Environment: The Mercury Mess

Only a few months ago, mercury pollution was thought to be a problem confined mainly to the Great Lakes region. It has since turned up in 33 states. Because millions of pounds of the lethal metal have been dumped into the nation's waterways in the past 20 years, tainting untold numbers of fish, officials in ten states have closed down some commercial fisheries. Public Health workers in 16 states have warned residents against eating fish or fowl from suspect waterways. At least one family, the Hucklebys of Alamogordo, N. Mex., has been seriously poisoned after eating food contaminated with mercury.

The problem...

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