Last Updated: 05/06/2005

Mercury in Lake Wissota and Wisconsin's Lakes & River Systems

ABSTRACT

 

INTRODUCTION

 

BACKGROUND

 

LOCAL HAZARDS?

 

EFFECTS ON WILDLIFE

 

EFFECTS ON HUMANS

 

REFERENCES

 

ABSTRACT

 Mercury is an element that is naturally occurring and from human activity.  For the most part, mercury contamination in Wisconsinís water bodies is a result of burning coal and atmospheric deposition, and can have harmful effects on human beings and wildlife.  Mercury contamination in the environment can be very harmful, especially with prolonged or repeated exposure. Significant mercury contamination that we see in Wisconsin is generally in our lakes and river systemís fish population.  People and animals are exposed to this risk by then eating contaminated fish.  The population that is most at risk for mercury contamination is pregnant women, as well as young children.  However, there are ways to avoid consuming highly mercury contaminated fish without giving up eating fish altogether.  The Wisconsin DNR now issues mercury advisories for local lakes and river systems to help control the exposure of humans to contamination.  Recently, the DNR has offered safe eating guidelines for people to follow to reduce the risk of mercury exposure.  Studies are being done to learn the interactions of mercury and the environment in order to find a management solution.