Mercury-tainted fish found widely in U.S. streams

Scientists have detected mercury contamination in every one of hundreds of fish sampled from 291 freshwater streams, according to a U.S. government study.
The neurotoxin enters the environment chiefly as an air pollutant spewed into the atmosphere by industrial emissions, then falls back to the surface in precipitation and particulate matter carried over long distances. The main source of atmospheric mercury, according to the EPA, is coal-fired power plants.
Some of the highest levels of mercury in the latest study were found in the coastal "blackwater" streams of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana -- relatively undeveloped areas marked by abundant pine forests and wooded wetlands.
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