Gary K. Smith: Mercury questions

January 10, 2013 

Mercury questions

Thank you for your Dec. 16 “Manteo to Murphy” column on elevated lake levels of the neurotoxin mercury. I was saddened to learn that women up to age 44 should no longer consume important game fish species from two Western N.C. lakes that have elevated mercury levels.

Our coal-fired power plants account for most of N.C.’s mercury emissions. Are the fish from these two lakes no longer fit for consumption because of mercury from our power plants? If so, does the mercury derive from leaky settling ponds, smoke-stack emissions or something else? Finally, what efforts are under way to reverse this sad trend?

Gary K. Smith


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