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The Cost of Progress: Mercury in Every Stream and Fish

After eight years researching mercury levels in the nation’s streams, scientists at the United States Geological Survey unveiled some bad news yesterday: Every

Jul 31, 2020
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After eight years researching mercury levels in the nation’s streams, scientists at the United States Geological Survey unveiled some bad newsyesterday: Every fish taken from nearly 300 streams between 1998 and 2005 tested positive for Mercury, a neurotoxin, with 27 percent containing levels deemed unfit for human consumption. The Associated Press lays outboth the dangers, and the sources of contamination:
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.
The study provides yet another boost for legislation to move the country away from its heavy reliance on dirty fuels like coal. But not everyone has greeted the news with alarm. The Center for Consumer Freedom, a group backed by the food and restaurant industry, shot out a statement yesterday disputing the findings, arguing that the mercury levels reported by USGS are no cause for concern.
“There’s nothing new about tiny traces of mercury in fish,” David Martosko, the group’s director of research, said in a statement. “[I]t’s been there since the first ocean creatures evolved.”
Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood

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Camilo Wood has over two decades of experience as a writer and journalist, specializing in finance and economics. With a degree in Economics and a background in financial research and analysis, Camilo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his writing. Throughout his career, Camilo has contributed to numerous publications, covering a wide range of topics such as global economic trends, investment strategies, and market analysis. His articles are recognized for their insightful analysis and clear explanations, making complex financial concepts accessible to readers. Camilo's experience includes working in roles related to financial reporting, analysis, and commentary, allowing him to provide readers with accurate and trustworthy information. His dedication to journalistic integrity and commitment to delivering high-quality content make him a trusted voice in the fields of finance and journalism.
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