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Mercury in the EnvironmentPattern and Process$
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Michael Bank

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520271630

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520271630.001.0001

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Sources and Transport: A Global Issue

Sources and Transport: A Global Issue

(p.3) Chapter 1 Sources and Transport: A Global Issue
Mercury in the Environment

Phil Swartzendruber

Daniel Jaffe

University of California Press

Mercury is a global pollutant. Evidence from ice cores and lake sediments indicates that mercury deposition has increased significantly due to human activities. Most mercury is released into the environment in inorganic forms, but through methylation it is converted to organic mercury compounds. These compounds can be bioaccumulated into fish and other organisms. Mercury released into water will have regional impacts. Mercury released into the atmosphere can have regional implication, but can also be transported and deposited thousands of kilometers away. The chemistry of mercury is complex and has a strong influence on the global cycling.

Keywords:   inorganic mercury, organic mercury, reactive gaseous mercury, particulate mercury, particle-bound mercury, elemental mercury, gaseous oxidized mercury

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