Mercury-selenium interactions in the environment

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The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to consider the need to control emissions of trace elements and compounds emitted from coal combustion, including coal-fired power plants. Concern has been expressed about emissions of mercury and arsenic, for example, since health effects may be associated with exposure to some of these compounds. By and large, effects of trace element emissions have been considered individually, without regard for possible interactions. To the extent that the relevant environmental pathways and health endpoints differ, this mode of analysis is appropriate. For example, arsenic is considered a ... continued below

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15 p.

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Saroff, L.; Lipfert, W. & Moskowitz, P.D. February 1, 1996.

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Description

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to consider the need to control emissions of trace elements and compounds emitted from coal combustion, including coal-fired power plants. Concern has been expressed about emissions of mercury and arsenic, for example, since health effects may be associated with exposure to some of these compounds. By and large, effects of trace element emissions have been considered individually, without regard for possible interactions. To the extent that the relevant environmental pathways and health endpoints differ, this mode of analysis is appropriate. For example, arsenic is considered a carcinogen and mercury affects the brain. However, there may be compelling reasons to consider emissions of mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) together: (1) Both Se and Hg are emitted from power plants primarily as vapors. (2) Hg and Se are both found in fish, which is the primary pathway for Hg health effects. (3) Se has been shown to suppress Hg methylation in aqueous systems, which is a necessary step for Hg health effects at current environmental concentrations. (4) Se is a trace element that is essential for health but that can also be toxic at high concentrations; it can thus have both beneficial and adverse health effects, depending on the dosage. This paper reviews some of the salient characteristics and interactions of the Hg-Se system, to consider the hypothesis that the effects of emissions of these compounds should be considered jointly.

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15 p.

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OSTI as DE96006148

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  • Other Information: PBD: Feb 1996

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  • Other: DE96006148
  • Report No.: BNL--62818
  • Grant Number: AC02-76CH00016
  • DOI: 10.2172/211348 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 211348
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc669953

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • February 1, 1996

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • Nov. 24, 2015, 12:15 p.m.

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Saroff, L.; Lipfert, W. & Moskowitz, P.D. Mercury-selenium interactions in the environment, report, February 1, 1996; Upton, New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc669953/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.