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Mercury Emissions Increase.

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Mercury Emissions Increase.

Post  Gio on Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:06 pm

Mercury can be released into the environment through a number of industrial processes including mining, metal and cement production and burning fossil fuels. Another characteristic is that mercury becomes more concentrated as it moves up the food chain, reaching its highest levels in predator fish that may be consumed by humans. Once this is emitted, it stays in the environment for a long time while circling through air, water, soil and living things.
According to a UN report, nations are now facing new environmental risks from the increase in mercury emissions. It says that the main cause of this is because of small-scale mining, coal burning and the use of fossil fuel.
"Economic growth has driven an increase in mercury emissions in southern and eastern Asia, which now accounts for about half of global emissions," "Emissions in Sub-Saharan Africa and South America are slowly rising, while emissions are declining in North America and Europe."

But why is this bad for us?

“Highly Toxic”
The World Health Organization (WHO) says: "Mercury is highly toxic to human health, posing a particular threat to the development of the (unborn) child and early in life.
"The inhalation of mercury vapor can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal. "The inorganic salts of mercury are corrosive to the skin, eyes and gastrointestinal tract, and may induce kidney toxicity if ingested."
The Unep assessment says that the concentration of mercury in the top 100m of the world's oceans has doubled over the past century, and estimates that 260 tonnes of the toxic metal has made it way from soil into rivers and lakes.
The UN Environment Program shows that Global emissions of mercury to the air in 2010 from human activities were estimated at 1960 tonnes. It is expected that the amount of mercury emissions in our environment will continue to increase as long as we continue to burn and mine fossil fuels (ie. Coal).
Taken From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20972620

Gio

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