Mercury Levels Still on the Rise
We all have heard that eating too much fish may be bad for your health, especially for pregnant woman. That fish you may love from your frequently visited sushi house such as tuna, swordfish, king mackerel, and shellfish can be potentially more dangerous in the years to come. The administrator from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that a new study has shown them a better understanding of how dangerous levels of mercury move into our air, our water, and the food we eat, and shines new light on a major health threat to Americans and people all across the world. This indicates to researchers that dangerous mercury levels are still on the rise.
With this new information the EPA plans to continue working with our international partners to help cut mercury pollution in the years ahead and protect the health of millions of people. This is a pretty alarming topic. Not just for sushi lovers but for the ocean wildlife and ecosystems. Water samples done in 2006 shows that mercury levels were 30 percent higher than when measured in the 1990s. So this new study reveals a few new things that are kinda scary. The first thing is that methyl mercury was found in the North Pacific ocean. Methyl mercury is a soluble and highly toxic form of mercury which is basically formed from Algae that floats around the surface of the ocean then quickly dies and trickles down to the deep of the ocean where it decomposes and this process of decomposition mixed with mercury, forms methyl mercury. The other unexpected finding was that a lot of this mercury is being swept in from the Asian coasts. Usually scientists look to the skies if there are mercury levels that are on the rise. They have known for a long time how mercury deposited from the atmosphere to freshwater ecosystems can be transformed into methyl mercury but they have now learned something they didn’t know which is more about the transformation of mercury to methyl mercury and that they know a majority of it is coming from the Asian coasts. Scientists predict with the increased mercury emissions from human sources there could be a 50 percent increase in mercury in the Pacific by 2050.
I guess if you’re a vegetarian this may not concern you all that much but mercury is also in the air we breathe too and the biggest way we contribute to this is the coal fired power plants that counts for 65% of mercury that is released in our environment. We can only hope that the EPA stays on top of there game and can help to regulate and put a limit on emissions on power plants in the US. Also to continue to work with other countries to control the amount of Mercury that is polluted into our earth.
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