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Toxic mercury found in Antarctic sea ice: Study

Source: Indian Express, Date: , 2016

Australian scientists have discovered a toxic form of mercury in Antarctic’s atmosphere and sea ice. The study, led by a team from the University of Melbourne, found significant amounts of methylmercury, an especially dangerous strain of mercury, in the Southern Ocean, Xinhua news agency reported. Caitlin Gionfriddo, a PhD student at the University of Melbourne who worked on the project, said the study revealed that methylmercury released by Antarctic ice into the ocean could be contaminating the food chain. “There are high levels of methylmercury in our ecosystems, especially in the marine environment, but we don’t know how it’s being produced,” Gionfriddo said. “We’re seeing it accumulate in the food web and most of it likely comes from atmospheric deposition of mercury onto sea water.”

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