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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » New England Plant, Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #258370

Title: Mercury in Animal Manures and Impacts on Environmental Health

item TAZISONG, IRENUS - Alabama A & M University
item SENWO, ZACHARY - Alabama A & M University
item TAYLOR, ROBERT - Alabama A & M University
item He, Zhongqi

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2010
Publication Date: 8/8/2011
Citation: Tazisong, I.A., Senwo, Z.N., Taylor, R.W., He, Z. 2011. Mercury in Animal Manures and Impacts on Environmental Health. In: He, Z., editor. Environmental Chemistry of Animal Manure. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers. p. 427-442.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Animal manure is widely used as a cheap source of fertilizer all over the world, and is also used as animal feed. In industrialized countries, tons of animal manures per hectare each year are applied to agricultural lands as an easy means of disposal. Analysis of these manures shows low Hg concentrations compared to other elements. However, reported data has revealed that repeated applications of animal manure to agricultural lands have led to increased levels of Hg. Such Hg increases in the environment may be detrimental to soil, water, and environmental health. It is necessary to continuously monitor Hg concentrations in animal manure and manure applied soils in order to assess food and health risks. No evidence exists that Hg is added to animal feed. Published data have shown that the levels of Hg are considerably lower in animal feed than in animal wastes (manure). The Hg content also varies with different animal manures and with different regions from which it originates. We therefore recommend that Hg speciation and bioavailability in animal manure and manure applied soils be addressed to facilitate environmentally sound use of animal manures.