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Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2015 Sep;95(3):279-85. doi: 10.1007/s00128-015-1588-3. Epub 2015 Jul 24.

Mercury Contamination in an Indicator Fish Species from Andean Amazonian Rivers Affected by Petroleum Extraction.

Author information

1
Department of Geography, McGill University, 805 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC, H3A 2K6, Canada, jena.webb@mail.mcgill.ca.

Abstract

Elevated mercury (Hg) concentrations in fish from Amazonia have been associated with gold-mining, hydroelectric dams and deforestation but few studies consider the role of petroleum extraction. Hg levels were determined in fish samples collected in three river basins in Ecuador and Peru with contrasting petroleum exploitation and land-use characteristics. The non-migratory, piscivorous species, Hoplias malabaricus, was used as a bioindicator. The rate of Hg increase with body weight for this species was significantly higher on the Corrientes River, near the site of a recent oil spill, than on the other two rivers. In the absence of substantial deforestation and other anthropogenic sources in the Corrientes River basin, this finding suggests that oil contamination in Andean Amazonia may have a significant impact on Hg levels in fish.

PMID:
26205230
DOI:
10.1007/s00128-015-1588-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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