Tag: bioaccumulation

Elephant seal molt raises mercury levels in coastal water

Elephant seals at Año Nuevo. Photo courtesy California State Parks.

Reasearchers link seasonal fluctuations in toxin with elephant seal fur

Staff Report

FRISCO — So much mercury has accumulated in the ocean food chain that, when northern California sea lions molt their fur, the toxic substance can traced in the water.

Mercury is one of those toxins that just keeps building up. It never really goes away, but just changes form. That’s a real problem i the marine environment, because the most toxic variation, methyl mercury, is readily absorbed and accumulates in the bodies of marine organisms. Continue reading “Elephant seal molt raises mercury levels in coastal water”


Environment: Tracking pharmaceutical pollutants up the food chain

Fish-eating ospreys not showing signs of contamination

Ospreys so far are not picking up significant amounts of pharmaceutical pollution found in many streams and rivers around the world. bberwyn photo

Staff Report

FRISCO — Pharmaceutical compounds from makeup and drugs are turning up in streams and rivers all over the world, even in remote Yucatan cenotes, but for now, they don’t seem to be working their way up the food chain.

The chemicals have been finding their way into the environment, primarily through wastewater, urban runoff and even biosolids applied to agricultural lands, but he impact on wildlife is unknown, so researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey and Baylor University teamed up to try and track the pollutants through the food chain by testing ospreys. Continue reading “Environment: Tracking pharmaceutical pollutants up the food chain”