Circumpolar pattern of mercury and cadmium in ringed seals.Sci Total Environ. 2005 Dec 01; 351-352:312-22.ST
Mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd) concentrations in ringed seal liver and kidney were compared from 11 locations across the Arctic, from Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Svalbard to the White Sea. Adult and sub adult seals were evaluated separately to account for age accumulations of Hg and Cd. Only recently (1995-2001) collected samples were included to minimize influence of changes over time. The Hg and Cd concentrations in ringed seal liver and kidney differed significantly among the studied locations. The Hg concentrations in liver of ringed seals was highest in the western Canadian Arctic locations, while Cd in liver was highest in the eastern Canadian and West Greenland locations. In general, Hg and Cd concentrations in liver and kidney were significantly higher in adult ringed seals than in sub adults and the circumpolar patterns were most pronounced in adult ringed seals. The Hg and Cd concentrations in kidney of ringed seals in general supported the geographical pattern found in livers although the coverage was more limited. The most likely explanation for the observed circumpolar pattern appears mainly to be related to natural geological differences in mineral (Hg and Cd) among regions.