You come home from work one day and you see your son playing in the yard. You walk up to greet him and see a broken thermometer in his hands. He has mercury on his hands. This is one of a parent’s worst nightmares. Mercury or “quicksilver” is the 80th element on the periodic table. It is the only metal that stays at a liquid at room temperature. It is also very deadly if ingested. If a large amount of it is inserted in the body mercury will cause nervous system shutdown and death. In smaller amounts it can cause mercury poisoning. You will be surprised to find out what one of the most common ways to ingest mercury is. Eating fish is one of the most common ways!
I read an article that said that it was more dangerous to let your child eat tuna fish every night than to let them play with the mercury from a thermometer. The reason for this is that many fish have high mercury levels. Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that come from old rocks. The main way that it gets into the water is from coal plants. What happens is that mercury is inside of the coal and when the coal is burned of the mercury is released into the air in gas form. Then the mercury rains down in rain. Then a little tiny microbe takes in a little of it. then a fish comes and eats a bunch of microbes, then a bigger fish eats the little fish. This goes on until a person eats a fish. When a person eats a fish the impacts can be bad. The FDA has put a limit on the fish a pregnant woman can eat because if they eat to many their baby can get sick.
To rap this all up there is a solution. There is a mechanism that can reduce the mercury levels at a coal plant but very few coal plants have installed them. This is just another example of people showing no regard for the world and feeling the repercussions which in this case is mercury in our water, our fish, and our bodies.