Good Mercury Essay Example
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Mercury has become prevalent in aquatic and marine waters because of increased mercury sources to these water bodies. Mercury sources are anthropogenic and natural related (Peterson, Talcott, & Peterson, 2013). The natural sources of mercury include natural mercury deposits, ocean volatilization, and the eruption of volcanoes. The main anthropogenic sources of mercury include chlorine alkali processing, coal combustion, metal processing, and waste incineration (Peterson, Talcott, & Peterson, 2013). Mercury has become prevalent in aquatic and marine waters recently because anthropogenic activities have more than doubled the mercury amount in aquatic and marine waters (Peterson, Talcott, & Peterson, 2013). Besides, best estimates indicate that atmospheric burden of mercury is increasing by approximately 1.5% per year (Liu, Cai, & O'Driscoll, 2012).
The test of mercury in purchased fish is complex and expensive. However, at home a simple qualitative test may be used. The test can only detect mercury presence, not the quantity. Mercury check swabs can be used to know if fish purchased from a market has not been exposed to high levels of mercury. Mercury check swab has at one end, a fiber tip. A glass ampoule in the barrel has mercury reactive material. The swab is activated by crushing and shaking the glass ampoule to mix the reagents. Squeezing the swab and rubbing on a test surface is done to detect mercury. The tip turns purple, or violet if there is presence of mercury, and absence of violet color shows absence of mercury (Liu, Cai, & O'Driscoll, 2012).
Mercury amounts in fish are linked to methylmercury concentration in water; the abundance or density of wooded wetland and evergreen forest in water bodies; decreasing pH, and increasing dissolved carbon concentration (Holland & Turekian, 2004). Fish from such environments are found dark and shiny in color.
Holland, H. D., & Turekian, K. K. (2004). Treatise on geochemistry. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Pergamon.
Liu, G., Cai, Y., & O'Driscoll, N. J. (2012). Environmental chemistry and toxicology of mercury. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Peterson, M. E., Talcott, P. A., & Peterson, M. E. (2013). Small animal toxicology. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier/Saunders.
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