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Distribution of Mercury in the Tissues of Five Species of Freshwater Fish from Lake Mead, USA

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Abstract:Total mercury (Hg) concentrations were determined in seven tissues (skeletal muscle, liver,
blood, gonad, brain, gill, and heart) of 59 striped bass and four tissues (muscle, liver, blood, and
gonad) of 69 largemouth bass, 76 channel catfish, 12 bluegill, and 22 blue tilapia collected from Lake Mead, USA. Mercury levels generally increased in these tissues according to trophic level and fish length. For striped bass, mean Hg levels (ng/g, wet mass) were highest in the liver (531), followed by muscle (309),heart(186),gonad(136),brain(77),gill(52),and blood (36). Similarly, Hg levels in the catfish and tilapia also show liver > muscle > gonad > blood. In contrast, largemouth bass and bluegill had the highest levels in muscle, followed by liver, gonad, and blood. At muscle-Hg concentrations greater than about 400 ng/g, the Hg concentrations in the other tissues increase relative to the muscle. Emaciation among striped bass was correlated with elevated Hg levels in all tissues. Liver-to-muscle ratios were similar to literature values, except for tilapia with an average ratio of -1.7, which is higher than generally reported for non-piscivores.
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Citation:Cizdziel, J. V., T. A. Hinners, C. L. Cross, and J. E. Pollard. Distribution of Mercury in the Tissues of Five Species of Freshwater Fish from Lake Mead, USA. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING 5(5):802-807, (2003).
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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: 09/02/2003
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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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