luqman A. Khan


Acute and chronic exposure to arsenic and mercury is known to produce vasoconstriction. Pathways involved in this hypercontraction and their relative contribution are not understood. In this study, we measure agonist-induced contraction of isolated rat aorta exposed to arsenic and mercury aorta and delineate pathways mediating this effect. PE-induced hypercontraction of 37% and 32% was obtained with 25 µM As(III) and 6 nM Hg(II), respectively. Isometric contraction measurements in the presence of apocynin, verapamil and sodium nitroprusside indicates that the major cause of increased contraction is reactive oxygen species and depletion of nitric oxide. Calcium influx plays a minor role in both arsenic and mercury caused hypercontraction. In the unexposed aorta, eugenol causes relaxation by inhibiting ROS and elevating NO, linalool by blocking voltage dependent calcium channel (VDCC) and elevating NO, and carvone by blocking calcium influx through VDDC. Since arsenic and mercury caused hypercontraction is mediated by increased ROS and depletion of nitric oxide, we hypothesize that molecules which neutralize ROS or elevate NO will be better ameliorators. In line with this argument, we find eugenol to be the best ameliorator of arsenic and mercury hypercontraction followed by linalool and carvone.

Keywords: Mercury, eugenol, carvone, linalool

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13 Role of Selenium and Vitamin E in Occupational Exposure to Heavy Metals (Mercury, Lead and Cadmium): Impact of Working in Lamp Factory

Authors: Tarek Elnimr, Rabab El-kelany


Heavy metals are environmental contaminants that may pose long-term health risks. Unfortunately, the consequent implementation of preventive measures was generally delayed, causing important negative effects to the exposed populations. The objective of this study was to determine whether co-consumption of nutritional supplements as selenium and vitamin E would treat the hazardous effects of exposure to mercury, lead and cadmium. 108 workers (60 males and 48 females) were the subject of this study, their ages ranged from 19-63 years, (M = 29.5±10.12). They were working in lamp factory for an average of 0.5-40 years (M= 5.3±8.8). Twenty control subjects matched for age and gender were used for comparison. All workers were subjected to neuropsychiatric evaluation. General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) revealed that 44.4% were complaining of anxiety, 52.7% of depression, 41.6% of social dysfunction and 22.2% of somatic symptoms. Cognitive tests revealed that long-term memory was not affected significantly when compared with controls, while short term memory and perceptual ability were affected significantly. Blood metal levels were measured by Inductively Coupled Plasma – optical emission spectrometry(ICP-OES), and revealed that the mean blood mercury, lead and cadmium concentrations before treatment were 1.6 mg/l, 0.39 mg/l and 1.7 µg/l, while they decreased significantly after treatment to 1.2 mg/l, 0.29 mg/l and 1.3 µg/l respectively. Anti-oxidative enzymes (paraoxonase and catalase) and lipid peroxidation product (malondialdehyde) were measured before and after treatment with selenium and vitamin E, and showed significant improvement. It could be concluded that co-consumption of selenium and vitamin E produces significant decrease in mercury, lead and cadmium levels in blood.

Keywords: Mercury, Selenium, cadmium, lead, vitamin E, neuropsychiatric impairment

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12 Assessing Storage of Stability and Mercury Reduction of Freeze-Dried Pseudomonas putida within Different Types of Lyoprotectant

Authors: A. A. M. Azoddein, Y. Nuratri, A. B. Bustary, F. A. M. Azli, S. C. Sayuti


Pseudomonas putida is a potential strain in biological treatment to remove mercury contained in the effluent of petrochemical industry due to its mercury reductase enzyme that able to reduce ionic mercury to elementary mercury. Freeze-dried P. putida allows easy, inexpensive shipping, handling and high stability of the product. This study was aimed to freeze dry P. putida cells with addition of lyoprotectant. Lyoprotectant was added into the cells suspension prior to freezing. Dried P. putida obtained was then mixed with synthetic mercury. Viability of recovery P. putida after freeze dry was significantly influenced by the type of lyoprotectant. Among the lyoprotectants, tween 80/ sucrose was found to be the best lyoprotectant. Sucrose able to recover more than 78% (6.2E+09 CFU/ml) of the original cells (7.90E+09CFU/ml) after freeze dry and able to retain 5.40E+05 viable cells after 4 weeks storage in 4oC without vacuum. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) pre-treated freeze dry cells and broth pre-treated freeze dry cells after freeze-dry recovered more than 64% (5.0 E+09CFU/ml) and >0.1% (5.60E+07CFU/ml). Freeze-dried P. putida cells in PEG and broth cannot survive after 4 weeks storage. Freeze dry also does not really change the pattern of growth P. putida but extension of lag time was found 1 hour after 3 weeks of storage. Additional time was required for freeze-dried P. putida cells to recover before introduce freeze-dried cells to more complicated condition such as mercury solution. The maximum mercury reduction of PEG pre-treated freeze-dried cells after freeze dry and after storage 3 weeks was 56.78% and 17.91%. The maximum of mercury reduction of tween 80/sucrose pre-treated freeze-dried cells after freeze dry and after storage 3 weeks were 26.35% and 25.03%. Freeze dried P. putida was found to have lower mercury reduction compare to the fresh P. putida that has been growth in agar. Result from this study may be beneficial and useful as initial reference before commercialize freeze-dried P. putida.

Keywords: Mercury, cell viability, pseudomonas putida, PEG, freeze-dry, tween80/Sucrose

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11 The Effect of Bacteria on Mercury's Biological Removal

Authors: Nastaran Soltani


Heavy metals such as Mercury are toxic elements that enter the environment through different ways and endanger the environment, plants, animals, and humans’ health. Microbial activities reduce the amount of heavy metals. Therefore, an effective mechanism to eliminate heavy metals in the nature and factory slops, is using bacteria living in polluted areas. Karun River in Khuzestan Province in Iran has been always polluted by heavy metals as it is located among different industries in the region. This study was performed based on the data from sampling water and sediments of four stations across the river during the four seasons of a year. The isolation of resistant bacteria was performed through enrichment and direct cultivation in a solid medium containing mercury. Various bacteria such as Pseudomonas sp., Serratia Marcescens, and E.coli were identified as mercury-resistant bacteria. The power of these bacteria to remove mercury varied from 28% to 86%, with strongest power belonging to Pseudomonas sp. isolated in spring making a good candidate to be used for mercury biological removal from factory slops.

Keywords: Bacteria, Mercury, Karun River, biological removal, mercury-resistant

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10 A Green Analytical Curriculum for Renewable STEM Education

Authors: Mian Jiang, Zhenyi Wu


We have incorporated green components into existing analytical chemistry curriculum with the aims to present a more environment benign approach in both teaching laboratory and undergraduate research. These include the use of cheap, sustainable, and market-available material; minimized waste disposal, replacement of non-aqueous media; and scale-down in sample/reagent consumption. Model incorporations have covered topics in quantitative chemistry as well as instrumental analysis, lower division as well as upper level, and research in traditional titration, spectroscopy, electrochemical analysis, and chromatography. The green embedding has made chemistry more daily life relevance, and application focus. Our approach has the potential to expand into all STEM fields to make renewable, high-impact education experience for undergraduate students.

Keywords: renewable, Green analytical chemistry, Mercury, pencil lead

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9 Observations of Magnetospheric Ulf Waves in Connection to the Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability at Mercury

Authors: Elisabet Liljeblad, Tomas Karlsson, Torbjorn Sundberg, Anita Kullen


The magnetospheric magnetic field data from the MESSENGER spacecraft is investigated to establish the presence of ultra-low frequency (ULF) waves in connection to 131 previously observed nonlinear Kelvin-Helmholtz waves (KHWs) at Mercury. Distinct ULF signatures are detected in 44 out of the 131 magnetospheric traversals prior to or after observing a KHW. In particular, 39 of these 44 ULF events are highly coherent at the frequency of maximum power spectral density. The waves observed at the dayside, which appears mainly at the duskside and naturally following the KHW occurrence asymmetry, are significantly different to the events behind the dawn-dusk terminator and have the following distinct wave characteristics: they oscillate clearly in the perpendicular (azimuthal) direction to the mean magnetic field with a wave normal angle more in the parallel than the perpendicular direction, increase in absolute ellipticity with distance from noon, are almost exclusively right-hand polarized, and are observed mainly for frequencies in the range 0.02-0.04 Hz. These results indicate that the dayside ULF waves are likely to shear Alfvén waves driven by KHWs at the magnetopause, which in turn manifests the importance of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in terms of mass transport throughout the Mercury magnetosphere.

Keywords: Mercury, ultra-low frequency waves, kelvin-Helmholtz instability, magnetospheric processes, messenger, energy and momentum transfer in planetary environments

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8 Evidence of Total Mercury Biomagnification in Tropical Estuary Lagoon in East Coast of Peninsula, Malaysia

Authors: Quang Dung Le, Kentaro Tanaka, Viet Dung Luu, Kotaro Shirai


Mercury pollutant is great concerns in globe due to its toxicity and biomagnification through the food web. Recently increasing approaches of stable isotope analyses which have applied in food-web structure are enabled to elucidate more insight trophic transfer of pollutants in ecosystems. In this study, the integration of total mercury (Hg) and stable isotopic analyses (δ13C and δ15N) were measured from basal food sources to invertebrates and fishes in order to determine Hg transfer in Setiu lagoon food webs. The average Hg concentrations showed the increasing trend from low to high trophic levels. The result also indicated that potential Hg exposure from inside mangrove could be higher than that from the tidal flat of mangrove creek. Fish Hg concentrations are highly variable, and many factors driving this variability need further examinations. A positive correlation found between Hg concentrations and δ15N values (the trophic magnification factor was 3.02), suggesting Hg biomagnification through the lagoon food web. Almost all Hg concentrations in fishes and mud crabs did not present a risk for human consumption, however, the Hg concentrations of Caranx ignobilis exceed the permitted level could raise a concern of the potential risk for the marine system. Further investigations should be done to elucidate whether trophic relay relates to high Hg concentrations of some fish species in coastal systems.

Keywords: transfer, Mercury, health risk, Stable Isotopes, mangrove, food web

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7 Application of Acer velutinum for Absorbing Heavy Metal, Mercury, from the Environment

Authors: Seyed Armin Hashemi, Somayeh Rahimzadeh


One-year seedlings of Acer velutinum were provided from plantations and the solution of Mercuric chloride was developed in 20,40 and 60 mg/l concentrations, then this solution was added to the soil and the Acer velutinum were placed in a vase. Six months after seedlings’ growth, the leaf, stem and roots were separated. The results were investigated by variance analysis and Duncan test. The highest level of mercury accumulation in the organs of leaf, stem and root was 45.67, 40 and 55 mg/kg, respectively. According to the obtained results from this research, the velutinum species was appropriate for refining the soils contaminated by mercury.

Keywords: Heavy Metals, Phytoremediation, Mercury, acer velutinum

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6 Mercury and Selenium Levels in Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) Fished in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Seychelles

Authors: Stephanie Hollanda, Nathalie Bodin, Carine Churlaud, Paco Bustamante


Total mercury (Hg), selenium (Se) and Hg-Se ratios were analyzed in the white muscle, liver and gonads of swordfish, in order to compare concentration between the different tissues and sex, and also the effect of size (fork length). The results show significant difference between tissue types, with the liver having the highest concentration of both Hg and Se. Positive significant correlations between moles of Hg and Se were obtained in the liver and white muscle, but no relationship was obtained in the gonads. No difference in the concentration of Hg and Se was obtained between the sexes in the tissue types, except for Hg in the gonads, which were found to be higher in males. Significant negative relationships were obtained when the Hg-Se ratio was plotted against fork length in all three tissue types.

Keywords: Mercury, Selenium, bioaccumulation, large pelagic fish, western Indian Ocean

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5 Efficient Mercury Sorbent: Activated Carbon and Metal Organic Framework Hybrid

Authors: Yongseok Hong, Kurt Louis Solis


In the present study, a hybrid sorbent using the metal organic framework (MOF), UiO-66, and powdered activated carbon (pAC) is synthesized to remove cationic and anionic metals simultaneously. UiO-66 is an octahedron-shaped MOF with a Zr₆O₄(OH)₄ metal node and 1,4-benzene dicarboxylic acid (BDC) organic linker. Zr-based MOFs are attractive for trace element remediation in wastewaters, because Zr is relatively non-toxic as compared to other classes of MOF and, therefore, it will not cause secondary pollution. Most remediation studies with UiO-66 target anions such as fluoride, but trace element oxyanions such as arsenic, selenium, and antimony have also been investigated. There have also been studies involving mercury removal by UiO-66 derivatives, however these require post-synthetic modifications or have lower effective surface areas. Activated carbon is known for being a readily available, well-studied, effective adsorbent for metal contaminants. Solvothermal method was employed to prepare hybrid sorbent from UiO66 and activated carbon, which could be used to remove mercury and selenium simultaneously. The hybrid sorbent was characterized using FSEM-EDS, FT-IR, XRD, and TGA. The results showed that UiO66 and activated carbon are successfully composited. From BET studies, the hybrid sorbent has a SBET of 1051 m² g⁻¹. Adsorption studies were performed, where the hybrid showed maximum adsorption of 204.63 mg g⁻¹ and 168 mg g⁻¹ for Hg (II) and selenite, respectively, and follows the Langmuir model for both species. Kinetics studies have revealed that the Hg uptake of the hybrid is pseudo-2nd order and has rate constant of 5.6E-05 g mg⁻¹ min⁻¹ and the selenite uptake follows the simplified Elovich model with α = 2.99 mg g⁻¹ min⁻¹, β = 0.032 g mg⁻¹.

Keywords: Adsorption, Mercury, metal organic framework, flue gas wastewater, selenite

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4 Internal Mercury Exposure Levels Correlated to DNA Methylation of Imprinting Gene H19 in Human Sperm of Reproductive-Aged Man

Authors: Zhaoxu Lu, Yufeng Ma, Linying Gao, Li Wang, Mei Qiang


Mercury (Hg) is a well-recognized environmental pollutant known by its toxicity of development and neurotoxicity, which may result in adverse health outcomes. However, the mechanisms underlying the teratogenic effects of Hg are not well understood. Imprinting genes are emerging regulators for fetal development subject to environmental pollutants impacts. In this study, we examined the association between paternal preconception Hg exposures and the alteration of DNA methylation of imprinting genes in human sperm DNA. A total of 618 men aged from 22 to 59 was recruited from the Reproductive Medicine Clinic of Maternal and Child Care Service Center and the Urologic Surgery Clinic of Shanxi Academy of Medical Sciences during April 2015 and March 2016. Demographic information was collected using questionnaires. Urinary Hg concentrations were measured using a fully-automatic double-channel hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometer. And methylation status in the DMRs of imprinting genes H19, Meg3 and Peg3 of sperm DNA were examined by bisulfite pyrosequencing in 243 participants. Spearman’s rank and multivariate regression analysis were used for correlation analysis between sperm DNA methylation status of imprinting genes and urinary Hg levels. The median concentration of Hg for participants overall was 9.09μg/l (IQR: 5.54 - 12.52μg/l; range = 0 - 71.35μg/l); no significant difference was found in median concentrations of Hg among various demographic groups (p > 0.05). The proportion of samples that a beyond intoxication criterion (10μg/l) for urinary Hg was 42.6%. Spearman’s rank correlation analysis indicates a negative correlation between urinary Hg concentrations and average DNA methylation levels in the DMRs of imprinted genes H19 (rs=﹣0.330, p = 0.000). However, there was no such a correlation found in genes of Peg3 and Meg3. Further, we analyzed of correlation between methylation level at each CpG site of H19 and Hg level, the results showed that three out of 7 CpG sites on H19 DMR, namely CpG2 (rs =﹣0.138, p = 0.031), CpG4 (rs =﹣0.369, p = 0.000) and CpG6 (rs=﹣0.228, p = 0.000), demonstrated a significant negative correlation between methylation levels and the levels of urinary Hg. After adjusting age, smoking, drinking, intake of aquatic products and education by multivariate regression analysis, the results have shown a similar correlation. In summary, mercury nonoccupational environmental exposure in reproductive-aged men associated with altered DNA methylation outcomes at DMR of imprinting gene H19 in sperm, implicating the susceptibility of the developing sperm for environmental insults.

Keywords: Epigenetics, Mercury, DNA Methylation, sperm, genomic imprinting gene, transgenerational effects

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3 Development of Column-Filters of Sulfur Limonene Polysulfide to Mercury Removal from Contaminated Effluents

Authors: Galo D. Soria, Jenny S. Casame, Eddy F. Pazmino


In Ecuador, mining operations have significantly impacted water sources. Artisanal mining extensively relies in mercury amalgamation. Mercury is a neurotoxic substance even at low concentrations. The objective of this investigation is to exploit Hg-removal capacity of sulfur-limonene polysulfide (SLP), which is a low-cost polymer, in order to prepare granular media (sand) coated with SLP to be used in laboratory scale column-filtration systems. Preliminary results achieved 85% removal of Hg⁺⁺ from synthetic effluents using 20-cm length and 5-cm diameter columns at 119m/day average pore water velocity. During elution of the column, the SLP-coated sand indicated that Hg⁺⁺ is permanently fixed to the collector surface, in contrast, uncoated sand showed reversible retention in Hg⁺⁺ in the solid phase. Injection of 50 pore volumes decreased Hg⁺⁺ removal to 46%. Ongoing work has been focused in optimizing the synthesis of SLP and the polymer content in the porous media coating process to improve Hg⁺⁺ removal and extend the lifetime of the column-filter.

Keywords: Mining, Water Treatment, Mercury, column-filter, polysulfide

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2 Monsoon Controlled Mercury Transportation in Ganga Alluvial Plain, Northern India and Its Implication on Global Mercury Cycle

Authors: Anjali Singh, Ashwani Raju, Vandana Devi, Mohmad Mohsin Atique, Satyendra Singh, Munendra Singh


India is the biggest consumer of mercury and, consequently, a major emitter too. The increasing mercury contamination in India’s water resources has gained widespread attention and, therefore, atmospheric deposition is of critical concern. However, little emphasis was placed on the role of precipitation in the aquatic mercury cycle of the Ganga Alluvial Plain which provides drinking water to nearly 7% of the world’s human population. A majority of the precipitation here occurs primarily in 10% duration of the year in the monsoon season. To evaluate the sources and transportation of mercury, water sample analysis has been conducted from two selected sites near Lucknow, which have a strong hydraulic gradient towards the river. 31 groundwater samples from Jehta village (26°55’15’’N; 80°50’21’’E; 119 m above mean sea level) and 31 river water samples from the Behta Nadi (a tributary of the Gomati River draining into the Ganga River) were collected during the monsoon season on every alternate day between 01 July to 30 August 2019. The total mercury analysis was performed by using Flow Injection Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS)-Mercury Hybride System, and daily rainfall data was collected from the India Meteorological Department, Amausi, Lucknow. The ambient groundwater and river-water concentrations were both 2-4 ng/L as there is no known geogenic source of mercury found in the area. Before the onset of the monsoon season, the groundwater and the river-water recorded mercury concentrations two orders of magnitude higher than the ambient concentrations, indicating the regional transportation of the mercury from the non-point source into the aquatic environment. Maximum mercury concentrations in groundwater and river-water were three orders of magnitude higher than the ambient concentrations after the onset of the monsoon season characterizing the considerable mobilization and redistribution of mercury by monsoonal precipitation. About 50% of both of the water samples were reported mercury below the detection limit, which can be mostly linked to the low intensity of precipitation in August and also with the dilution factor by precipitation. The highest concentration ( > 1200 ng/L) of mercury in groundwater was reported after 6-days lag from the first precipitation peak. Two high concentration peaks (>1000 ng/L) in river-water were separately correlated with the surface flow and groundwater outflow of mercury. We attribute the elevated mercury concentration in both of the water samples before the precipitation event to mercury originating from the extensive use of agrochemicals in mango farming in the plain. However, the elevated mercury concentration during the onset of monsoon appears to increase in area wetted with atmospherically deposited mercury, which migrated down from surface water to groundwater as downslope migration is a fundamental mechanism seen in rivers of the alluvial plain. The present study underscores the significance of monsoonal precipitation in the transportation of mercury to drinking water resources of the Ganga Alluvial Plain. This study also suggests that future research must be pursued for a better understand of the human health impact of mercury contamination and for quantification of the role of Ganga Alluvial Plain in the Global Mercury Cycle.

Keywords: Mercury, India, drinking water resources, Ganga alluvial plain

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1 Assessment of Environmental Mercury Contamination from an Old Mercury Processing Plant 'Thor Chemicals' in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Authors: Yohana Fessehazion


Mercury is a prominent example of a heavy metal contaminant in the environment, and it has been extensively investigated for its potential health risk in humans and other organisms. In South Africa, massive mercury contamination happened in1980s when the England-based mercury reclamation processing plant relocated to Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal Province, and discharged mercury waste into the Mngceweni River. This mercury waste discharge resulted in high mercury concentration that exceeded the acceptable levels in Mngceweni River, Umgeni River, and human hair of the nearby villagers. This environmental issue raised the alarm, and over the years, several environmental assessments were reported the dire environmental crises resulting from the Thor Chemicals (now known as Metallica Chemicals) and urged the immediate removal of the around 3,000 tons of mercury waste stored in the factory storage facility over two decades. Recently theft of some containers with the toxic substance from the Thor Chemicals warehouse and the subsequent fire that ravaged the facility furtherly put the factory on the spot escalating the urgency of left behind deadly mercury waste removal. This project aims to investigate the mercury contamination leaking from an old Thor Chemicals mercury processing plant. The focus will be on sediments, water, terrestrial plants, and aquatic weeds such as the prominent water hyacinth weeds in the nearby water systems of Mngceweni River, Umgeni River, and Inanda Dam as a bio-indicator and phytoremediator for mercury pollution. Samples will be collected in spring around October when the condition is favourable for microbial activity to methylate mercury incorporated in sediments and blooming season for some aquatic weeds, particularly water hyacinth. Samples of soil, sediment, water, terrestrial plant, and aquatic weed will be collected per sample site from the point of source (Thor Chemicals), Mngceweni River, Umgeni River, and the Inanda Dam. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests will be conducted to determine any significant differences in the Hg concentration among all sampling sites, followed by Least Significant Difference post hoc test to determine if mercury contamination varies with the gradient distance from the source point of pollution. The flow injection atomic spectrometry (FIAS) analysis will also be used to compare the mercury sequestration between the different plant tissues (roots and stems). The principal component analysis is also envisaged for use to determine the relationship between the source of mercury pollution and any of the sampling points (Umgeni and Mngceweni Rivers and the Inanda Dam). All the Hg values will be expressed in µg/L or µg/g in order to compare the result with the previous studies and regulatory standards. Sediments are expected to have relatively higher levels of Hg compared to the soils, and aquatic macrophytes, water hyacinth weeds are expected to accumulate a higher concentration of mercury than terrestrial plants and crops.

Keywords: Phytoremediation, Mercury, water hyacinth, Thor chemicals

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