"Mercury levels in this part of the river have never been studied before," says biology professor Linda Campbell. "Now we know the sources of the problem and just how widespread it is."
Most of the western shore of the Cataraqui River south of Belle Park and above the LaSalle Causeway Bridge had levels of contamination, with the worst area around the Cataraqui Canoe Club, just south of the former Davis Tannery.
Over the past century, the area has been home to many industries, such as a coal gasification plant, tannery and lead smelter, municipal dump, textile mill and fuel depot. The report found rain is washing contaminated shoreline soil near the canoe club into the river, adding to the sediment already contaminated by decades of industry.
The mercury comes in two forms, mercury and its organic and more toxic form, methylmercury. Right now, most of the mercury around the rowing club seems to be associated with the sediment in its inorganic form, with very little if any actually being mobile in the river water.
Rower and canoeists don't have to be too concerned about the high mercury levels because they don't drink the water or spend a long periods of time swimming there. But more studies will be needed to determine the impact on marine life.
Allison Rutter, Director of Analytical Services Unit in the Environmental Studies department worked on the study with Dr. Campbell, along with geography PhD student Nathan Manion.
"People have always been worried about lead, chromium and PCBs in the Cataraqui River," says Professor Rutter. "This study looked at mercury. We need to know what and where the major sources of contamination are before we can make a decision on how to solve the problem."
The findings are were just published in Science of the Total Environment. The City of Kingston and Ontario Ministry of Environment have also received the study results for consideration when making future decisions about contaminants in the river.
Michael Onesi | EurekAlert!
How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy