Mercury found in remote national park streams

April 17, 2014

Federal scientists have found high amounts of mercury in fish caught in remote areas of national parks in the West and Alaska.

The finding is included in a recently published study by the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service. Researchers say the vast majority of the 1,400 fish caught as part of the study had acceptable levels of mercury.

But quantities in 4 percent of the fish gave them cause for alarm. Health officials say exposure to high levels of mercury can damage the brain, kidneys and a developing fetus.

The study sampled fish from 21 in 10 Western states, including Yosemite National Park in California and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

The park service is coordinating with state officials on potential fish-consumption advisories.

Explore further: Fish consumption advisories fail to cover all types of contaminants

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