July 01, 2011
There's really scary and startling scientific news clouding our day.
Tests now show that a lesser known agriculturally caused poison is spawning an enormous mercury problem.
Even in very small quantities, mercury can inhibit cognitive (thinking) ability in children and trigger a host of other problems, not to mention hormone imbalances that lead male ibis birds to mate with other males.
The mercury threats to humans and wildlife are actually astounding, folks, notwithstanding the Pollution Establishment's expensive lobbying to ignore the situation.
But we'd best listen up, and speak up.
Just months ago, the gender preference change among white ibis populations was documented by University of Florida Professor Peter Frederick. Even the birds that retained heterosexual habits had reduced productivity.
“Mercury is rampant,” says William Orem, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey.
Orem noted that toxic levels of phosphorous, mainly from uncontained runoffs from outdated agricultural practices, have attracted more public attention (and lawsuits), though the mercury contamination is just as alarming. He said:
“The phosphorous issue has really taken center stage, and it is a problem. But phosphorous affects 20 percent of an ecosystem. Sulfate (precursor to meythlmercury) affects 60 percent.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that the primary negative health effect of methylmercury in humans is impaired neurological development. The substance can drastically affect the human nervous system and also harm vision and speech and cause muscle weakness.
A sad irony in all this is that Official Florida cares nothing about taking real action.
The South Florida Water Management District and Department of Environmental Protection prefer to not even think about the toxic pollution levels, even though many steps could be taken.
Scientists say one of the reforms obvious for decades now would be to enlarge and update treatment areas in the Everglades Agricultural Area. These would feature unfertilized uptake plants that could filter out the toxic elements, including the sulfates/mercury. While we can't eliminate all of the disgraceful loadings from past practices, we could make substantial changes for our life quality and the future.
Two years ago, Professor Orem warned of the mercury threat that “…there's a certain amount of reluctance from upper-level management to even address the issue.”
This year, a new report by Dr. Melodie Naja and associates of the Everglades Foundation pinpoints the EAA as the main cause of the deadly sulfate concentration shunted to the coasts.
Check out the Everglades Foundation, other key research and a comprehensive article in Florida Independent/everglades/mercury-methylmercury.
Let's consider putting the public good ahead of reckless profiteering. FS