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Mercury Concentrations in Skeletal Muscle of Fish from Lake Mead, USA, Related to Fish Size, Condition, Trophic Level, Location, and Consumption Risk

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Abstract:In this first large-scale study of mercury (Hg) in Lake Mead, USA, the nation's largest man-
made reservoir, total-Hg concentrations were determined in the skeletal muscle of 339 fish collected during the Fall of 1998 and the Spring of 1999. Five species of fish representing a range of trophic levels and the take's major game fish were studied. As expected, Hg generally increased with trophic level and fish size. Median Hg concentrations in ng/g wet mass, were 277, 168, 160, 75, and 8 for striped bass (Roccus saxitilis), channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), bluegill (Lepomis macrochius) and blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus), respectively. In general fish from Las Vegas Bay had the lowest Hg concentrations, possibly a result of biodilution during a lean-food season) were inversely correlated (rl = 0.80, p < 0.0001) with a fish-condition factor, which reflects overall nutritional status. This is consistent with "starvation-concentration;" whereby, Hg in fish muscle is lost at a slower rate than the overall muscle mass. The median concentration found for striped bass in this study corresponds to a risk-based consumption limit of three 8-oz (227g) meals per month for the general population.



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Citation:Cizdziel, J. V., T. A. Hinners, J. E. Pollard, E. M. Heithmar, and C. L. Cross. Mercury Concentrations in Skeletal Muscle of Fish from Lake Mead, USA, Related to Fish Size, Condition, Trophic Level, Location, and Consumption Risk. ARCHIVES OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND TOXICOLOGY 43(3):309-317, (2002).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Environmental Chemistry Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 10/16/2002
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Environmental Chemistry
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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