Mercury enters fresh water lakes due to run off from agriculture, industry, natural sources (such as natural deposits of mercury in rocks) which are all affected by population growth.
“Important sources of mercury emissions include electric power plants and general heating plants burning coal and oil, primary and secondary non-ferrous metal smelters, iron and steel production plants, cement plants, and municipal/hospital waste incinerators. The use of mercury in amalgam fillings in dentistry causes mercury emissions both to air during cremation and to water systems as a result of dental practices as well as from human feces from people with amalgam fillings. Human feces is also a source of mercury from ingested foods and tobacco smoke. The use of mercury in gold and silver mining in northwestern U.S.A. and in Canada before more efficient methods were developed also emitted mercury.”
Here is a diagram that explains how runoff works. This is what brings mercury into our water systems.
Some industries which make use of mercury empty their wastes into the water bodies either directly or indirectly. These mercury flow into the freshwater lakes and remain there.
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