Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mercury Widespread in New York Songbirds

Surprisingly, as reported here in the New York Times (may require registration), biologist David C. Evers found "unusually high levels" of mercury in the blood and feathers of all 178 woodland birds he tested last year. Wood Thrushes had the highest levels, the average of 0.1 ppm being "high enough to affect the bird’s reproductive cycle." Once thought to be primarily a problem associated with aquatic habitats and the animals that inhabit them (such as fish, fish-eating birds, and humans), this study raises concerns about how widespread mercury is in the landscape and its possible environmental impacts.

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