Mercury Lobbyist

BY ON June 20, 2013

Danny Shanhan mercury lobbyist cartoon

Did you know American Electric Power and FirstEnergy are spending millions of ratepayer dollars on lawsuits that would give them the right to pollute our air, water and food with mercury?

Here are some of the harmful health effects from mercury:

Methylmercury affects more than 630,000 newborns each year, interfering with brain and nervous system development. Deficits in cognitive thinking, memory, language, motor and visual spatial skills have all been linked to children exposed to methylmercury in the womb. It’s because of these risks that women are advised to abstain from eating fish while they are pregnant or nursing.

Mercury poisoning is also a possible health risk to those who consume mercury-laden fish. Immediate symptoms of mercury poisoning include:

  • Impairment of peripheral vision
  • A “pins and needles” sensation in the hands, feet and around the mouth
  • Lack of coordination
  • Impairment of speech, hearing and walking
  • Muscle weakness

You can steer clear of mercury-infected fish by keeping tabs on local water and fish advisories. The Environmental Defense Fund has safe fish charts that make it easy to select the right fish for dinner.

These power companies, which we pay to support, should be investing in scrubbing mercury emissions from their power plants — something many of their colleagues in the coal industry have already done. AEP and FirstEnergy can certainly afford to do that for its customers. We certainly can’t afford the cost of mercury pollution to our children’s health.


TOPICS: Mercury Poisoning, Politics