Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): A. Dennis Lemly
    Date: 2014
    Source: Ectoxicology and Environmental Safety
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.05 MB)


    Selenium pollution from coal ash waste water was investigated in Lake Sutton, NC. This lake has been continuously used as a cooling pond for a coal-fired power plant since 1972. Historic and recent levels of contamination in fish tissues (14–105 µg Se/g dry weight in liver, 24–127 in eggs, 4–23 in muscle,7–38 in whole-body) exceeded toxic thresholds and teratogenic effects were observed in fish collected in 2013. A high proportion (28.9 percent) of juvenile Lepomis spp. exhibited spin a land craniofacial malformations that were consistent with selenium poisoning. Teratogenic Deformity Index values indicated population-level impacts on the fishery. The partially monetized cost of resultant fishery losses was calculated at over $US 8. 6 million annually, and over $US 217 million for the entire period of damage, which dates back to 1987 when chemical and biological monitoring began.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Lemly, A. Dennis. 2014. Teratogenic effects and monetary cost of selenium poisoning of fish in Lake Sutton, North Carolina. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 104: 160-167.


    Selenium, Coal ash, Fish deformities, Terata, Damaged value, Damage cost

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page