WASHINGTON — Mercury has been discovered in fish in some of the most remote national park lakes and streams in the western United States and Alaska, according to a press release.
Mercury levels in some fish exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency health thresholds for potential impacts to fish, birds and humans, the release reported.
The information about mercury, and its appearance in protected areas considered to be relatively pristine and removed from environmental contaminants, is in a recently published scientific report from the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service, noted the release.
The study of mercury in fish is the first of its kind to incorporate information from remote places at 21 national parks in 10 western states, including Alaska, continued the release, and Western parks were selected for this study because of the significant role that atmospheric mercury deposition plays in remote places and the lack of broad-scale assessments on mercury in fish in remote areas of the west.
According to the release, mercury concentrations in fish sampled from these parks were generally low, but were elevated in some instances; this study examines total mercury in fish, of which 95 percent is in the form of methylmercury, the most dangerous form to human and wildlife health.
Read the full release here.