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APPROACHES TO ECOSYSTEM AND HUMAN EXPOSURE TO MERCURY FOR SENSITIVE POPULATIONS
MANGIS, D. R., J. M. JOHNSTON, AND E. M. SUNDERLAND. APPROACHES TO ECOSYSTEM AND HUMAN EXPOSURE TO MERCURY FOR SENSITIVE POPULATIONS. Presented at International Conference on Environmental Epidemiology and Exposure, Paris, FRANCE, September 02 - 06, 2006.
The objective of this task is to develop, support and transfer a wide variety of tools and mathematical models that can be used to support watershed and water quality protection programs in support of OW, OSWER, and the Regions.
Both human and ecosystem exposure studies evaluate exposure of sensitive and vulnerable populations. We will discuss how ecosystem exposure modeling studies completed for input into the US Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) to evaluate the response of aquatic ecosystems to changes in mercury deposition will be used to improve human exposure modeling for methylmercury. The ecosystem study completed for CAMR utilizes the mercury models WASP, WCS, BASS, and SERAFM to evaluate depositional change dynamics in five freshwater case studies, forecasting the impacts of mercury reductions to ecosystems and fish tissue concentrations. Results from the five freshwater case studies showed that most freshwater systems will achieve 90% of the benefits of the mercury emissions reductions as the result of CAMR in 2-3 decades. The time lag in ecosystem response has a major effect on the benefits of regulations and how quickly these benefits are translated into human health benefits. By coupling ecosystem process models developed to evaluate the impacts of mercury reductions on sensitive ecosystems with atmospheric source models, and human consumption models, we can improve our human exposure risk analyses of mercury control scenarios, and better evaluate the impacts of local mercury hotspots to ecosystems and local fish consumptive human populations.