MERCURY POLLUTION: WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW

BY ON March 29, 2011

From Abbie Walston, a science teacher and mom, at Farmer’s Daughter on what every parent should know about mercury pollution from coal plants:

My dad tells a story of his science teacher handing out vials of mercury and allowing students to play with it and watch how it pools. Today, we aren’t even allowed to have mercury thermometers in school, and there are news reports of schools being evacuated due to a broken thermometer. We now know that mercury is toxic to kids.

1 in 10 American women of childbearing age have potentially dangerous levels of mercury in their bodies.

410,000 US children are exposed to dangerous levels of mercury in the womb each year.

Abbie Walston writes about mercury pollution

95% of the methylmercury we consume is absorbed through our small intestines and enters our bloodstream, which carries it to the rest of our body.  It will eventually be excreted over a period of weeks to months.

Methylmercury easily crosses the placenta and travels into a fetus’s blood and organs, including his or her brain.

Methylmercury levels in an unborn child’s blood can accumulate to be higher than the levels in his or her mother’s blood.

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TOPICS: Coal, Mercury Poisoning, Pollution