June 22, 2018

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The Autism Factory (or, the canaries in the coal power plant)

June 27, 2017


What are mercury and methylmercury?

Mercury is an element that occurs naturally in the environment and is also released to the environment through many types of human activity. It can collect in streams, lakes, and oceans and is turned into methylmercury in the water or sediment. It is this type of mercury that is present in fish. Methylmercury can be harmful to the brain and nervous system if a person is exposed to too much of it over time.
                                           -U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury deposited on a 25-acre lake can make the fish unsafe to eat. A typical uncontrolled coal plants emits approximately 170 pounds of mercury each year. Activated carbon injection technology can reduce mercury emissions by up to 90 percent when combined with baghouses. ACI technology is currently found on just 8 percent of the U.S. coal fleet.
                           -U.S. Energy Information Administration           

I  grew up next to a coal power plant. When we were little girls my sister told me it was a cloud factory and I believed her. I believed the white fluffy plumes of steam coming out continuously were actually beautiful clouds drifting up to