Mercury Pollution Essay

1518 Words7 Pages
Coal-fired power plants emit large quantities of mercury into the atmosphere, which pollutes the air and water supply of different ecosystems. A large debate is just how much mercury pollution is deposited near it’s emissions sites and how much is sucked into the atmosphere, where it becomes part of a global mercury pool composed of emissions from immeasurable mercury sources from around the earth. The hypothesis is that mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants are polluting the environment and are severely toxic to humans and the ecosystem. Scientists have been using different research methods to gather data that provides evidence of the mercury build up and the adverse health effects to humans and the environment.
The Materials used in this study are peer-reviewed journal articles with information on humans, animals, and mercury levels in the environment emitted from Coal burning power plants. The data collected is from rainfall samples, Surveys, and U-M mercury fingerprinting.
Based on the functionalist perspective, the use of coal-fired power plants is a way to contribute to society’s practical continuation. These power plants provide electricity, which is a resource that modern American holds so dear. Americans rely on electricity for all types of activities. Coal-fired power plants use can also be seen through the eyes of conflict perspective, where, the use of these power-plants help to economically and technologically “advance” a society, however they create toxins that produce health issues, that cannot be dismissed or overridden.
Mercury is a naturally occurring element, but there is about 2,000 tons emitted each year from human-generated activities. These sources are, but not limited to, incinerators, coal-fired ...

... middle of paper ...

...contribute to heart disease in adults.
In conclusion, coal fired power plants provide electricity for millions of people, however there are many disadvantages of the use of these plants. Mercury that is released by these power plants contributes to air pollution that also collects in the water supply. These power plants, although they enriched the United States socioeconomic environment, have very negative consequences. Based on the evidence shown throughout the articles and data collected, mercury poisoning generates toxic environments for marine life, humans, and the ecosystems of the earth. Many people in the U.S. and other regions of the world experience negative health effects and problems from mercury pollution, and although the illnesses or impairments that come from the exposure cannot be reversed, they can be monitored and decreased for future generations.
Open Document