What Exactly Are You Putting on Your Skin?

3/09/2010

Are Fish in Freshwater Streams Polluted with Mercury?


Have you wondered how bad the mercury pollution really is in our fish population? In a new study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), every single fish tested from 291 freshwater streams across the United States was found to be contaminated with mercury. 

"This study shows just how widespread
mercury pollution has become in our air, watersheds and many of our fish in freshwater streams," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that builds up in the food chain at ever higher concentrations in predators such as large fish and humans. It is especially damaging to the developing nervous systems of fetuses and children, but can have severe effects on adults, as well. 



The pollutant enters the environment almost wholly as atmospheric emissions from industrial processes, primarily the burning of coal for electricity. It then spreads across the plant and settles back to the surface, eventually concentrating in rivers, lakes and oceans, where it enters the aquatic food chain.

The number one cause of human mercury poisoning in the United States is the consumption of fish and shellfish.

Researchers tested the water, sediment and fish of the 291 streams between 1998 and 2005. Fish tested were mostly larger species near the top of the food chain, such as largemouth bass.

All fish were
contaminated with mercury, and more than 66 percent of them at levels higher than those set by the Environmental Protection Agency as a "level of concern for fish-eating mammals," according to Reuters. More than 25 percent of the fish were contaminated at levels higher than those set as the threshold for human consumption.

The study is the first to focus on
mercury contamination of streams, rather than lakes, reservoirs, wetlands or oceans. The researchers found the highest mercury concentrations in fish from the coastal blackwater streams of the Southeast. Apparently the combination of pine forests and wooded wetlands found in these regions transforms mercury very effectively into its more toxic organic form (methylmercury). Mercury concentrations were also high in streams fed from areas with a history of mining.


Source: Natural News 100 Percent of Fish in U.S. Streams Found Contaminated with Mercury

comments

7 Responses to " Are Fish in Freshwater Streams Polluted with Mercury? "
  1. Arlene said...
    3/13/2010

    Tami - your posts are always so informative and interesting! Thank you for all the time and effort you put into them!

    I have given you an award! For details, see my latest blog post: http://www.spiritessenceart.com/2010/03/ive-won-award.html

  2. greenme said...
    3/18/2010

    hi friends .. I like this article very helpful for me,,,,
    what about link exchange..??

  3. Shane at Environmental Health-Wellness-Beauty,LLC said...
    3/22/2010

    Dr. Oz is having a show tomorrow about our polluted water. Be sure to catch it.

  4. LC David said...
    3/26/2010

    Good information of Mercury pollution, i wish to attend the Dr, Oz Show.
    Chiropractic Saint Paul

  5. ARUNA said...
    4/01/2010

    That's a nice article, very good info!!

  6. Anavar said...
    7/14/2010

    I think all big fish, no mater sweet or salt water contain mercury in flesh. This is because big fish eat smaller fish and this way they get more mercury into body.

  7. Trish said...
    7/26/2010

    I have Bipolar II and eating fish-salmon-is very good for me/people who have diseases of all kinds. But, the mercury is bad news! I have found a company-not cheap-but the salmon has no nitrites/no mercury! www.vitalchoice.com

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