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What is Mercury?  Chemical substance with chemical symbol Hg.  Odorless metal that exists in liquid form.  When heated changes to odorless & colorless.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Mercury?  Chemical substance with chemical symbol Hg.  Odorless metal that exists in liquid form.  When heated changes to odorless & colorless."— Presentation transcript:

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2 What is Mercury?  Chemical substance with chemical symbol Hg.  Odorless metal that exists in liquid form.  When heated changes to odorless & colorless gas.

3 Mercury as a pollutant  Mercury occurs naturally at low levels.  It also enters our environment from industrial wastes at high levels.  Main source of Mercury pollution is coal-fire power plants. Source: Center for Biological Diversity. Photo Credit USFWS

4  Disposal containing Mercury enter water streams.  Bacteria in the water change Mercury to Methyl Mercury.  Fishes consume Methyl mercury  People eat seafood, this might led to mercury exposure.

5 Magnitude of Mercury effect depends on  Age of an individual  Health status of an individual  Concentration of Mercury  Chemical formula of Mercury  Dose of Mercury  Method of exposure(inhaling, ingestion, skin contact)

6 How people get exposed to Mercury  Eating food contaminated with Mercury.  Drinking water and breathing air contaminated with Mercury.  Being exposed to Medical and dental treatment s that have Mercury. Ted Crow/The Plain Dealer

7 Mercury’s effect on Health  Mainly affects the Central Nervous system.  Interferes with functioning of the brain.  Can affect blood regulation.  Vision and memory loss.

8 Population high at risk  Children and Pregnant women are at a high risk because of their tolerance level (low).  Affects fetus and child development.  Affects immune system. Human fetus at 12 weeks - Courtesy, NIH

9 Facts on Mercury  According to Centers for Diseases control and Prevention estimated 10 percent of U.S women who are in childbearing age have Mercury level that doubles their risk of having kids with mental or neurological problems.

10 More facts on Mercury  A 2007 National Academy of Sciences report that “increased methyl mercury exposure might be a risk factor for adult cardiovascular toxicity”

11 More facts  According to an article published on June 30 th, 2o1o by Barbara Feiner “ mercury concentrations in freshwater fish are much higher than in saltwater fish, Duke University researchers have found that Methyl mercury in fresh water is a hazard to human health”

12 Mercury in the Catawba River  Catawba River is source of water for approximately 1.7 million North and South Carolina residents.  This river is considered as one of the most endangered rivers in the U.S. according to American Rivers.

13 Source of Mercury in Catawba River  Coal- fired power plants are main source of Mercury through air born emissions & discharges from ash ponds at coal-fired power plants.

14 North Carolina Mercury Problem  According to CDC, the North Carolina Dept of Health and Human Services recently estimated that “at least 13,677 children per year” are born in NC with blood mercury levels that place them at risk for lifelong learning disabilities, fine motor and attention deficits, and lowered IQ.

15 N.C Mercury Problem  Just 1/70 th of a teaspoon of mercury can contaminate a 25-acre lake. 1  NC currently has a statewide health advisory for largemouth bass due to mercury contamination. 2  A mercury fish advisory is in effect in all of NC’s fresh waters east of I-85 for the following fish species: 3 - Blackfish (bowfin) - Ladyfish catfish (wild) - Jack fish (chain pickerel) - Warmouth

16 JOIN CATAWBA RIVERKEEPERS FOUNDATION  Donate  Advocate and Educate

17 References freshwater-vs-saltwater- freshwater-vs-saltwater- Vermont Public Interest Group Fishing for Trouble. Montpelier, Vermont. North Carolina Division of Public Health Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology Ibid.

18 Prepared by Eden Tedla Bachelor of science in Public Health University of North Carolina in Charlotte


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