A Guide to Staying Healthy and Fighting Back
The Dangers of Mercury
Exposure to mercury, even in small amounts, is a great danger to humans and wildlife.
When mercury enters the body it acts as a neurotoxin, which means it harms our brain and nervous system. Mercury exposure is especially dangerous to pregnant women and young children, but all adults are at risk for serious medical problems.
Most mercury pollution is produced by coal-fired power plants and other industrial processes. The most common way we are exposed to mercury is by eating contaminated fish.
NRDC is working hard to reduce mercury pollution in our air and water.
Protect Yourself and Your Family from Mercury Exposure
Here are some resources to help you reduce your exposure to mercury:
- Learn more about the dangerous effects of mercury
- Understand your risk with our Mercury Calculator
- Follow these simple steps to reduce your risk
- Use our Mercury in Fish Wallet Card to easily identify safe options
- Take advantage of our Sushi Guide and Safe Sushi Card
- Find out the answers to common medical and dental questions (we also have more information for medical professionals)
Help Stop Mercury Pollution
The Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized an important set of clean air safeguards to reduce toxic pollution, including mercury, from power plants. Similar standards were adopted for cement plants in 2010. Collectively, these standards would reduce many tons of mercury, cut harmful acid gases, and limit known carcinogens such as arsenic. Moreover, these standards will save thousands of lives and prevent tens of thousands of asthma attacks.
Unfortunately, mercury standards adopted for industrial boilers in 2013 are now the subject of litigation. EPA is also reconsidering portions of the standards it previously issued. As a result, there are currently no national limits on toxic air pollution from industrial boilers -- and these standards are already almost a decade overdue. These industrial facilities are the second largest source of man-made mercury emissions in the United States, and it is critical that EPA craft and implement strong standards that will protect our health and families from this dangerous pollution. Take action to protect your health today.
Learn about the assault on the EPA and the Clean Air Act, and what NRDC has been doing to reduce mercury pollution.
A Global Issue: Reducing Worldwide Mercury Emissions
Mercury is a pollutant that knows no borders. Mercury released halfway across the globe can end up in your local lake or in the fish you buy in your grocery store.
That's why NRDC worked with the United Nations and the Zero Mercury Working Group, a coalition of over 80 non-governmental organizations, on a global treaty to cut mercury pollution around the world.
last revised 1/28/2014
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