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One State Wants to Put Pythons on the Menu

It has 'the texture of fish, but ... tastes more like chicken'

(Newser) - Python and a brew, anyone? That might just become a happy-hour special in Florida if it turns out the snakes are safe enough to eat. But state officials first have to figure out whether Florida pythons contain too much mercury, CNN reports. "We would like to use consumption as...

The Maya Had Good Reason to Abandon Tikal
The Maya Had Good
Reason to Abandon Tikal
new study

The Maya Had Good Reason to Abandon Tikal

Researchers dig deep into the city's reservoirs

(Newser) - Why did the Maya flee the majestic city-state of Tikal? Experts say overpopulation, overexploitation of land, and droughts drove them out in the ninth century AD. Now, another cause: poisoned water. A new study says there's evidence of mercury and toxic algae ruining the drinking water just as residents...

FBI: Teen Stole Mercury Spilled in Houston

Up to 60 people had to be decontaminated

(Newser) - A 19-year-old is in FBI custody after dozens of people were exposed to mercury. Whether this happened by accident remains under investigation. Less than a pint of the toxic metal was found Sunday on the ground near three adjacent businesses, including a Walmart that houses a McDonald's, reports the...

Mountain Lions May Have Unusual Enemy—Fog
Mountain Lions May Have
Unusual Enemy—Fog
new study

Mountain Lions May Have Unusual Enemy—Fog

Scientists say mercury-laden fog results in dangerously high levels in California pumas

(Newser) - It's not the type of predator that turns up in nature shows. But researchers in California say fog—yes, fog—poses a threat to mountain lions, reports Smithsonian . The reason? The marine fog in the Santa Cruz Mountains carries mercury, and that neurotoxin settles on the ground and works...

Toxic Metals Found in 95% of Baby Foods
Toxic Metals Found
in 95% of Baby Foods

Toxic Metals Found in 95% of Baby Foods

Contaminants hurt developing brains, researchers warn

(Newser) - Toxic metals now banned in pesticides still linger in our soil and water—and they are present in a frightening proportion of baby foods, according to a new study. Researchers at the Healthy Babies Bright Futures Foundation say arsenic, lead, mercury, or cadmium were found in almost all of the...

Woman in Coma After Using Face Cream
Woman in Coma After
Using Face Cream

Woman in Coma After Using Face Cream

Sacramento woman bought skin-lightening cream in Mexico tainted with mercury

(Newser) - A 47-year-old woman from Sacramento, Calif., stumbled into the ER earlier this summer, slurring her speech and complaining of numbness in her face and hands. Soon after, she slipped into a semi-comatose state, which she's now been in for weeks, and health officials say they've traced the cause...

A Family Didn't Feel Well. Then They Found More Silver Droplets

AC installer charged after mercury found in Queens home

(Newser) - Silver droplets on the floor of a Queens home provided the first sign that something was amiss. A further probe into Roman Pinkhasov's air-conditioning vents, where more of the silver material was found, led to the guy who had installed the units—and now that guy, 48-year-old Yuriy Kruk,...

Famed Astronomer's Remains Have High Levels of ... Gold?

Famously wealthy, eccentric scientist appears to have been surrounded by gold

(Newser) - Tycho Brahe was an unusual man. The Danish astronomer from the late 1500s who laid the foundation for modern astronomy was extremely wealthy, had a pet moose, and according to a new analysis of his hair and bones, was also—literally—full of gold, reports the University of South Denmark...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

Maine Law Targets CFL Mercury
 Maine Law Targets CFL Mercury 

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...

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...

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...

Mercury Found in Corn Syrup
 Mercury Found in Corn Syrup 

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...

Sundance Stunner Sheds Light on Dolphin Slaughter
Sundance Stunner Sheds Light on Dolphin Slaughter

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,...

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