FACTS ABOUT MERCURY

Human Environment ~ Mercury in Oregon Waters

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water and soil

Where does Mercury come from?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), emissions from coal-fired power plants are the biggest supply of mercury to the atmosphere. Mercury is deposited from the atmosphere primarily as inorganic mercury. … Nearly all of the mercury found in fish tissue is methylmercury and bass species being the top of the list of do not eat in some parts of the Willamette River Basin. 

How Does Mercury Effect Human Health? 
Health effects of mercury exposure. Elemental and methylmercury are toxic to the central and peripheral nervous systems. The inhalation of mercury vapour can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal.

How Does Mercury Harm The Environment? 
Toxic Effects. The toxic effects of mercury depend on its chemical form and the route of exposure. Methylmercury [CH3Hg] is the most toxic form. It affects the immune system, alters genetic and enzyme systems, and damages the nervous system, including coordination and the senses of touch, taste, and sight.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water and soil and exists in several different forms. Methylmercury is the organic form of mercury that most easily enters the body. It can be naturally formed in the soil or water by certain types of bacteria and other facts about mercury. 

Environment has a number of factors influence the formation of methylmercury. For example, methylmercury is more likely to form in a water body where there is a high amount of organic material or where algal blooms are prone to occur. Methylmercury increases in concentration as it moves up the food chain.
Methylmercury is the form of mercury most toxic to humans.

Because methylmercury accumulates in fish, eating fish is the way most people are exposed to mercury in the environment.

More information about the environment to help understand facts about Human Environment & Mercury Mixing in both water and food. Oregon Health Authority – Fish consumption advisories and guidelines
 China’s mercury – The Oregonian
 Brief history of pollution in the Willamette
Brief overview of mercury in Willamette
America’s Biggest Mercury PollutersFocus on coal plants, great visuals
EPA clean air act​
DEQ problem statement about mercury
 ATSDR problem statement
 Mercury in Fishhttps://people.uwec.edu/piercech/Hg/mercury_water/sources.htm
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ucm115644.htmLevels in specific types of fish from samples
http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/01/rogue_other_oregon_rivers_have.html
 Mercury in the Human BodyHow long can mercury stay in my body?
After a single exposure, you will have eliminated about half the amount of mercury in your body within approximately 2-1/2 months. However, with repeated exposures, the amount of mercury in your body will build up.

How does mercury get out of my body?
Primarily through the feces (stools), although some is excreted through urine.
https://www.env.nm.gov/swqb/Mercury/

Sources of Mercuryhttp://www.env-health.org/IMG/pdf/mercury_chapter2.pdf
https://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Threats-to-Wildlife/Pollutants/Mercury-and-Air-Toxics.aspxEPA law that regulates air pollution, meant to reduce mercury emissions by 91%
http://library.state.or.us/repository/2011/201108261350355/index.pdf**Includes graph of sources of mercury in the Willamette Basin

Health Effects of Mercury Exposurehttps://www.epa.gov/mercury/health-effects-exposures-mercury

What you can do (Solutions)https://www.epa.gov/mercury/mercury-your-environment-steps-you-can-take#tab-2
DEQ Reduction Strategieshttp://www.deq.state.or.us/lq/pubs/docs/MercuryReductionStrategy.pdf
https://people.uwec.edu/piercech/Hg/mercury_water/removalmercury.htmRemoval of mercury from the environmentCoagulation/Filtration, Granular Activated Carbon, Lime Softening, and Reverse Osmosis.
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ucm393070.htmTips for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
Before and after pregnancyhttp://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/ucm081877.htm
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/PeopleAtRisk/ucm083308.htm
Willamette Basin Mercury Study
http://www.deq.state.or.us/lab/wqm/wbmercurystudy.htm

Willamette Basin Mercury TMDL
http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/tmdls/docs/willamettebasin/willamette/chpt3mercury.pdf

Oregon Health Authority – Fish consumption advisories and guidelines
https://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/FishConsumption/Pages/fishadvisories.aspx

China’s mercury – The Oregonian
http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2008/04/chinas_mercury_flushes_into_or.html

Brief history of pollution in the Willamette
http://www.willamette-riverkeeper.org/WRK/pollution.html

Brief overview of mercury in Willamette
http://acwi.gov/monitoring/conference/2008/papers/I1-D.pdf

https://www.epa.gov/mercury
 America’s Biggest Mercury PollutersFocus on coal plants, great visuals
EPA clean air act
http://www.environmentamerica.org/sites/environment/files/reports/AME-Biggest-Mercury-Polluters—WEB.pdf

DEQ problem statement about mercury
http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/standards/docs/MercuryORwaters.pdf

ATSDR problem statement
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=112&tid=24

Mercury in Fishhttps://people.uwec.edu/piercech/Hg/mercury_water/sources.htm
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ucm115644.htmLevels in specific types of fish from samples
http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/01/rogue_other_oregon_rivers_have.html
 Mercury in the Human BodyHow long can mercury stay in my body?


After a single exposure, you will have eliminated about half the amount of mercury in your body within approximately 2-1/2 months. However, with repeated exposures, the amount of mercury in your body will build up.How does mercury get out of my body?


Primarily through the feces (stools), although some is excreted through urine.
https://www.env.nm.gov/swqb/Mercury/

Sources of Mercuryhttp://www.env-health.org/IMG/pdf/mercury_chapter2.pdf
https://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Threats-to-Wildlife/Pollutants/Mercury-and-Air-Toxics.aspxEPA law that regulates air pollution, meant to reduce mercury emissions by 91%
http://library.state.or.us/repository/2011/201108261350355/index.pdf**Includes graph of sources of mercury in the Willamette Basin

Health Effects of Mercury Exposurehttps://www.epa.gov/mercury/health-effects-exposures-mercury


What you can do (Solutions)https://www.epa.gov/mercury/mercury-your-environment-steps-you-can-take#tab-2
DEQ Reduction Strategieshttp://www.deq.state.or.us/lq/pubs/docs/MercuryReductionStrategy.pdf
https://people.uwec.edu/piercech/Hg/mercury_water/removalmercury.htmRemoval of mercury from the environmentCoagulation/Filtration, Granular Activated Carbon, Lime Softening, and Reverse Osmosis.
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ucm393070.htmTips for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding



To read:
https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/handle/1794/1556/browse?value=Fishes+–+Mercury+content+–+Oregon+–+Willamette+River&type=subject
OSU libraries >> ebsco host 
http://www.deq.state.or.us/lq/ECSI/ecsidetail.asp?seqnbr=3811
http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/34612

http://oregonmidwiferycouncil.org/wp/mid-willamette-valley/

Before and after pregnancyhttp://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/ucm081877.htm
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/PeopleAtRisk/ucm083308.htm

MAP OF THE WILLAMETTE RIVER & MERCURY TESTING SITE

Map of the Willamette River in Corvallis,  Oregon cleanup area.