More Coastal Hazards: Mercury In Fog Is Bathing Us With Mercury
Written by 991KBU on December 3, 2019
The California coastline may be getting bathed in toxic levels of methyl-mercury.
The toxin is a byproduct of the world’s addiction to fossil fuels.
The methyl-mercury is deposited int he oceans by pollution from burning coal … which falls into the ocean … and coats the land.
It blows ashore in the fog … and lands in the lichen and other green plants in coastal mountains.
Small animals eat the plants … big animals eat the small animals … and mountain lions are at the top of the food chain.
Researchers at U C Santa Cruz have detected the poison in the blood and fur of mountain lions … which they have analyzed in the coastal mountains near Santa Cruz.
And the level of mercury is alarming.
Those levels of mercury are approaching toxic thresholds for the mountain lions in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The danger zone for mercury levels is between 3 and 21 parts per million.
The average for the 94 pumas tested is almost there …. 1.5 parts per million.
One mountain lion who was tested exceeded the 21 parts per million level.
And it was found dead.
The U C Santa Cruz researchers say the mercury release is a global issue … and solutions are hard to come by.
So this leads to the big question …. what about people.
Mercury is released into the environment through mining and coal-fired power plants.
Everyone on earth has small amounts of the neurotoxin in their system, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
How is the coastal fog … laden with mercury vapor … affecting human health???
A huge question.
The SF Chronicle broke the story two days ago: https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Mercury-in-the-fog-is-poisoning-Santa-Cruz-14873493.php
And the LA Times also reports: https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Mercury-in-the-fog-is-poisoning-Santa-Cruz-14873493.php