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Current Topics in Toxicology   Volumes    Volume 9 
Ground water mercury: review of remediation technologies
William Y. Boadi, Jerica D. Johnson
Pages: 49 - 64
Number of pages: 16
Current Topics in Toxicology
Volume 9 

Copyright © 2013 Research Trends. All rights reserved

The presence of mercury (Hg), particularly methyl mercury ([CH3Hg]+), in surface waters is a concern for both human and ecological health. Hg is a neurotoxin that can bio-accumulate in organisms to levels that adversely affect reproduction and behavior. Although Hg is known to interact with particles in water, recent studies have shown that Hg in surface waters is strongly associated with dissolved organic matter (DOM). Development of new technologies to remove Hg has attracted the attention of researchers for years and remains an extremely active field. According to one recent estimate, the total annual global input of mercury to the environment from all sources including natural, anthropogenic, and oceanic emissions is approximately 5,500 tons. One such source, for example, is the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where 50 years ago Hg was used in vast quantities to help produce hydrogen bombs, creating enormous mercury-related deposits that still await cleanup. Several methods have been proposed and are being used to remove mercury from water. One very important requirement in choosing a method is that it be free of toxic residues which may release Hg in the future and must be later removed by another method. Additionally, localization of the water stream under treatment is very important from an efficacy and cost-saving perspective. The purpose of this review is to address the current technologies for the remediation of mercury along with their associated costs, and to suggest a few recommendations to reduce the mercury burden on the environment.
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