mercury

20 Stories

How a Gold Rush Sickened 50K in Peru

Mining process sends mercury into waterways

(Newser) - Gold miners hoping to strike it rich in Peru appear to have inflicted the miserable side effect of mercury poisoning on an estimated 48,000 people. Peru's government declared a 60-day health emergency last month after Duke researchers analyzed hair from a sample of 3,000 Madre de Dios... More »

The Weird Reason Mercury Levels Rise Along Coast

Blame molting seals

(Newser) - When elephant seals molt along the California coast, they shed more than fur. Scientists at the University of California at Santa Cruz have figured out that they're also leaving behind potentially dangerous levels of mercury—in that same fur, reports Smithsonian . It's a cycle that goes something like... More »

SCOTUS Smacks Down Obama Emissions Plan

Says EPA jumped gun on regulations on mercury, other pollutants

(Newser) - In a 2014 ruling , an appeals court decided that the Environmental Protection Agency "properly [put] the horse before the cart" in coming up with mandates to limit power-plant emissions of mercury and other pollutants. The Supreme Court today overturned that ruling, blocking a key White House environmental initiative because... More »

Mercury Spill Shuts Down Ohio Daycare

30 kids had to get decontamination showers

(Newser) - All ended well, but a show-and-tell presentation on mercury turned out to be way more informative than planned for 30 preschoolers. A worker at a Toledo daycare brought in a vintage blood-pressure monitor with mercury inside to show the kids, explains the Toledo Blade . It got left on the floor,... More »

3 More Judges See No Link Between Autism and Vaccines

Tuna sandwich more dangerous, says one

(Newser) - Three separate judges ruled today that vaccines containing mercury don’t lead to autism in children, with one saying that “normal fish-eating diet by pregnant mothers” presents more risk than the shots. The rulings are part of a series of nine test cases brought by 5,000 families seeking... More »

Fishy Tale Gets Piven Off the Hook

(Newser) - Jeremy Piven was on the level when he blamed mercury poisoning for his decision to bail on a Broadway production of Speed-the-Plow last December, an arbitrator has ruled. "While we respect the decision, we strongly disagree with it," the producers of the David Mamet play said in a... More »

Test Finds Mercury in Every Fish

A quarter contaminated beyond EPA safety limit

(Newser) - Catch a fish in one of America's streams, and there's a good chance it will have at least trace amounts of mercury. The most comprehensive survey to date from the US Geological Survey tested more than 1,000 fish from nearly 300 streams around the nation—and found mercury in... More »

Maine Law Targets CFL Mercury

Bill will make manufacturers lower mercury content, pay for safe recycling

(Newser) - Maine has become the first state in the nation to tackle the problem of mercury in low-energy light bulbs, the Boston Globe reports. A new state law requires manufacturers to reduce the amount of the toxic metal in the bulbs and pay for the cost of safe recycling, a measure... More »

Utilities Poison Water to Meet EPA Air Regs

(Newser) - A federal law that keeps utilities from poisoning the air is causing toxic metals to infiltrate US waterways, the Washington Post reports. As the Environmental Protection Agency debates possible solutions with lawmakers, utility companies are storing pollutants like mercury and selenium in sludge ponds that eventually leak into lakes and... More »

Piven Avoids Penalty for Broadway Absence

(Newser) - Jeremy Piven has escaped punishment—at least for now—for bailing on the Broadway play Speed-the-Plow, reports Playbill. Piven insists he had to leave because of mercury poisoning, but the producers aren't buying it. The actor appeared before representatives of the Actors' Equity Association and the Broadway League at a... More »

Mercury Found in Corn Syrup

Researchers believe contamination comes from corn syrup

(Newser) - A test of some of America's most popular processed foods has turned up trace amounts of mercury, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. Researchers believe that the mercury, found in levels far lower than in seafood, comes from plants that use caustic soda laced with mercury to produce high-fructose corn syrup, widely... More »

Sundance Stunner Sheds Light on Dolphin Slaughter

The Cove filmmakers aim to curb demand for mammals from aquariums, for food

(Newser) - Planning a trip to Sea World? You might want to go before you see The Cove—because you sure won’t want to after. The documentary, made by a National Geographic photographer and Flipper’s former trainer, takes viewers inside a secret cove in Japan, Andrew O’Hehir, from Sundance,... More »

Mercury Illness Was Real: Piven

Star defends decision to leave Broadway production

(Newser) - Jeremy Piven has taken a lot of flak since leaving the Broadway production of Speed-the-Plow due to unhealthy amounts of mercury in his body—including anonymous sources who said medical reasons were a cover for the fact that he was fired—but the condition was real, the actor tells People.... More »

'Mercury Count' Speeds Piven's Broadway Exit

Writer David Mamet is a little skeptical of star's ailment

(Newser) - Jeremy Piven is bailing on Broadway because of a high mercury count, and it doesn’t sound like David Mamet is buying the excuse, Variety reports. “My understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer,” said Mamet, who wrote Speed-the-Plow. The... More »

Women's Mercury Levels Tied to Region, Income

(Newser) - American women are afflicted by high Mercury levels depending on where they live and how much they earn, a new study says. Northeasterners are worst off, with a 20% chance of high mercury, 10 points higher than the national rate. Midwesterners eat less seafood and had lower levels overall, the... More »

Japanese Dolphin Cuisine: Cruelty or Culture?

Activists have no right to decry slaughter of Flipper's brethren, locals say

(Newser) - One activist calls the Japanese city of Taiji "ground zero for the largest slaughter of dolphins on planet Earth," but locals want him and his cohorts to mind their own business. Residents of Taiji have been eating dolphin meat for hundreds of years and say they have as... More »

Court Upbraids EPA for Mercury Cap-and-Trade

Greenies hail ruling, which will force agency to rewrite controls

(Newser) - A court ruled today that the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act by instituting a “cap-and-trade” program for the emission of mercury and other toxic chemicals. Reuters reports that the federal court's ruling means coal-fired plants will all have to invest in mercury-reduction equipment in order to... More »

'Sushi Capital' Japan Isn't Sweating Tuna Scare

Sushi capital continues to eat up

(Newser) - New Yorkers may be in the throes of a sushi scare after the Times reported on the dangerous mercury levels in tuna, but the Japanese aren't batting an eyelid. One official's biggest concern was that the controversy would ignite "groundless rumors" about a healthy food, AP reports. "We're... More »

High Mercury Levels Found in Tuna Sushi

FDA reconsidering warnings on seafood mercury

(Newser) - A quarter of tuna sushi sampled in New York contained mercury levels so high that the FDA could take legal action to ban the fish from the market, reports the New York Times.  Although the sushi was collected in New York City, experts believe samples elsewhere would be similar.... More »

Vaccine Mercury Ruled Out as Autism Cause: Study

Rates continued to climb even after most mercury was eliminated

(Newser) - Mercury in vaccines, long suspected as a cause of autism, has been ruled out in a new study of children suffering from the brain disorder.  Most mercury was removed from the vaccine preservative thimerosal  in 2001—but instead of autism rates falling, they continued to rise in California, according... More »

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