A citizen science program that began over a decade ago has confirmed the use of dragonflies to measure mercury pollution, according to a study in Environmental Science & Technology. The original project was launched by Dr. Sarah Nelson at the University of Maine and the Schoodic Institute in 2007. Dartmouth’s Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program developed a regional effort in New Hampshire and Vermont in 2010. The project was expanded nationally by the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. More details on 10 years of citizen science mercury data using dragonfly larvae biosentinels!
Kevin S Hsu, Britton C Goodale, Kenneth H Ely, Thomas H Hampton, Bruce A Stanton, Richard I Enelow. 2020. Single cell RNA-seq analysis reveals that prenatal arsenic exposure results in long-term, adverse effects on immune gene expression in response to Influenza A infection. Toxicological Sciences. Toxicol Sci 2020 Jun 8;kfaa080. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfaa080. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32514536.
Muse ME, Li Z, Baker ER, Cottingham KL, Korrick SA, Karagas MR, Gilbert-Diamond D. 2020. Relation Between In Utero Arsenic Exposure and Growth During the First Year of Life in a New Hampshire Pregnancy Cohort. Environmental Research. Environ Res. 2020 Jan; 180:108604. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108604. Epub 2019 Jul 22. PMID: 31710845.
Dartmouth Superfund Program (SRP) researchers Brian Jackson and Margaret Karagas and Trainee Hannah Laue (lead author) are co-authors of the paper Nutrient-Toxic Element Mixtures and the Early Postnatal Gut Microbiome and in a United States Longitudinal Birth Cohort. The study concluded that “Early postnatal toxic and nutrient elemental exposures are associated with differences in the infant microbiome. Further research is needed to clarify the whether these alterations are a biomarker of exposure or if they have implications for child and lifelong health.” The paper was published in the journal Environment International.
Dartmouth Superfund Research Program (SRP) researchers Celia Chen and Kate Buckman are co-authors of the paper Mercury Levels in Freshwater Fish: Estimating Concentration with Fish Length to Determine Exposures Through Fish Consumption. According to the paper, “…many studies only measure adults to characterize the health of locally fished populations, omitting information about how local fish bioaccumulate mercury relative to their growth. In this study, we sought to establish length: total mercury (THg) concentration relationships in juvenile and adult fish of four genera (sunfish, yellow perch, white perch, and killifish) across six freshwater pond systems of Nantucket Island to determine safe consumption sizes across species and environmental conditions.” the paper was published in the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.
Dartmouth Superfund Research Program (SRP) researcher and director Celia Chen is co-author of the paper Dragonfly Larvae as Biosentinels of Hg Bioaccumulation in Northeastern and Adirondack Lakes: Relationships to Abiotic Factors. The study sampled lake water and dragonfly larvae in 74 northeastern US lakes that are part of the US EPA Long-Term Monitoring Network to examine whether Dragonfly larvae can serve as biosentinels for Mercury (Hg) in biota. The paper was published in the journal Ecotoxicology.
Dartmouth Superfund Program (SRP) researcher Brian Jackson is co-author of the paper Mercury and Selenium Concentrations, and Selenium:mercury Molar Ratios in Small Cetaceans Taken Off St. Vincent, West Indies. According to the paper, the “high THg (total mercury) concentrations in cetacean tissues in this study, along with the high number of small cetaceans that are taken for human consumption each year, and the frequency at which cetacean products are consumed, suggests that consumption of small cetaceans in St. Vincent is a human health issue that warrants further investigation. Future policy changes or advisories may be needed to inform the public, especially regarding the consumption of killer whales and short-finned pilot whales.” The paper is published in the journal Environmental Research.
Dartmouth Superfund Research Program (SRP) researchers Margaret Karagas (lead author) and Tracy Punshon are co-authors of the paper Rice Intake and Emerging Concerns on Arsenic in Rice: a Review of the Human Evidence and Methodologic Challenges. The paper, which was published in the journal Current Environmental Health Reports, summarizes “…the state of the epidemiologic evidence on whether rice consumption relates to health outcomes associated with arsenic exposure.” The article recommends that “further studies are needed to understand the health impacts of arsenic exposure from rice consumption taking into account all sources of rice intake and potential confounding by other dietary constituents or contaminants and arsenic exposure from sources such as water.”
Dartmouth Superfund Research Program Director Celia Chen, former Dartmouth Superfund Research Program Community Engagement Core (CEC) Leaders Shannon Rogers (lead author) and Mark Borsuk, current Research Translation Coordinator Laurie Rardin, and former CEC Coordinator Kathrin Lawlor are co-authors of the paper Communicating Arsenic’s Risks. The study describes “two types of environmental communication efforts that have been undertaken by the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program (DTMSRP)-the development and evaluation of a comprehensive website, Arsenic and You, and a mental models research approach to better understand the disconnect between expert and community perceptions of arsenic risk.” The paper is published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Dartmouth Superfund Research Program researchers Vivien Taylor (lead author) and Kate Buckman are co-authors of the paper Preliminary Investigation of Polymer-Based In Situ Passive Samplers for Mercury and Methylmercury, which was published in Chemosphere. In their study, the “development of an in situ passive sampler for mercury (Hg), and its toxic form, methylmercury (MeHg), using simple polymer films, was explored for the potential to make an efficient and environmentally relevant monitoring tool for this widespread aquatic pollutant.”