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Seafood Contamination by Airborne Mercury

Posted Dec 25 2012 10:06pm
Posted on Dec. 25, 2012, 6 a.m. in Environment Nutrition

Over the past century, mercury pollution in the surface ocean has more than doubled, as a result of past and present human activities such as coal burning, mining, and other industrial processes.  A project of Dartmouth College (New Hampshire, USA), C-MERC – the Coastal and Marine Mercury Ecosystem Research Collaborative, monitors mercury pollution in the marine environment.  The team presents a series of compelling scientific papers representing the culmination of two years of work that synthesizes the science on the sources, fate, and human exposure to mercury in marine systems by tracing the pathways and transformation of mercury to methylmercury from sources to seafood to consumers. Importantly, C-MERC reports that mercury released into the air and then deposited into oceans contaminates seafood commonly eaten by people in the United States and globally. Specifically, the team’s data suggests that mercury deposited from the atmosphere ranges from 56% of the mercury loading to several large gulfs to approximately 90% in the open ocean.  These deposits can find their way into the meat of fish such as tuna and swordfish, which together account for more than half of the mercury intake from seafood for the overall American population. 

Chen CY, Driscoll CT, Lambert KF, Mason RP, Rardin LR, Serrell N, Sunderland EM.  “Marine mercury fate: From sources to seafood consumers.”  Environ Res. 2012 Nov;119:1-2.

  
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#94 - Breathe Easy
People spend about 90% of their time indoors. Consequently. the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors that outdoors. Cut down on indoor triggers of allergies and asthma by following these simple tips:
• Remove pets from the home and thoroughly clean to eliminate their dander.
• Opt for leather furniture rather than upholstered pieces, since leather is an impervious material that is resistant to breeding dust mites.
• Eliminate carpet and drapes.
• Dust both vertical and horizontal surfaces weekly.
• Keep indoor humidity below 50% year round.
• Open windows for an hour each day during dry seasons to improve ventilation.
• Clean mold off shower curtains, bathroom and basement walls and other surfaces with a solution of bleach, detergent and water.
• Use a dehumidifier if your basement is damp or musty.
• Never allow smoking in the house.
 
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