Mercury Pollution and Its Effects on the Ecological Environment

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Mercury Pollution Imagine that every fish you have been eating and every fish on the market is contaminated with mercury; would you want to take action to improve this situation in order for yourself and everyone else to have healthy fish to eat? Most of the fish today are exposed to mercury, and mercury toxicity threatens the health of everyone who eats fish. Mercury pollution has been a well known ocean pollution for many years, and United States remain to be one of the top nations with the most severe mercury contamination. Government needs to cease all industrial activities that cause mercury pollution by setting up regulations since mercury threatens marine ecological environment. Even though mercury is a natural occurring element, most of the mercury that enters and pollutes the aquatic ecosystem is from human industrial activities or factories. During the California Gold Rush that started in 1849, the mercury pollution problem has become bigger because “mercury is often used to amalgamate with the metal. The gold is then produced by boiling away the mercury from the amalgam, a process which is hazardous owing to be toxicity of mercury vapor” (Soos). A large amount of mercury polluted the ocean during the Gold Rush that will last thousands of years. Besides using mercury to extract gold from gravel, mercury has also been released to the ocean in many other ways since the Industrial Revolution, such as “coal combustion, medical and hazardous waste incineration, municipal waste combustion, and certain chemical manufacturing operations” (EPA). Industrial activities severely contaminated the aquatic ecosystem with a large amount of mercury in the mid-1800s, and a great portion of mercury still remains as sediments in the oc... ... middle of paper ... ...z was successful in speaking up for people’s rights, and it is because he had the support from public. In the case of mercury pollution, if everyone is hoping to have healthy fish to eat by reducing mercury, then it is everyone’s responsibility to take actions and participate in mercury reduction programs or activities. Mercury continues to contaminate the entire marine ecosystem and the food chain until today; mercury enters the ocean mainly from gold mining and other industrial activities, and its impact affected the entire food chain. “In human history, we have learned (I hope) that the conqueror role is eventually self-defeating” (Leopold 279). Humans’ health is threatened by the contaminated fish in the ocean, and if humans do not stop or realize the consequences of carelessly polluting the environment, then we would eventually lead ourselves to extinction.

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