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Tagged : us-geological-survey

Mercury in fish: The scale of the problem and what you can do about it

September 4th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Here’s a little cautionary tale about how bigger is not always better, and knowing who to blame doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. It’s also about the inter-connectedness of our energy and food systems, and specifically how coal-fired power plants affect your diet.

Say you were camping with friends and caught a really BIG fish. This squirming monster would give you bragging rights for a year. Now say you caught a smaller fish, suitable for pan frying but not Kodak-worthy.

What do you do? If you’re Daniel Boone, you toss the little guy back. But if you’re a post-industrial age sportsman or woman, you will want to consider this: Keep the big hunker and you’ve got more to eat, and disproportionately more mercury contamination.

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River fish contaminated with mercury

August 19th, 2009

By David Louie

PALO ALTO, CA (KGO) — A federal agency has issued an alarming report that mercury contamination in fish has become widespread across the country, including Northern California. Many people fish for recreation; they also eat what they catch. But the U.S. Geological Survey says they also could be ingesting unhealthy levels of mercury. >> Read the full story

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Mercury emissions contaminating Pacific Ocean seafood

May 4th, 2009

By Laura Elizabeth May
Green Right Now

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a study showing an increase in mercury emissions from human sources is affecting the fish population in the Pacific Ocean.

Scientists had predicted a 50 percent increase in mercury levels in the Pacific Ocean by 2050, if mercury emission rates continue as projected. Human contribution to mercury pollution includes coal burning power plants and waste incineration. The water sampled for this study — released May 1 — shows that the mercury levels in 2006 were already approximately 30 percent higher than the same samples in the 1990′s.

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