As part of Children’s Health month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry today launched its “Don’t Mess with Mercury” video in an effort to protect children from the dangers of mercury. The EPA responds to numerous mercury spills every year that are primarily caused by children playing with mercury. The EPA’s cost for cleanup can range anywhere from $3,000 to $300,000 or more. The cost to the environment, and in some cases, human health is not quantifiable. Continue Reading →
A new study about mercury in the Pacific Ocean is completely irrelevant to consumers who eat tuna and other marine fish, the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) said today. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists, whose work was published today in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, tested only ocean water, not fish. Despite the lack of any new data on mercury levels in actual seafood, a USGS press release claimed that “increased mercury emissions from human sources… contaminate tuna and other seafood.”
In a recently concluded legal case which struck down a demand for warning labels on tuna cans, two different California courts found that virtually all the mercury traces in tuna and other ocean fish are “naturally occurring.”
And today’s USGS study can’t dispute the December 2003 findings of Francois Morel, the noted Princeton University geochemist. Morel’s research found that mercury levels in Pacific Ocean tuna did not increase at all during a 27-year period, despite a significant increase in human-generated atmospheric mercury. Continue Reading →
Today, at a meeting with state department officials, green groups will recommend that the U.S. Government support a legally binding treaty on mercury at the United Nations meeting next week in Nairobi, Kenya. The groups plan on distributing a letter signed by 50 U.S.-based groups and another 40 abroad, urging President Obama (and copied to Secretary of State Clinton, CEQ Director Sutley and EPA Administrator Jackson) to support a mercury treaty.
“The upcoming UNEP Governing Council meeting will provide the Obama administration with its first opportunity on the world stage to demonstrate a real change in the U.S. approach to international environmental issues,” said Michael Bender, a drafter of the letter, and co-coordinator for the Zero Mercury Working Group, a coalition of 75 groups around the world promoting mercury reduction. Continue Reading →