Confronting mercury


A TOXIC metal is to be deliberately added to a pristine Canadian lake in a bid to discover how it gets into fish. People in Canada and most US states have been told to limit their consumption of freshwater fish because they contain high levels of mercury. But it’s not clear whether fish pick up the toxic metal from new deposits from the atmosphere or from old pollution released from sediments. If sediments are to blame, expensive measures to control mercury emissions could be ineffective. To find out, microbiologist Cynthia Gilmour of the Academy of Natural Sciences in St Leonard,
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