Presentation on theme: "Introduction Mercury is a metal that can come from either a human made source or be made in natural ways. At room temperature it is the only metal that."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction Mercury is a metal that can come from either a human made source or be made in natural ways. At room temperature it is the only metal that is a liquid. In this liquid state, mercury is harmful to humans if exposed to the air and constantly breathed in (www.uwec.edu). Most of the mercury in the environment today comes from burning coal. Mercury can then be deposited by wet or dry deposition. Wet deposition happens through precipitation, and dry deposition is dust or particles that fall from the atmosphere. It then enters oceans and ponds where bacteria changes it into methylmercury (Trincoll) This is the form of mercury that we should be worried about. Methylmercury can build up in organisms and move up through the food chain, eventually reaching humans (UVM). We decided to use aquatic species in our test because wet deposition deposits the bulk of it’s mercury into bodies of water, and mercury is collected in sediment. Once changed into methylmercury it will soak back into the water. Mercury soaks through soil into water. Mercury is obtained from many sources including, forest fires, meteor dust, and burning fossil fuels. Mercury can rest in the atmosphere, sediments and the ocean. Mercury is used heavily in industry for small things like batteries to bigger things like coal burning power plants. Health risks from mercury can be severe. Health risks include minor losses of sensation or mental ability to tremors, inability to walk, convulsions and even death (How Does Mercury Affect Human Health and the Environment?). Soon to be mothers have additional risks. Methylmercury exposure in the womb, which can result from a mother's consumption of fish and shellfish that contain methylmercury, can adversely affect a baby's growing brain and nervous system. Impacts on thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual skills (Health Effects). Materials and Methods 1. The class went to the Pogue near Woodstock, Vermont to collect dragonflies for four years from 2010 to Once back at the school the dragonflies were frozen and then shipped to Dartmouth College to be processed 3. Dartmouth College freeze dried the specimens to get the moisture out and then pulverized the dragonflies to analyze the average concentration of mercury in each dragonfly 4. Results came back for the students to analyze along with the data from previous years 5. We then collected average precipitation data for Vermont 6. We then made a graph to put on our poster Acknowledgments We would like to thank Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park for letting us collect this data, and thanks to Dartmouth College and the University of Maine for analyzing and testing the samples we collected. We would also like to thank Dartmouth for allowing the groups to present these posters to a respectful audience. Results Our results show that there is a connection between precipitation levels and mercury levels. Every year the precipitation dropped or increased, so did the mercury concentration. Conclusion The purpose of our experiment was to see if there was a connection between the amount of precipitation and the amount of mercury in dragonfly larvae. Our hypothesis stated that if we compare yearly precipitation totals and the mercury concentration in dragonfly larvae of the Pogue, then when there is more precipitation, the mercury concentration in the dragonfly larvae in the Pogue will be higher because more mercury will be deposited into the Pogue by wet deposition. The patterns in the data we have shows that this is very true. As the precipitation increased or decreased, so did the mercury concentration. From 2010 to 2011, the total precipitation increased by about ten inches. In that same time period, the mercury concentration in dragonfly larvae increased by about 10 ppb. The next year, the precipitation dropped seven inches, and the mercury concentration dropped 3 ppb. However, some drawbacks to our experiment could be that we only have four years of mercury data to back up our results. We also do not know how much fossil fuels were burned nationwide in those four years. That could make a difference in how much mercury is in the atmosphere. When we were collecting our data some human errors could have occurred. Some of the samples may have been touched by someone which could contaminate the samples. Our end results show that our hypothesis is supported by the data we collected. In the future it would be nice to see if this pattern continues. Patrick Bald, Cody Chase, Conner Black, Alex Merseal Literature Cited Kamman, Neil. "VT Lakes & Ponds Section - Mercury & Other Persitent Pollutants." VT Lakes & Ponds Section - Mercury & Other Persitent Pollutants. Watershed Management Division, n.d. Web. 19 Nov "Mercury Pollution." - National Wildlife Federation. National Wildlife Federation, n.d. Web. 19 Nov "What Is Mercury and Where Does It Come From?" Untitled Document. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec "What Is the Difference between Wet Deposition and Dry Deposition?" "MERC Vermont | Mercury Facts - Sources of Mercury." MERC Vermont | Mercury Facts - Sources of Mercury. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov "Average Annual Precipitation for Vermont." Average Yearly Precipitation for Vermont. Currentresults.com, n.d. Web. 25 Nov Raining Mercury Image Sources https://www.google.com/search?q=University+of+maine+logo&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=UBOvUqbrCerfsASE8oKoBw&ve d=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1034&bih=750&dpr=1 1&sk=#view=detail&id=9BCF142F72E9CF4A2A35574BE0AAAA0E2B7FB92C&selectedIndex=0 https://www.google.com/search?q=mercury&espv=210&es_sm=93&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=wtSpUqOZENHmsAT_6YK4 Aw&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ#es_sm=93&espv=210&q=mercury%20element&revid= &tbm=isch&imgdii=_ Hypothesis If we compare yearly precipitation totals and the mercury concentration in dragonfly larvae of the Pogue, then when there is more precipitation, the mercury concentration will be higher because more mercury will be deposited into the Pogue by wet deposition.