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Posted Wed Aug 19 2009: from Associated Press:
New gov't study shows mercury in fish widespread
No fish can escape mercury pollution. That's the take-home message from a federal study of mercury contamination released Wednesday that tested fish from nearly 300 streams across the country. The toxic substance was found in every fish sampled, a finding that underscores how widespread mercury pollution has become.... Mercury consumed by eating fish can damage the nervous system and cause learning disabilities in developing fetuses and young children. The main source of mercury to most of the streams tested, according to the researchers, is emissions from coal-fired power plants. The mercury released from smokestacks here and abroad rains down into waterways, where natural processes convert it into methylmercury a form that allows the toxin to wind its way up the food chain into fish.
[Read more stories about: airborne pollutants, climate impacts, coal issues, contamination, heavy metals, toxic buildup]
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