Skip to main content

Mercury in canadian seals

Summary

The mercury concentration was determined in ringed and bearded seal claws, tissues from a harbour seal, tissues obtained from 6 gray seals of different sizes and ages, tissues from ten female harp seals and their pups, and a female gray seal and her fetus. It was suggested that the mercury concentration of the fur and claws of seals could be used as indicators of the degree of the seals' mercury contamination. Preliminary results indicate that mercury contamination in these species, from the same location, increases with size.

The methylmercury concentration of seal pups was lower than that of their mothers. The fetus of the seal did not show a preference for mercury over that of the mother's tissues. It was suggested that seals may possess enzyme systems that demethylate methylmercury.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. ARMSTRONG, F.A.J., and J.F. UTHE: Atomic Absorption Newsletter10(5), 101 (1971).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. BACHE, C.A., W.H. GUTENMANN, AND D.J. LISK: Science172, 951 (1971).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. BERGLUND, F., M. BERLIN, G. BIRKE, R. CEDERLOF, U. von EULER, L. FRIBERG, B. HOLMSTEDT, E. JONSSON, K.G. LUNING, C. RAMEL, S. SKERFVING, A. SWENSSON, AND S. LEJNING: Methyl mercury in fish. Nordisk Hygienisk Tidskrift, Supp. 4, Stockholm (1971).

    Google Scholar 

  4. ROMER, A.S.: The vertebrate body, 4th ed. W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia (1970).

    Google Scholar 

  5. UTHE, J.F., J. SOLOMON, and B. GRIFT: J. Ass. Offic. Anal. Chem.,55(3), 583 (1972).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. UTHE, J.F.: Fish. Res. Bd. Canada Manuscript Report Series #1167, 161 (1972).

  7. WALLACE, R.A., W. FULKERSON, W.C. SHULTS, and W.S. LYON: Mercury in the Environment, The Human Element, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (1971).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Freeman, H.C., Horne, D.A. Mercury in canadian seals. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 10, 172–180 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01720700

Download citation

Keywords

  • Mercury
  • Mercury Concentration
  • Total Mercury
  • Dorsal Muscle
  • Harbour Seal