Mercury exposure in dolphins linked to humans, Harbor Branch Oce - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Mercury exposure in dolphins linked to humans, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute study says

picture by APRIL STONCIUS/FAU HARBOR BRANCH OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE/FACEBOOK picture by APRIL STONCIUS/FAU HARBOR BRANCH OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE/FACEBOOK

For the first time, local scientists are linking mercury exposure in dolphins, with mercury exposure in humans.

The 2 year study at FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute centered on dolphins that live in the Indian River Lagoon.

Dolphins and humans eat similar types of fish.

Scientists found elevated levels of mercury in the dolphins, and in more than half of the human test subjects.

"So we did skin samples from these animals and looked at mercury level concentrations, as well as in blood.  With the humans, we sampled pieces of hair where we able to look at past exposure to mercury," said FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Epidemiologist Adam Schaefer.

Scientists say no one is telling people to stop eating fish and shellfish, but to be aware of the connections.


A new study is underway focusing on pregnant women and mercury exposure since exposure in developing fetuses can lead to long-term learning problems.

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