The mercury in serendipity has caused serendiptical power plants to become polluted in ways that make the country’s health problems worse, according to the nation’s top environmental health official.
The mercury in power plants has been rising since about 2000, said Dr. Mark Gold, the former director of the National Center for Environmental Health.
It has spiked over the past year, and the mercury level is so high that a lot of people are starting to have respiratory issues, Gold said at a news conference Thursday.
This is really a major threat to the health of the population, Gold added.
A number of states, including California, are looking at ways to curb the increase in mercury, but the state of Washington is the only one in the country to have made a big move to deal with the issue, Gold told reporters.
It’s an urgent issue that needs to be addressed immediately, Gold warned.
Since the mid-1990s, serendipsical power plant emissions from the power plant sector have been increasing, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a recent report.
The number of power plant days with mercury in the air is on track to exceed the previous high point of more than 300,000 days in December 2000, the agency said.
In the past, mercury was thought to be a benign pollutant.
But now scientists are finding that mercury is a powerful toxin, and it has been shown to be particularly dangerous in children.
Mercury can cause brain damage, developmental problems and other health problems, and even death, according the CDC.
A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that a small group of children in California were more than three times as likely to develop mercury-related brain disorders than other children.
The study found that mercury exposure during pregnancy and birth was linked to an increased risk of autism in the children, and that the children who had the highest exposure had higher rates of ADHD.
“This is a problem for the public, for children and families, and for society,” Gold said.
The CDC also warned in a news release that mercury has been found to be an even more dangerous pollutant for human health, because it is “extremely persistent.”
As it is, mercury levels in the water supply are on track for a doubling, said Heather Koehler, the acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The agency plans to make some recommendations for the way serendichesic power plants are regulated and for how the federal government can limit mercury levels, she said.
The EPA and other agencies will have a “real impact on the health and well-being of Americans and the environment,” Koehl said.