25 Jul '12, 7pm

Heavy metal fish: How mercury ends up on your plate

Heavy metal fish: How mercury ends up on your plate

Image courtesy of Shutterstock . Look at any seafood guide and you’re bound to come across the occasional red flag with an ominous warning: “High in Mercury.” Scary enough, but what exactly does that mean? Just how is mercury winding up in the fish on your plate? Mercury itself isn’t a bogeyman, as it occurs naturally at low levels in rock, soil and water throughout the world. But about half of all mercury released into the atmosphere today comes from the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, with contributions from waste incineration, mining and other industrial activities. This mercury pollution falls directly into the ocean and other water bodies or onto land, where it can be washed into waterways. In this form, mercury poses little danger because living things can get rid of it quickly. But bacteria convert mercury as it’s carried down from the ocean ...

Full article: http://grist.org/article/heavy-metal-fish-how-mercury-end...

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