Monday, September 20, 2021


The American Rescue Plan could provide essential training to boost jobs in construction; and a trauma-informed approach to preventing marijuana use in teens.


The U.S. military apologizes for a drone strike that killed 10 Afghan civilians, the Justice for J6 rally in Washington draws few, the CDC says it will help public health departments, and France recalls its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Report: Mercury Contaminating More than Just Fish


Wednesday, January 25, 2012   

NEW YORK - Levels of mercury in New York's birds and bats are at dangerously high levels, a new study has found. The problem is widespread in the Northeast, it says, and especially severe in upstate communities which have had problems with acid rain.

Most people think of mercury contamination as affecting fish and mostly a concern in remote areas, says Dr. Timothy Tear, director of science for The Nature Conservancy. However, he says, the "Hidden Risk" report shows that the mercury problem is far more widespread.

"Our report has shown that it is a problem in the land-based or terrestrial world, and it's in a lot more species, including many species of birds."

Birds at contaminated sites are three times more likely to abandon their nests, the report says, so they are less likely to reproduce. Mercury contains a potent neurotoxin that, in humans, can be passed on to children in the uterus and can result in learning disorders and nerve damage.

Mercury gets into the air from coal that is burned in power plants, Tear says. People and wildlife in the Adirondacks and Catskills are getting a one-two punch, he says, especially in areas affected by the ongoing problem of acid rain.

"We now know that mercury gets into the environment and is associated with that acid rain, and it makes it worse. So, for us, it's both an acid-rain problem and a neurotoxic rain problem - and we need to solve them both."

The Environmental Protection Agency adopted new federal mercury-pollution standards last month which are likely to be challenged in court, says Syracuse University professor Charles Driscoll, director of the Center for Environmental Systems Engineering.

"We know that most of the mercury contamination comes from the atmosphere, and so I think that the fact that we have this Utility Mercury Rule is good because that's our major emission source in the U.S."

The new rules to limit mercury pollution are slated to take effect during the next four years.

The report is online at

get more stories like this via email

This, year the theme of Sea Otter Awareness Week is the species' key role in the mosaic of the ecosystem. (Wikimedia Commons)


MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…


LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …

The Nature Conservancy says the U.S. loses nearly 1 million acres of forest lands each year through development and other factors, reducing nature's ability to capture and store carbon dioxide. (Adobe Stock)


DULUTH, Minn. - As Minnesota looks to address the impact of climate change on the region, land managers and policymakers are reminded of the role …

Health and Wellness

By Savanna Strott for Eye on Ohio, The Ohio Center for Journalism Broadcast version by Emily Scott for Ohio News Connection. COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio …

According to the CDC, around 181 million Americans have received COVID-19 vaccinations. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- One in five unvaccinated Kentuckians say they are open to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new poll from the …

Health and Wellness

HELENA, Mont. - It can be hard for people with disabilities to afford the assistive technology they need to perform daily activities. A program in …

Social Issues

LA CONNER, Wash. - The exhibit of an artist who depicted the lives of farmworkers in northwest Washington has been recognized for its quality…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021