Source: Florida Atlantic University
What do mercury levels in dolphins say about mercury levels in humans? Quite a bit, according to a new study by scientists at FAU Harbor Branch, which sheds light on the potential dangers of consuming locally caught seafood.
This is the first time that researchers have closed the loop between marine mammal and human health, by taking findings from their research and applying them to explore the potential risks facing humans living in the same region.
The study centers around dolphins living in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida and humans who live along the estuary and consume much of the same seafood as the dolphins. Initial studies of IRL dolphins showed high levels of mercury, which led scientists to conduct a follow-up study of humans who live in the same geographic area. The most toxic form of mercury known as methylmercury builds up in fish, shellfish, and animals that eat fish, and are the main sources of mercury exposure in humans.
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