Off the Hook: The Social Inequities Inherent in Savannah River Mercury Fish Advisories



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis builds upon my findings of mercury contamination in the Savannah River (summarized in Chapter I and Chapter II) by examining the mercury exposure from fish consumption in the Savannah River. I examine the various complex problems surrounding elevated mercury levels in fish and fish consumption for Savannah River anglers (fishermen) utilizing a portfolio of methods in order to address the interconnected and web-like nature of the subject matter. Chapter III uses scientific discourses on mercury to provide the reader with the natural science background necessary to understand the following chapter. Chapter IV presents quantitative mercury analysis of the hair samples used to assess mercury impact on Savannah River anglers. Chapter V builds on the quantitative data presented in the preceding chapters, by providing a more qualitative analysis of the issues using participant-observation and questionnaire data. Chapter VI pulls together the threads introduced in the previous chapters from a political economy perspective.


Medical Anthropology


mercury, health, medical anthropology, anthropology, toxin, Savannah River, fish advisory, environment