Friday, January 11, 2013

Global Mercury Pollution In Oceans Top Layer Doubled In Last Century

They mention nerve damage. They don't mention the fact that it causes brain damage, the brain being composed of nerves.

Libertarians and other Republicans will be happy to see the results of lack of regulation on people trying to get rich.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/global-mercury-pollution-emissions-oceans_n_2445717.html

AP | By By JOHN HEILPRIN Posted: 01/10/20

Mercury pollution in the top layer of the world's oceans has doubled in the past century, part of a man-made problem that will require international cooperation to fix, the U.N.'s environment agency said Thursday.

The report by the U.N. Environment Program showed for the first time that hundreds of tons of mercury have leaked from the soil into rivers and lakes around the world.

As a result of rising emissions, communities in developing countries face increasing health and environmental risks linked to exposure to mercury, the U.N. agency says.

Mercury, a toxic metal, is widely used in chemical production and small-scale mining, particularly gold. It is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water and soil, and it cannot be created or destroyed.

Mercury emissions come from sources such as coal burning and the use of mercury to separate metal from ore in small-scale gold mining, and mercury pollution also comes from discarded electronic and other consumer products. Mercury in the air settles into soil from where it can then seep into water.

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Mercury concentrations accumulate in fish and go up the food chain, posing the greatest risk of nerve damage to pregnant women, women of childbearing age and young children.

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Over the past 100 years, mercury found in the top 100 meters of the world's oceans has doubled and concentrations in waters deeper than that have gone up by 25 percent, the U.N. agency said, while rivers and lakes contain an estimated 260 metric tons of mercury that was previously held in soils.

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