Scientists have found that mercury pollution in water has reached the deepest part of the ocean – Mariana Trench. This has serious consequences for the marine environment, as harmful substances accumulate throughout the food chain.
Some marine organisms concentrate mercury and these species are food for the larger inhabitants of the deep sea. Thus, species that are higher in the food chain accumulate harmful levels of mercury. Swordfish, for example, have 40 times higher concentrations of hazardous substances than salmon.
Some scientists have discovered mercury pollution in the Mariana Trench and the Pacific Ocean. They claim that sea creations easily absorb toxic substances in depth. Chinese technologists have placed deepwater equipment in the deepest places in the world. They collected materials from a depth of 5.5-9.2 km in the Mariana Trench. These studies have proved that mercury at low water levels and coming there from the upper layers.
Another group of researchers took samples of creations from the Kermadec cavity and Mariana Trench. They concluded that mercury enters the ocean due to rain.
The formation of mercury in these places can be explained naturally, but much of this substance is a result of human activity. The quantity of mercury in the water is growing very rapidly. Studies show that mercury pollution has become a serious problem even for the deepest marine ecosystems on the planet.
Previously, calculations of mercury contained in the water had already been carried out with special equipment. Discovers, carried out by an international team of scientists, was based on comprehensive global measurements and not only gave a more complete picture, but also information about the depths at which this heavy metal is mainly concentrated, and also revealed the exact reasons for its accumulation.
However, there is a process that creates protection for the ocean. Much of the mercury comes from the shallow depths through streams that carry salt, dense and cold water. Unfortunately, the toxic effects of mercury are reflected in the food chain, and the spread and effect of mercury are increased. Quantity of mercury in organisms of different types of marine creatures often habits the level of pollution in their marine environment.
But scientists believe that the ability of oceanic deep waters to absorb mercury may soon dry up. If everything remains the same, the number of expected emissions of mercury into the atmosphere will be equal to the number of emissions already made by people in the last 150 years in the next 50 years. This will lead to a rapid increasing in heavy metal content at shallow depths and will cause enormous damage to all living things in the ocean and, as a result, to humans.
This development has a negative impact on childbearing. A small proportion of US women have elevated and dangerous levels of mercury in their blood. This hurts fetal development and may even cause delayed brain development in the child. Several million children have already been affected by high levels of mercury in their mothers, experts say.
Also, all studies confirm that increased mercury levels have a damaging effect on the health and reproductive function of many fish and bird species.
The scientists believe that a common global effort must reduce mercury pollution and that such an effort can be effective because the point of no return has not yet been passed.
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