A quick test for mercury in seafood.
A seafarer would add a fish sample to a dissolving agent, then put drops of the mixture into coated wells on a test plate. Mercury-tainted samples would turn green. The test responds to methylmercury, a compound formed in waterborne plants and microbes that accumulates in the food chain.
Although natural events such as volcano eruptions release mercury into the environment, the mass production of batteries, munitions, fungicides, and latex paint has furthered its spread, Carlson says.
The scientists adapted the quick fish test from a similar kit used to detect mercury in water and soil at toxic waste sites. So far, the test has worked well with samples of alligator, bass, swordfish, tuna, shark, and scallops, they report.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||mercury-contamination kit can be used at sea|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Apr 15, 1995|
|Previous Article:||Dyes that kill flies.|
|Next Article:||Ethiopian finds and feuds.|