New Horizons in Science

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Mercury, fisheries and human health: Local threats and global challenges

Monday, October 12, 2015 -
9:30am to 10:30am

Although scientists know much about mercury poisoning in fish and those who eat them, there's still plenty of mystery about the processes that capture mercury from industrial pollution of air and rivers, as well as natural sources, and convert it in the sea to toxic, bioavailable methylmercury. Elsie Sunderland is among the scientists putting together the pieces of this puzzle even as it is changing. The Pacific tuna in US stores and restaurants is just part of the story. Mercury associated with rapid industrial development in Asia is threatening fisheries that provide a livelihood for many in Southeast Asia and becoming buried in nearshore sediments. Meanwhile regulators and health advocates are challenged by open science questions, problems assessing risks and benefits, and consumer behavior. Sunderland will share current research and perspectives from her experience helping develop U.S. policy. Social media hashtag: #OceanMercury


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