Midwest Mercury

April 13 2005 - 1:57 PM

Wisconsin is now suing the government… Does anyone know of a good consistent source that keeps track of mercury levels?

From the Pioneer Press

Mercury settles in waterways and
accumulates in fish. In people who eat those fish, the toxic metal can
cause neurological and developmental problems, particularly in fetuses
and children.

The governor said mercury pollution seriously threatens Wisconsin’s
sport fishing industry, which employs 30,000 people, as well as women
of childbearing age, pregnant women and young children.

An estimated 40 percent of mercury emissions come from power plants,
but those emissions have not been regulated as a pollutant, although
the EPA has regulated mercury in water and from municipal waste and
medical waste incinerators.

Doyle agreed a federal standard is needed, saying that even with
tough standards here, emissions from neighboring states can still harm
interior waterways.

"We have a strong standard in Wisconsin, but an incredibly weak
proposed national standard that in fact would have us step backward,"
Doyle said.

In Wisconsin, 90 percent of the lakes and streams have high levels
of the toxin and every lake and stream in the state is under a fish
consumption advisory. Still, people eat more fish than the national
average.

A study in which hair samples from 2,000 volunteers were examined
found many residents had higher levels of mercury than are considered
safe, said Dr. Henry Anderson, chief medical officer for environmental
and occupational health at the state Department of Health and Family
Services.

"One in five volunteers have levels that exceeded the risk level,"
of 1 part per billion, Anderson said Monday. Randomly collected samples
are still being analyzed, he said.

Comments