Mercury is a known neurotoxin and for this reason, it has been targeted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a primary target for improvement. Airborne mercury toxins not only stay in the air, but settle in the water and ground, making fish and food toxic, not to mention the mercury released into the air through car and other exhaust. Power plants are the biggest source of airborne mercury in the United States as well as the rest of the world. 9 references. jvMercst.rtf
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only stay in the air, but settle in the water and ground, making fish and food toxic, not to mention the mercury released into the air through car and other
exhaust. Power plants are the biggest source of airborne mercury in the United States as well as the rest of the world.
(Lutter & Irwin, 2002, 24). Coal burners supply roughly one-third of all the mercury in the air globally. According to Raloff (2000, in the United States, there are 40 tons
of metal mercury going into the air each year from power plant emissions. "The National Research Council cites prenatal exposure effects ranging from mental retardation and cerebral palsy to deafness
and blindness. Exposure in adults can result in sensory and motor impairment, such as slurred speech, blurred vision, tremors and memory loss." (Government Document Clearinghouse, 2004). While most studies support
this claim, recent studies by the U.S. government and private researchers have found that the extent of the effects of mercury is less than previously believed. The problem is that
although the extent of the neurological effects of mercury have been reduced, the amount of mercury in the air has substantially increased, making mercury air pollution one of the highest
priorities since it affects people of all ages and classes. Unfortunately, ridding the world of mercury air pollution is not an easy task.
A study conducted by the EPA and Environment Canada (2002) found that mercury in the atmosphere, globally, can be attributed to three sources, each accounting for a third of mercury
in the atmosphere. They are natural means, or by nature, industrial, and the recycling of anthropogenic mercury. "Anthropogenic mercury" builds up in