Regional actions urged to track mercury’s entry into the Great Lakes
Ann Arbor, Mich. – New actions are needed to better understand
how mercury enters the Great Lakes and what can be done to eliminate the health
risks posed by this pollutant. That’s the main recommendation of a report
released today by the Great Lakes Commission, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based agency
established by the
The report promotes further efforts to monitor mercury in the atmosphere and in rainfall and snowfall to determine how this contaminant enters the region’s lakes and rivers. Recommendations include increasing research on how mercury moves from the atmosphere into fish and whether efforts to cut mercury air emissions will be sufficient to reduce levels in fish to safe amounts.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) estimates that as many
as several hundred thousand children are born in the
Mercury enters the
While mercury levels in water are easily measured, the processes by which mercury accumulates in fish are not fully understood. More work is needed to quantify how much of a reduction in mercury emissions is needed to protect to human and wildlife health. The report also recommends steps to better understand how mercury moves from the atmosphere to watersheds and water bodies, how mercury gets converted to the form – methylmercury – that accumulates in fish, and how methylmercury moves through the food chain to affect people and wildlife that consume fish.
The report was prepared with the help of
The report can be obtained at www.glc.org/glad/.
For more information, contact Jon Dettling at 734-971-9150 or