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NEWS: High Levels of Mercury Found in Vermont Birds

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posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 09:09 PM
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Researchers collected samples from about 200 mountain songbirds in Vermont, and found unusually high concentrations of mercury in their feathers and flesh. The researchers were surprised by the findings, but they were not the first signs. Tests done all over the Northeast confirm that birds are taking in a great deal of the metal, mostly in the form of mehtylmercury. This is the deadliest form, to humans, and researchers who come into contact with even small quantities have been known to deteriorate and die.
 



www.timesargus.com
Researchers at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science announced this week that mercury was found in the blood and feathers of the rarely seen Bicknell's thrush on Mount Mansfield and Stratton Mountain.

In some birds, the level of mercury was high enough to harm their ability to reproduce, conservation biologist Kent McFarland said Wednesday.

The findings were unexpected, but matched evidence VINS and Canadian researchers gathered from high-mountain birds in other parts of northeastern North America. Until now, mercury was thought to be a threat primarily to fish and fish-eating birds — and to humans who eat too much mercury-contaminated fish.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The scientists speculate that the birds are getting the mercury in their system through the consumption of catepillars which eat leaves from trees that take the metal up with water from the soil. Mercury is liquid at room temperature, and it evaporates easily. Mercury is a silent killer, often showing no symptoms of overexposure until it's too late. No one really knows how many people die each year because of mercury exposure, but the numbers are thought to be quite signifigant.

Mercury thermometers were banned, because too often they 'gassed out' after being broken, and the inhaled vapors could be deadly. Mercury is released by the ton monthly from US factories, as well as occuring naturally after volcanic eruptions. Methylmercury, the deadliest version and the one responsible for contamination of these birds, is rare outside of laboratory settings. What then, is the explanation here?

Mercury concentrations in ocean fish are also quite high. The fish most contaminated are large, long lived, and predatory. Sharks, swordfish, and adult albacore tuna have the highest levels. Pregnant women should avoid eating any of the above, and if they must eat tuna, should stick with the chunk light, because it's taken from younger fish.

[edit on 12-3-2005 by WyrdeOne]




posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 09:13 PM
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SO let me get this straight...

They dont like the fact that bird are being exsposed to Mecury, but its alright to have 42 times the amount in vaccines...

Interesting concept this is.. really..



posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 09:20 PM
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Thich, for what it is worth, they are talking about methyl mercury. A different compound entirely.

Back to the subject.

Google up your home state DNR web page, check out the mercury fish consumption advisories.


edit: It might be on the Department of Health page

www.dnr.state.wi.us...


www.health.state.ny.us...


www.idph.state.il.us...







[edit on 12-3-2005 by HowardRoark]



posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 09:22 PM
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methyl mercury, is horrible stuff... I can attest to that for certain. Another thing that does not sit well with me is the amount of Mercury in tooth fillings.

Check out this story interesting read...
www.discover.com...



posted on Mar, 12 2005 @ 11:58 PM
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Sardion
Good point! I just read a magazine article that claimed mercury makes up 50% of 'silver' dental fillings, I think it was the same as you posted, from Discover. I wonder how many patients are advised of that fact? My own mother has a mouth full of silver fillings, I don't think she was aware of their composition.

The Discovery article was a good one, and does a good job of explaining the problem, and why 'safe' dosage is a fallacy. We don't know how minute quantities of mercury affect people, and the majority of research dollars have classically been spent investigating methyl mercury. It's poorly understood how the mercury even does damage to the body. More research needs to be done, and a greater understanding of mercury's interactions with the body needs to be reached, before any recomendations on 'safe exposure' can be trusted.



posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 12:44 AM
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I'm not so worried about the patients, as the amounts they are exposed to are minimal compared to the dentists.

www.discover.com...


Concerns about low-level toxicity haunt discussions of another ubiquitous source of mercury exposure: silver dental fillings. Elemental mercury, which makes up half of silver fillings, releases mercury vapour, just as liquid mercury does. The vapour from dental amalgams is the primary source of the one to eight micro grams of mercury per liter of blood, that is, according to some sources, in the average American adult. That amount uncomfortably overlaps the Environmental Protection Agency’s current safe level of 5.8 micro grams per liter. But the EPA’s safety level is based on methyl mercury exposure, about which more is known. No human studies have assessed prolonged exposure to low levels of mercury vapour. One study hints at subtle neural and behavioural anomalies in dentists, who collectively use 300 metric tons of mercury in amalgams each year and who often have two to five times the typical concentration of mercury in their urine.


Emphasis mine

[edit on 13-3-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 06:06 AM
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As I understand the situation with mercury, it's similar to all the other situations facing the world these days. Nobody wants to talk about it because it would cost too much to effectively clean up. People ignore the problem and hope it will go away. Unfortunately the problem gets worse every year.

The amount of mercury in some shellfish is astounding. The fact that animals seem much more capable of metabolizing or safely storing the poisonous metal might lend a hand in helping humans avoid its deadly effects.

The human body does possess a compound for metabolizing mercury, but I think the levels of mercury that the body can handle are being exceeded by environmental exposure.



posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 06:13 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
As I understand the situation with mercury, it's similar to all the other situations facing the world these days. Nobody wants to talk about it because it would cost too much to effectively clean up. People ignore the problem and hope it will go away. Unfortunately the problem gets worse every year.





Agreed. So it's about denial of the fittest, or some other such crud. ...






The human body does possess a compound for metabolizing mercury, but I think the levels of mercury that the body can handle are being exceeded by environmental exposure.



Still wondering about the source. ...Is there a new source of mercury contamination, or is 50 years of pollution finally catching up with us? ...Like, our soil and water are now saturated, and so are the plants that grow here...?


.



posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 06:14 AM
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Cost too much to clean up? How bout nearly impossible to clean up. How would you even go about such a thing anyway? Only way to clean up is to invent new methods of dealing with the stuff. Another is to make it an illigal or highly controlled substance. Another way would be to have industry completely retool to green standards, but the Green revolution is far from started as of yet, becuase it isn't cost effective to do so. Personally I have no idea how much of the crap is out there. I try to limit my exposure but who knows whether I'm succeeding or not. Where would you go to get tested?



posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 06:22 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000

... the Green revolution is far from started as of yet, becuase it isn't cost effective to do so.





"Cost effective" is a commonly used phrase - in everything from medicine to the industry and the environment.

My question: wtf does "cost effective" mean? ...Like, it's cheaper to kill than not kill or avoid killing? It's cheaper to poison the world and render it uninhabitable than to stop using and making poisons?

Just seking clarity...

.



posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 06:27 AM
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My question: wtf does "cost effective" mean? ...Like, it's cheaper to kill than not kill or avoid killing? It's cheaper to poison the world and render it uninhabitable than to stop using and making poisons?


You hit the nail on the head. It is cheaper in the short run to not care one whit. You know that.
Long term no of course it ain't but thats is how alot of companies think nowadays. It's up to us to change thier perspective.

[edit on 13-3-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 07:00 AM
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It really boggles the mind...

If you walk into a man's house and shoot him in the head, you get sent to prison.

If you sell a man poision for 50 years and he dies because of it, there are no consequences.

If you plant a spike in a tree and it kills a logger, you're a terrorist.

If you saturate the soil with mercury and it kills hundreds of thousands of people, you're a businessman.

If you sell tainted produce as a retailer, you're a criminal.

If you sell tainted produce as a distributor, you're an entrepeneur.

I'm sure I could go on for another 17 pages, but is there a point to doing so? Most people who know anything know enough, and most people distrust the government as it is, so what is the missing puzzle piece? What is the key to our freedom if not information?



posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 07:09 AM
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As you know it makes the world go round. I don't like it, I'm sure you and Sofi do not like it but it is an unfortunate reality. Capitolism and Compassion rarely co-exist. The point being information is good to a certain point. But as you say the news networks are not picking up on it no matter how many people become aware every day. It's a tricky situation isn't it? We have so many challenges right now that this is the last thing we need. Lead was the downfall of Rome will Mercury be the downfall of ours? Maybe not but it's worth thinking about...

EDIT: PS If you have any idea's on how to go about it then I'm all ears. Another problem I am worried about is Tritium, it's why I do not drink tap water. C02 & Mercury or Tritium tough choice...

[edit on 13-3-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 07:13 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne

I'm sure I could go on for another 17 pages, but is there a point to doing so? Most people who know anything know enough, and most people distrust the government as it is, so what is the missing puzzle piece? What is the key to our freedom if not information?





Do enough people know enough? Seems to me the screws on science education have fixed it so Americans don't know and can't know because they don't have the basic foundation to understand what's happening and how it works.

IMO - education IS the key to freedom - and that's why public education has been thwarted, and why it's about to be privatised and generally, sacked.


.



posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 09:19 AM
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You all realize, don't you that one of the major sources of mercury emmissions is froom coal combustion in power plants?

How many of you recycle flourescent light bulbs?

What about those kids shoes that light up when you walk?



posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 09:26 AM
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Originally posted by HowardRoark
You all realize, don't you that one of the major sources of mercury emmissions is froom coal combustion in power plants?

How many of you recycle flourescent light bulbs?

What about those kids shoes that light up when you walk?





So industrial processing creates mercury, and industrially created products contain mercury - but pollution is the consumers personal responsibility because we use the products - and trust that government and industry wouldn't do anything bad or sell us anything dangerous?

...While the science taught in schools does not include information like microbial evolution or biochemistry that can be used critically, and might back-fire on the corporate-industrialization...


Hmmmm. Gotta think about this.



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