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Mercury threat in industrially impacted surface water bodies in Romania - integrated approach (MERCURO)

English title Mercury threat in industrially impacted surface water bodies in Romania - integrated approach (MERCURO)
Applicant Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera
Number 142228
Funding scheme Romanian-Swiss Research Programme (RSRP)
Research institution Institut F.-A. Forel Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Start/End 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2015
Approved amount 369'035.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences

Keywords (6)

Reservoir sediments; Mercury; Bioaccumulation; Biomagnification; Human impact; Industrial pollution

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
MERCURO
Lay summary

Le mercure (Hg) est un micropolluant persistant présentant un risque sérieux pour l'environnement et une menace pour la santé humaine. Les contaminations des eaux de surface par du Hg, passées et présentes, sont une préoccupation majeure en raison du potentiel de ce métal à s’accumuler dans les organismes et à s’amplifier dans la chaîne alimentaire. Par conséquent, une meilleure compréhension de la dispersion du Hg, sa répartition entre particules, colloïdes et fractions dissoutes, ainsi que son accumulation et son impact sur les organismes est une condition préalable à une évaluation complète de la menace constituée par le Hg pour les systèmes aquatiques et la santé humaine. En appliquant une approche intégrée comprenant une combinaison d'études sur le terrain, d’analyses de laboratoire et de simulations numériques, le projet vise à évaluer l'impact du Hg sur des eaux superficielles impactées par des activités industrielles et d'identifier les menaces possibles sur cette ressource. Le projet se concentre sur la rivière Olt, une des plus contaminées de Roumanie, modifiée par la construction de barrages en cascade et sous l’influence d’activités industrielles. La région de Rimnicu Valcea comprend un grand nombre d'entreprises industrielles, y compris un complexe de chlore-alcali (Oltchim), qui sont reconnues comme d’importantes sources ponctuelles de mercure.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 29.11.2012

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Publications

Publication
Long-Term Effects of Mercury on Biofilms Grown in Contaminated Microcosms: A Pilot Study
Dranguet Perrine, Freiburghaus Aline, Slaveykova Vera, Le Faucheur Séverine (2019), Long-Term Effects of Mercury on Biofilms Grown in Contaminated Microcosms: A Pilot Study, in Environments, 6(3), 28-28.
Biofilm composition in the Olt River (Romania) reservoirs impacted by chlor-alkali production plant
Dranguet Perrine, Cosio Claudia, Le Faucheur Séverine, Hug Peter Dorothea, Loizeau Jean-Luc, Ungureanu Viorel Gh., Slaveykova Vera (2017), Biofilm composition in the Olt River (Romania) reservoirs impacted by chlor-alkali production plant, in Environmental Science Processes and Impacts, 19, 687-695.
Influence of chemical speciation and biofilm composition on mercury accumulation by freshwater biofilms
Dranguet Perrine, Le Faucheur Séverine, Cosio Claudia, Slaveykova Vera (2017), Influence of chemical speciation and biofilm composition on mercury accumulation by freshwater biofilms, in Environmental Science Processes and Impacts., 19(1), 38-41.
Mercury bioavailability, transformations and effects to freshwater biofilms
Dranguet Perrine, Le Faucheur Séverine, Slaveykova Vera (2017), Mercury bioavailability, transformations and effects to freshwater biofilms, in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 2017, 36(12), 3194-3205.
Transcriptomic approach for assessment of the impact on microalga and macrophyte of in-situ exposure in river sites contaminated by chlor-alkali plant effluents
Dranguet Perrine, Cosio Claudia L, Le Faucheur Séverine, Beauvais-Flueck Rebecca, Freiburghaus Aline, Worms Isabelle, Petit Brice, Civic Natacha, Docquier Mylene, Slaveykova Vera (2017), Transcriptomic approach for assessment of the impact on microalga and macrophyte of in-situ exposure in river sites contaminated by chlor-alkali plant effluents, in Water Research, 121, 86-94.
Environmental quality assessment of reservoirs impacted by Hg from chlor-alkali technologies: case study of a recovery
Le Faucheur Séverine, Vasiliu Dan, Catianis Irina, Zazu Mariana, Dranguet Perrine, Beauvais-Flück Rebecca, Loizeau Jean-Luc, Cosio Claudia, Ungureanu Costin, Ungureanu Viorel Gheorghe, Slaveykova Vera I (2016), Environmental quality assessment of reservoirs impacted by Hg from chlor-alkali technologies: case study of a recovery, in Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23(22), 22542.
Persistent Hg contamination and occurrence of Hg-methylating transcript (hgcA) downstream of a chlor-alkali plant in the Olt River (Romania)
Bravo Andrea G., Loizeau Jean-Luc, Dranguet Perrine, Makri Stamatina, Björn Erik, Ungureanu Viorel Gh., Slaveykova Vera, Cosio Claudia (2016), Persistent Hg contamination and occurrence of Hg-methylating transcript (hgcA) downstream of a chlor-alkali plant in the Olt River (Romania), in Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23(11), 10529-10541.
Effects of macrophytes on the fate of mercury in aquatic systems
Cosio Claudia, Flück Rebecca, Regier Nicole, Slaveykova Vera I. (2014), Effects of macrophytes on the fate of mercury in aquatic systems, in Environmantal Toxicology and Chemistry, 33, 1225-1237.
Interactions between mercury and phytoplankton: Speciation, bioavailability and internal handling
Le Faucheur Séverine, Campbell Peter G.C., Fortin Claude, SlaveykovaVera I (2014), Interactions between mercury and phytoplankton: Speciation, bioavailability and internal handling, in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 33, 1211-1224.
Species-specific isotope tracers to study the accumulation and biotransformation of mixtures of inorganic and methyl mercury by the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
Bravo Andrea Garcia, Le Faucheur Séverine, Monperrus Mathilde, Amouroux David, Slaveykova Vera I (2014), Species-specific isotope tracers to study the accumulation and biotransformation of mixtures of inorganic and methyl mercury by the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii., in Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 192, 212-5.
Towards Mechanistic Understanding of Mercury Availability and Toxicity to Aquatic Primary Producers.
Dranguet Perrine, Fluck Rebecca, Regier Nicole, Cosio Claudia, Le Faucheur Séverine, Slaveykova Vera (2014), Towards Mechanistic Understanding of Mercury Availability and Toxicity to Aquatic Primary Producers., in Chimia, 68(11), 799-805.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Centre Eau Terre Environnement, INRS Quebec Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
LCABIE UMR 5254 Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour France (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Genomics Platform, Université de Genève Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
14th International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements Talk given at a conference Mercury availability to biofilm: both chemical speciation and biofilm composition matters 16.07.2017 Zurich, Switzerland Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera;
Community ecotoxicology Individual talk Hg speciation and periphyton composition matter in Hg accumulation 27.11.2015 Lyon, France Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera;
11th SETAC Europe Special Science Symposium Talk given at a conference Environmental Change and Mercury Pollution: Past, Present and Future 20.10.2015 Brussels, Belgium Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera;
9th SFS Talk given at a conference Influence of chemical speciation and periphytic composition on mercury content in periphyton 05.07.2015 Geneva, Switzerland Dranguet Perrine; Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera;
SFS Annual meeting Talk given at a conference Hg speciation and periphyton composition matter in Hg accumulation 17.05.2015 Milwaukee, United States of America Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera;
SETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting Poster Mercury impact towards periphytic communities 03.05.2015 Barclona, Spain Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera; Dranguet Perrine;
SETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference Bioavailability of mercury to natural freshwater periphyton and consequences on periphyton composition 03.05.2015 Barcelona, Spain Dranguet Perrine; Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera;
Goldschmidt Conference Poster Periphyton communities in mercury impacted surface water body 08.06.2014 Sacramento, California, United States of America Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera;
24th annual Europe meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Poster Effect of mercury on periphyton collected in Romanian reservoirs impacted by industrial activities 11.05.2014 Basel, Switzerland Dranguet Perrine;
11th Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Lausanne Talk given at a conference The toxicity of mercury towards Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in presence of perfluorooctane sulphonate 15.11.2013 Lausanne, Switzerland Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera;
11th ICMPG - International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant Talk given at a conference The toxicity of HgCl2 towards unicellular green algae increases in presence of perfluorooctane sulphonate 28.07.2013 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera;
11th ICMGP - International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutan Poster Mercury bioaccumulation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii exposed to mixtures of environmental inorganic and organic mercury concentrations 28.07.2013 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera;
23rd annual Europe meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Poster Mercury accumulation in the submersed plant Elodea nuttallii 12.05.2013 Glasgow, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Les médecins en faveur de l’environnement Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 31.08.2015 Solothurn, Switzerland Dranguet Perrine;
Visit of 60 high schools students from Moudon (VD Switzerland) and Prevessin (Ain, France). Introduction to mercury toxicological assessment to Swiss and French high school students; Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 12.11.2013 Geneve, Switzerland Slaveykova-Startcheva Vera; Dranguet Perrine;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Mercury threat in industrially impacted surface water bodies in Romania - integrated approach (MERCU International 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions Mercury toxicity towards primary producers- Resaerch day with 30 Polish scientists form Cracow tech International 2013

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
157173 Assessing metal bioavailability through transcriptome response in aquatic primary producers (continuation) 01.03.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)
166089 Bioavailability of Mercury Species to Phytoplankton (BioMer) 01.10.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
175721 Elucidating the role of PHYToplankton in Aquatic Mercury (Hg) Biotic and Abiotic transformations (PHYTAMBA) 01.03.2018 Project funding (Div. I-III)
123034 Water Dynamics and Contaminant Transfer Processes from the Shallow to the Deep Waters of a Mid-sized Lake 01.02.2009 ProDoc
128141 NEAR 4 - Network for environmental assessment and remediation in aquatic systems: towards excellence in teaching and research 01.01.2010 SCOPES

Abstract

Mercury (Hg) is a persistent micropollutant presenting a substantial risk to the environment and an important threat to the human health. Past and present Hg contaminations of surface waters are thus of major concern due to the potential of Hg to accumulate in biota and magnify in the food chain. Therefore, the improved understanding of the relationship between Hg dispersion, distribution among sediments, particles, colloids and dissolved fractions, as well as accumulation and impact to biota is a prerequisite to fully assess the Hg threat to the aquatic systems and human health.By applying an integrated approach including a combination of field studies, laboratory analyses and numerical simulations, the present proposal aims to assess the impact of the Hg in the industrially impacted surface water bodies in Romania and to identify the possible threat on these resources The project focuses on River Olt basin, as one of the most impacted surface water body in Romania, altered by the cascade dam construction and under extensive past and present industrial activity. The Rm Valcea region comprises a high number of industrial companies including a large chlor-alkali plant (Oltchim), which is recognized as important point sources of Hg. A large array of hydro(geo)logical, physical, chemical, and ecotoxicological tools will be used to address the following key issues: •Performance of Hg survey and estimation the pollution extent in water and sediments;•Determination of the transport and dispersion of Hg in water column and sediments;•Improvement of the understanding on the behaviour of Hg associated to colloids, inorganic particles and organic matter;•Assessment of the bioaccumulation and effect of Hg to different organisms with emphasis on the primary producers in particular microalgae and macrophytes;•Evaluation of the food chain transfer and possible risks for the human health.The project will largely contribute to the understanding of mercury fate and impact in the contaminated systems and improved knowledge on complex processes governing the transfer and impact of Hg from the contaminated surface waters to humans. The project is also expected to contribute broadly to solving societal problems in Romania and to provide a scientific base for a sound definition of the existing problem and understand the causal chain, as well as it will help to develop efficient and cost-effective measures for protection. Strengthening the capacity, improving integration of scientists in the international network as well as developing “best practices” for impact assessment of pollutants are other major outcomes of the project. They will be a significant step forward contaminant assessment in the entire Danube - Black Sea - Caspian Sea region, as it is a commonly accepted that historical industrial pollution from former communist times represents a significant threat for public health.
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