Michael Skinner portrait
Michael Skinner

A new study by WSU researchers has found that toxic effects of exposure to mercury in fish can be passed on to later generations.

The WSU School of Biological Sciences study looked at zebrafish that were exposed to very low levels of methylmercury, which occurs in nature when mercury is metabolized by small organisms. It found that the toxic effects of exposure were passed on not only to their offspring, but also the third generation of zebrafish. The toxic effects were neurological and included abnormal locomotion, impaired vision, and hyperactivity.

Michael Skinner, a professor of biological sciences, says mercury is present as a toxin in our environment through several sources, like burning coal, and can make its way to humans through eating fish, like tuna, that have that been exposed to the heavy metal.

Find out more

Spokane Public Radio