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OfflineEchoVortex
(hard) member
Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 859
Last seen: 8 years, 3 months
Mercury petition
    #2377519 - 02/26/04 12:42 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Worth signing if you have the time.
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Under energy industry pressure, President Bush?s EPA plans to defer controls on mercury emissions by power plants for at least a decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 4.9 million women of childbearing age in the U.S. -- that's 8 percent -- have unsafe levels of mercury in their blood. The people hit hardest will be new-born infants -- every year over 630,000 infants are born with levels of mercury in their blood so high they can cause brain damage.

We have just a few weeks to get public comments to the EPA on this plan to defer mercury controls. It's time to tell the EPA and the White House that our kids come first. You can submit your comment by clicking this link:

?? http://www.moveon.org/mercury/

>From a public health standpoint, the EPA's new policy is a disaster. But for Bush's energy industry allies, who are responsible for most mercury pollution, it's yet another bonanza. Increased pollution levels will allow these companies to save millions, while their top managers keep writing big campaign checks to support George W. Bush -- it's a pretty sick cycle.

On January 30th, the EPA announced its intention to weaken its own earlier proposal that would have required a 90 percent reduction in mercury pollution by power plants by 2008. The new proposal doesn't force every power plant to limit mercury pollution, leaving many communities vulnerable. It would also delay implementation of even these weaker requirements until 2018, leaving a whole new generation of kids needlessly at risk.

The first responsibility of the Bush administration and the EPA is to protect our nation's most vulnerable citizens. Time and again, we've seen the Bush administration try to weaken environmental protections, starting with its proposal to roll back stricter limits on arsenic in our drinking water. We must boost the visibility of the mercury issue so that, as with arsenic, the Bush administration is shamed into adopting a more rigorous standard.

Please join our effort to protect our environment and our children from the debilitating effects of mercury poisoning. Your comments will bolster the efforts of MoveOn members and other concerned people who are showing up today at public hearings on this issue in Chicago, Philadelphia and Raleigh.

Tell the Bush administration to protect children's health by reducing power plant mercury emissions by 90 percent by 2008 and ensuring that these reductions occur at each and every power plant, by clicking here:

?? http://www.moveon.org/mercury/

Thanks for all your efforts.

Sincerely,

- Joan and Wes
??MoveOn.org
??February 25th, 2004


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: Mercury petition [Re: EchoVortex]
    #2377611 - 02/26/04 01:24 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

What type of power plants put out mercury and how much? Is it elemental mercury or in the form of compounds? On the web site, there is this statement,"The EPA should require power plants to cut mercury pollution by 90% by 2008." Other than that, the site is short on specifics and long on alarmist rhetoric. What if the mercury being released is 1 part per billion? What if the mercury being released is 1 part per trillion? Can you see that in certain instances when relying on a percentage in reduction that the reduction would be practically impossible to achieve? It is a waste of money to require power plants that put out virtually no mercury to require them to set up testing facilities and try for unrealistic reductions. How much mercury is acceptable? Must a power plant put out effluent that has less than occurs naturally in the area? Do you realize that the costs of something which may not be needed will be passed on to the consumers of energy? Do you realize that poor people and the elderly on fixed incomes are the hardest hit by increases in energy costs? Do you and moveon.org realize that there is no such thing as perfect safety?


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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InvisibleZero7a1
Leaving YourWasteland

Registered: 10/23/02
Posts: 3,594
Loc: Passing Cloud
Re: Mercury petition [Re: Evolving]
    #2377640 - 02/26/04 01:36 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Well i dont think its just power plants. Im gonna ask my mom about her friends son who is autistic. Some scientists think autism is caused by unnatural levels of mercury in the blood stream during pregnancy. this interests me... there are plenty of manufacturing companies that use mercury.

Quote:

What type of power plants put out mercury and how much




Its probably power plants that use fossil fuels to produce energy.

http://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/mercury-about.html

they have been worried about fish around the us because of fears of high levels of mercury as well.


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What?


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OfflineEchoVortex
(hard) member
Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 859
Last seen: 8 years, 3 months
Re: Mercury petition [Re: Evolving]
    #2377728 - 02/26/04 02:05 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Moveon's page provides a number of links:

http://www.moveon.org/mercury/mercury-resources.html

The answers to many of the questions you posed can be found among them. Those interested in the subject should peruse them.

What type of power plants put out mercury and how much?
Coal-burning. 48 tons annually.

Is it elemental mercury or in the form of compounds?

Both elemental and reactive gaseous.

What if the mercury being released is 1 part per billion? What if the mercury being released is 1 part per trillion?

It's a great deal more than that. Mercury is toxic even in small concentrations because it accumulates near the source.

Can you see that in certain instances when relying on a percentage in reduction that the reduction would be practically impossible to achieve?

The 90% reduction is achievable (see next question).

It is a waste of money to require power plants that put out virtually no mercury to require them to set up testing facilities and try for unrealistic reductions.

The regulations only apply to coal-burning power plants, all of which produce significant amounts of mercury. The quoted 90% reduction does not apply across the board, only to the worst offenders. That's the amount of reduction it would take for the worst offending plants to reach the same standard as the lowest emitting plants that now exist. Obviously the plants that have already met that standard wouldn't have to reduce their emissions by a further 90%.

How much mercury is acceptable?

As a substance that is toxic even in very minute concentrations, the less the better. Obviously it cannot be eliminated entirely, but it should be reduced to the lowest feasible levels.

Must a power plant put out effluent that has less than occurs naturally in the area

The ambient levels of mercury are a moot point. It doesn't go away, so whatever is released is added to the total and presents a preventable, added threat to human health.

Do you realize that the costs of something which may not be needed will be passed on to the consumers of energy?

A lot of costs are passed on to the consumers of energy, including scams like what occurred in California and various unnecessary corporate expenses. At least this is one cost that will have tangible benefits for consumers.

Do you realize that poor people and the elderly on fixed incomes are the hardest hit by increases in energy costs?

Illnesses also have costs attached, personal and economic costs for those afflicted and economic costs for society (higher insurance premiums, etc.).
High mercury concentrations also hurt the fisheries industries as fewer people eat fish in order to reduce their mercury intake. Try to look at the big picture.

Do you and moveon.org realize that there is no such thing as perfect safety?

Of course I realize there's no such thing as perfect safety. What's your point?

I hope your point is not that since there is no such thing as perfect safety we should do nothing to make things safer. Because that would be a very stupid point, one beneath your powers of reasoning.


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OfflineTheOneYouKnow
addict
Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 470
Last seen: 12 years, 9 months
Re: Mercury petition [Re: EchoVortex]
    #2380231 - 02/26/04 05:57 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

EchoVortex said:
Worth signing if you have the time.




More Mercury! More Mercury!

Quote:


Under energy industry pressure, President Bush?s EPA plans to defer controls on mercury emissions by power plants for at least a decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 4.9 million women of childbearing age in the U.S. -- that's 8 percent -- have unsafe levels of mercury in their blood. The people hit hardest will be new-born infants -- every year over 630,000 infants are born with levels of mercury in their blood so high they can cause brain damage.




Oh, erm, uh, Less Mercury, Less Mercury!


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Invisibleblacksabbathrulz
 User Gallery
Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 2,511
Re: Mercury petition [Re: EchoVortex]
    #2380541 - 02/26/04 07:17 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

I would be interested in knowing what compound form the mercury is released in. Without knowing this, it is unclear whether or not there is a problem. I seriously doubt that 48 tons of mercury are produced a year from coal burning, I doubt it even equates to half a ton on an as-is basis. Also the chemical composition has a great impact on how much mercury is absorbed. If its pure elemental mercury, the GI tract will only absorb ~ 0.01% of the mercury if ingested, and if its inhaled its slightly more, and this isnt much when you consider the biological half-life of mercury is about 60 days. However if it were methyl mercury or mercuric flouride, the absorption rate would be tremendous. Also the fact that it is from moveon.org makes if far less credible as they want to do everything they can to hurt bush, and take out big business. The EPA also wants to do this, as if they can convince enough people that there is a problem, they get government funding thereby increasing their power. Granted I haven't looked into this matter much, but without knowing more facts I am going to have to suspend judgement, yet due to the circumstances, Im inclined to believe that the problem is overexaggerated.


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.


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InvisibletrendalM
point of inflection
Male User Gallery

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 19,395
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Mercury petition [Re: blacksabbathrulz]
    #2380556 - 02/26/04 07:23 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

The biggest problem with mercury is not humans injesting the elemental form, but in fish injesting it. Fish fat turns mercury into methyl mercury (the most neurotoxic mercury compound, I think) at quite a fast rate. I think about 90% of the mercury injested is converted to methyl mercury within 12 hours.

Then humans come along and eat the fish...laden with methyl mercury.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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Invisibleblacksabbathrulz
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Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 2,511
Re: Mercury petition [Re: trendal]
    #2380588 - 02/26/04 07:35 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

trendal said:
The biggest problem with mercury is not humans injesting the elemental form, but in fish injesting it. Fish fat turns mercury into methyl mercury (the most neurotoxic mercury compound, I think) at quite a fast rate. I think about 90% of the mercury injested is converted to methyl mercury within 12 hours.

Then humans come along and eat the fish...laden with methyl mercury.



Yes methyl mercury is absorbed at 100% uber toxic. Im going to look more into the fish thingy, as I have heard about that.


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.


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InvisibletrendalM
point of inflection
Male User Gallery

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 19,395
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Mercury petition [Re: blacksabbathrulz]
    #2380600 - 02/26/04 07:37 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

There was a mercury spill off the coast of Japan quite a few years back, which resulted in the worlds largest human mercury poisoning. Probably because their diet consists of such a large portion of fish.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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Invisibleblacksabbathrulz
 User Gallery
Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 2,511
Re: Mercury petition [Re: trendal]
    #2380618 - 02/26/04 07:47 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Well I looked at some stuff about the fish, and its not neccessarily a huge problem, but a legitimate problem none the less if you ask me. Since methyl mercury binds to protein in fish(its not converted), its going to be the larger predatory fish that pose a problem as they live longer, therefore they may absorb more mercury over time. Other fish however should not be as great of a concern. Eating large amounts of larger fish however, will cause you to consume elevated levels of methyl mercury, which can be a serious health hazard as toxic effects from mercury have been seen at concentrations as low as 200ppb in the blood.


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