U.S government study: Mercury contamination found in fish from freshwater streams


According to a U. S government study, mercury contamination is found in every one of hundreds of fish. These results were found after testing fish from 291 freshwater streams.

More than a quarter of those fish contained concentrations of mercury exceeding levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency for the protection of people who eat average amounts of fish, the U.S. Geological Survey report said.

More than two-thirds exceeded the EPA-set level of concern for fish-eating mammals.

"This study shows just how widespread mercury pollution has become in our air, watersheds, and many of our fish in freshwater streams," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. The USGS is part of the Interior Department.

Some of the highest levels of mercury in the latest study were found in the coastal "blackwater" streams of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana -- relatively undeveloped areas marked by abundant pine forests and wooded wetlands.

The EPA plans on issuing new rules under the Clean Air Act this year. The plan is to control air emissions of mercury from coal-fired power plants.



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