One in 10 babies along Minnesota’s North Shore are born with unhealthy levels of mercury in their bodies, according to a new report on contamination around Lake Superior, the first to look for the pollutant in the blood of U.S. infants.
Researchers at the Minnesota Department of Health said they were surprised to find that some of the 1,465 children they tested had very high concentrations. It’s solid evidence that infants in the state are contaminated by mercury, a pollutant that can cause neurological damage.
The combination of their mother’s mercury fillings, eating the fish from the Lake Superior waters and the coal-fired power plants in this part of the nation all contribute to these unsafe levels in the infants.
In all, 8 % of the babies had blood concentrations above the EPA health standards-up to a thousand times higher and 10% of the blood samples were above the healthy standards.
This is a clear indication that mercury exposure to infants in Minnesota is too high and expectant mothers should be reminded to be aware of all the sources of mercury their body and the baby’s body are being exposed too.