Ultrasensitive Detection of Mercury: Beyond FRET
Rapid screening for total mercury content of water, soils and fish takes to the field
sponsored by Ocean Optics
Are You Sure You Should Eat That?
Contamination of groundwater, soil and fish with mercury has been increasing steadily for a decade, even in the most remote lakes and wetlands. Excess mercury is a particularly pervasive environmental problem due to its tendency to accumulate in tissue, leading 33 states in the U.S. to issue fish consumption advisories. In fact, 140 countries worldwide have regulations regarding mercury content in food. Ingested mercury acts as a neurotoxin, and can affect growth, development and reproduction. Rapid, accurate and portable measurement of mercury at the ppb level is needed to validate the safety of drinking water and fish destined for human consumption. Most current analytical techniques for quantification, however, are time-consuming and are limited to a lab setting.