Justin Ng is a third year student at Hunter College in New York City. He is majoring in environmental policy and management. Justin enjoys the outdoors and playing sports, and has a fascination with aquatic life and the ocean. He enjoys fishing and spending time in the lake. He also has a hobby in drawing and enjoys the arts. His goal is to inform and teach others about the mysteries of aquatic life and hopes that others will become inspired to research, study, and protect nature from human ignorance and negligence.
Mercury pollution is a neurotoxin that can damage the brain and growth and development of both animals and humans. Mercury is a naturally liquid metal that forms in our earth; however, when it comes in contact and is ingested the mercury can begin to affect the health of the human/animal. Bioaccumulation of this metal occurs from eating animals that contain high levels of mercury and in turn will be stored only to create a chain reaction of increasing mercury levels higher up the food chain. The main reason for high levels of mercury in the past were due to chemical wastewaters being dumped into waterways and the ocean, but today with so many environmental laws about waste, the main source of mercury pollution is now through coal and oil power plants. Mercury pollution is an international pollutant that is being talked about by 140 different countries. An incident that caused worldwide recognition of mercury pollution was the tragedy that happened in Japan, the Minamata Disease. World leaders today are implementing and researching new sources of energy to help reduce and eliminate mercury pollution.
Key Words: mercury, coal, Minamata disease, Minamata Convention