The largest source of mercury in fish is coal fired power plants.
Keep in mind that fish don’t just get mercury in their systems from power plants -they also get it from eating other fish! In fact, the higher up a fish is on the food chain, the more mercury is likely to be in it
From eating so many fish with mercury in them, and THOSE fish ALSO ate fish that had mercury in them, which ALSO ate fish that had still MORE mercury in them, the mercury is transfered all the way up the food chain, making animals close to the top, such tuna and dolphins, incredibly toxic!
So if you possibly can, avoid eating fish high up on the food web, like tuna, and stick to things like sardines!
In addition to power and manufacturing plants, waterways and soil have been contaminated historically through mining for gold. Mercury was used in mining because of it unique properties that allow it to bind to gold so that the gold can be recovered. In fact 26,000,000 lbs was used for gold recovery in California. Approximately 10 to 30 percent of the mercury was lost to the environment and now contaminates sediments that have eroded and washed into water systems. Therefore high mercury levels in fish and amphibians downstream of hydraulic mines have resulted.
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