More than 60,000 children born each year are at risk for adverse neurodevelopmental effects, due to in utero exposure to lead and methyl mercury.
- Autism, a member of the pervasive developmental disorders, has been dramatically on the increase. The incidence of autism is now 1 per 110 in the United States.
The most toxic and persistent in the environment: Methyl mercury.
- Methyl mercury is particularly damaging to developing embryos. Five to ten times more sensitive than effects on adults.
People are exposed to it by consuming fish and wildlife. Elevated mercury concentrations may remain in the brain from several years to decades following exposure.
- The Everglades region of Florida have some of the highest levels of mercury in fishes, observed anywhere in the world.
Natural and man-made sources.
- Outgassing from the oceans, volcanoes, and natural mineral deposits and rocks.
- In the upstream mines, Cinnabar or red mercury is the common metal the most dominant in the stream environment.
- Coal combustion, coal-fired power plants, medical and other waste, power generating utilities, metal processing and chloralkai production or electrolysis of sodium chloride solution.