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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The biological half-life of inorganic mercury in the Dungeness crab Cancer magister Dana Sloan, John Peter


The biological half-life of inorganic mercury in the Dungeness crab, Cancer magister Dana, was determined experimentally to be about 25 days. Crabs were exposed to mercury solutions, sacrificed after varying periods of time, and mercury determinations of whole body homogenates made with an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The simple and widely used negative exponential equation for calculating biological half-life was not entirely adequate for describing the mercury elimination process. A better description was obtained using a nonlinear least-squares fit of an equation describing elimination at different speeds from two types of tissues. A further model allowed for recycling of mercury that was eliminated, and gave marginally better descriptions in some cases.

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