How Long will We let Coal Plants Mercury-Poison Us?

Jan 13, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Juan Cole

Mercury is a nerve poison, steady exposure to which causes all kinds of neurological and mental problems, as well as health problems.

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litesong

Everett, WA

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#1
Jan 13, 2013
 

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toxic topix AGW deniers, like side-winder snakes, often side-track the mercury-coal emissions issue, by talking about mercury in CFL bulbs. But, most all the very tiny traces of mercury are contained in the bulbs & easily recycled through local PUDs, while coal mercury is readily belched from their energy company chimneys, with the release of many other pollutants, too.

Since: Jan 13

Fairfax, VA

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Jan 13, 2013
 

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#1 In 2004, a woman who experience severe mercury poisoning after eating Chicken of the Sea tuna for many years, sued three tuna companies: Tri-Union Seafoods, LLC; Del Monte Corporation; and Bumble Bee Foods, LLC for not including a warning label on their tuna cans.

This decision was overturned on appeal (2006) on the grounds that federal regulations specifically exempted a label warming if the health hazard was “naturally occurring:

And the judge of the appellant court interpreted “naturally occurring” to mean:
<<covering chemicals in food that are the result of both natural and **uncontrollable** human activity>>

<<from a business legal SOURCE:

**Judge Dondero concluded that most methylmercury in canned tuna occurs naturally in the ocean, and interpreted the naturally occurring exemption as covering chemicals in food that are the result of both natural and uncontrollable human activity**>>

http://www.khlaw.com/showpublication.aspx...

It was also well known at this time, that it is not the mercury that directly poses a health hazard.

It is the bacteria action in absorbing the mercury that converts mercury into its dangerous form – methylmercury. This is passed up via the food web through the bioaccumulation process, eventually to top predator fish like tuna.

So see – the dangerous stuff is all “natural”.
==========

#2 The science does track mercury to primarily coal plant emissions (although other industrial plant emissions have been a source too.)
In 2009, A study by the USGS (US Geological Society)

A 2009 scientific study led by scientists from Harvard University and the U.S. Geological Survey, for the first time proved that “Most of the mercury [in fish] originates from atmospheric fallout to the ocean surface and the subsequent transport of the mercury to greater ocean depths.”

They found that the ocean’s mercury levels have already risen about 30% over the last 20 years. Combined, the findings mean the Pacific Ocean will be twice as contaminated with mercury in 2050 as it was in 1995 if the emission rates continue.
For decades, scientists have tried to explain whether the methylmercury in ocean fish is natural or manmade, with some saying it originated in the ocean. USGS geochemist David Krabbenhoft and his colleagues discovered that industrial emissions are transformed into methylmercury in mid-depth ocean waters.
http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/pacific_mer...
#3 More citations.
--according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) burning the substance in power plants sends some 48 tons of mercury—a known neurotoxin—into Americans’ air and water every year (1999 figures, the latest year for which data are available). Furthermore, coal burning contributes some 40 percent of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.

==The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) estimates that coal mining and burning cause a whopping $62 billion worth of environmental damage every year in the U.S. alone, not to mention its profound impact on our health.

Source:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm...
litesong

Everett, WA

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Jan 13, 2013
 

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Wallop10 wrote:
according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) burning the substance in power plants sends some 48 tons of mercury—a known neurotoxin—into Americans’ air and water every year (1999 figures,
Excellent post entotal.

As in the article:
Coal-fired power plants are responsible for half of all human-caused mercury emissions annually. The plants released 134,365 pounds of mercury in 2006 alone!

134,365 pounds of mercury is 67 tons in 2006, very close to your post of 48 tons in 1996.
PHD

Bertram, TX

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Jan 14, 2013
 

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pinheadlitesout wrote:
<quoted text>
Excellent post entotal.
As in the article:
Coal-fired power plants are responsible for half of all human-caused mercury emissions annually. The plants released 134,365 pounds of mercury in 2006 alone!
134,365 pounds of mercury is 67 tons in 2006, very close to your post of 48 tons in 1996.
Now if you get that check up from the neck up maybe you can put an excellent post also. Did you forget about clean coal? The real numbers are dropping daily where have you been? Sorry it must be your head injury from that terrible car crash you were involved in.

Since: Jan 13

Fairfax, VA

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#5
Jan 20, 2013
 
A 2009 scientific study led by scientists from Harvard University and the U.S. Geological Survey, for the first time proved that “Most of the mercury [in fish] originates from atmospheric fallout to the ocean surface and the subsequent transport of the mercury to greater ocean depths.”

They found that the ocean’s mercury levels have already risen about 30% over the last 20 years. Combined, the findings mean the Pacific Ocean will be twice as contaminated with mercury in 2050 as it was in 1995 if the emission rates continue
litesong wrote:
<quoted text>
Excellent post entotal.
As in the article:
Coal-fired power plants are responsible for half of all human-caused mercury emissions annually. The plants released 134,365 pounds of mercury in 2006 alone!
134,365 pounds of mercury is 67 tons in 2006, very close to your post of 48 tons in 1996.
Yes, we won't be able to eat in another 30 years either.

Wonderful world we are giving our children, by which I am being VERY sarcastic.

Since: Jan 13

Fairfax, VA

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#8
Feb 11, 2013
 

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Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste

By burning away all the pesky carbon and other impurities, coal power plants produce heaps of radiation
...

Over the past few decades, however, a series of studies has called these stereotypes into question. Among the surprising conclusions: the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts. In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.*

At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements. They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem. But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.

Fly ash uranium sometimes leaches into the soil and water surrounding a coal plant, affecting cropland and, in turn, food. People living within a "stack shadow"—the area within a half- to one-mile (0.8- to 1.6-kilometer) radius of a coal plant's smokestacks—might then ingest small amounts of radiation. Fly ash is also disposed of in landfills and abandoned mines and quarries, posing a potential risk to people living around those areas.

In a 1978 paper for Science, J. P. McBride at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and his colleagues looked at the uranium and thorium content of fly ash from coal-fired power plants in Tennessee and Alabama. To answer the question of just how harmful leaching could be, the scientists estimated radiation exposure around the coal plants and compared it with exposure levels around boiling-water reactor and pressurized-water nuclear power plants.

The result: estimated radiation doses ingested by people living near the coal plants were equal to or higher than doses for people living around the nuclear facilities. At one extreme, the scientists estimated fly ash radiation in individuals' bones at around 18 millirems (thousandths of a rem, a unit for measuring doses of ionizing radiation) a year. Doses for the two nuclear plants, by contrast, ranged from between three and six millirems for the same period. And when all food was grown in the area, radiation doses were 50 to 200 percent higher around the coal plants.

McBride and his co-authors estimated that individuals living near coal-fired installations are exposed to a maximum of 1.9 millirems of fly ash radiation yearly. To put these numbers in perspective, the average person encounters 360 millirems of annual "background radiation" from natural and man-made sources, including substances in Earth's crust, cosmic rays, residue from nuclear tests and smoke detectors.

Dana Christensen, associate lab director for energy and engineering at ORNL, says that health risks from radiation in coal by-products are low. "Other risks like being hit by lightning," he adds, "are three or four times greater than radiation-induced health effects from coal plants." And McBride and his co-authors emphasize that other products of coal power, like emissions of acid rain–producing sulfur dioxide and smog-forming nitrous oxide, pose greater health risks than radiation.

The question boils down to the accumulating impacts of daily incremental pollution from burning coal or the small risk but catastrophic consequences of even one nuclear meltdown. "I suspect we'll hear more about this rivalry," Finkelman says. "More coal will be mined in the future. And those ignorant of the issues, or those who have a vested interest in other forms of energy, may be tempted to raise these issues again."

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm...
PHD

Bertram, TX

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#9
Feb 12, 2013
 

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Wallop10 wrote:
Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste
By burning away all the pesky carbon and other impurities, coal power plants produce heaps of radiation
...
Over the past few decades, however, a series of studies has called these stereotypes into question. Among the surprising conclusions: the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts. In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.*
At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements. They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem. But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.
Fly ash uranium sometimes leaches into the soil and water surrounding a coal plant, affecting cropland and, in turn, food. People living within a "stack shadow"—the area within a half- to one-mile (0.8- to 1.6-kilometer) radius of a coal plant's smokestacks—might then ingest small amounts of radiation. Fly ash is also disposed of in landfills and abandoned mines and quarries, posing a potential risk to people living around those areas.
In a 1978 paper for Science, J. P. McBride at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and his colleagues looked at the uranium and thorium content of fly ash from coal-fired power plants in Tennessee and Alabama. To answer the question of just how harmful leaching could be, the scientists estimated radiation exposure around the coal plants and compared it with exposure levels around boiling-water reactor and pressurized-water nuclear power plants.
The result: estimated radiation doses ingested by people living near the coal plants were equal to or higher than doses for people living around the nuclear facilities. At one extreme, the scientists estimated fly ash radiation in individuals' bones at around 18 millirems (thousandths of a rem, a unit for measuring doses of ionizing radiation) a year. Doses for the two nuclear plants, by contrast, ranged from between three and six millirems for the same period. And when all food was grown in the area, radiation doses were 50 to 200 percent higher around the coal plants.
McBride and his co-authors estimated that individuals living near coal-fired installations are exposed to a maximum of 1.9 millirems of fly ash radiation yearly. To put these numbers in perspective, the average person encounters 360 millirems of annual "background radiation" from natural and man-made sources, including substances in Earth's crust, cosmic rays, residue from nuclear tests and smoke detectors.
Dana Christensen, associate lab director for energy and engineering at ORNL, says that health risks from radiation in coal by-products are low. "Other risks like being hit by lightning," he adds, "are three or four times greater than radiation-induced health effects from coal plants." And McBride and his co-authors emphasize that other products of coal power, like emissions of acid rain–producing sulfur dioxide and smog-forming nitrous oxide, pose greater health risks than radiation.
The question boils down to the accumulating impacts of daily incremental pollution from burning coal or the small risk but catastrophic consequences of even one nuclear meltdown. "I suspect we'll hear more about this rivalry," Finkelman says. "More coal will be mined in the future. And those ignorant of the issues, or those who have a vested interest in other forms of energy, may be tempted to raise these issues again."
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm...
More BS from the walloped commander TROLL!!

Since: Jan 13

Fairfax, VA

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#10
Feb 12, 2013
 
Oh, good -- field's empty so I can vote a peanut to the Troll PennyHD.

I hate to pick among Xs or clueless or angry icons.
When peanut covers it soo well.
litesong

Everett, WA

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#11
Feb 12, 2013
 

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Wallop10 wrote:
Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste
By burning away all the pesky carbon and other impurities, coal power plants produce heaps of radiation
...
Over the past few decades, however, a series of studies has called these stereotypes into question. Among the surprising conclusions: the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts. In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.*
At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements. They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem. But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.
Fly ash uranium sometimes leaches into the soil and water surrounding a coal plant, affecting cropland and, in turn, food. People living within a "stack shadow"—the area within a half- to one-mile (0.8- to 1.6-kilometer) radius of a coal plant's smokestacks—might then ingest small amounts of radiation. Fly ash is also disposed of in landfills and abandoned mines and quarries, posing a potential risk to people living around those areas.
In a 1978 paper for Science, J. P. McBride at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and his colleagues looked at the uranium and thorium content of fly ash from coal-fired power plants in Tennessee and Alabama. To answer the question of just how harmful leaching could be, the scientists estimated radiation exposure around the coal plants and compared it with exposure levels around boiling-water reactor and pressurized-water nuclear power plants.
The result: estimated radiation doses ingested by people living near the coal plants were equal to or higher than doses for people living around the nuclear facilities. At one extreme, the scientists estimated fly ash radiation in individuals' bones at around 18 millirems (thousandths of a rem, a unit for measuring doses of ionizing radiation) a year. Doses for the two nuclear plants, by contrast, ranged from between three and six millirems for the same period. And when all food was grown in the area, radiation doses were 50 to 200 percent higher around the coal plants.
McBride and his co-authors estimated that individuals living near coal-fired installations are exposed to a maximum of 1.9 millirems of fly ash radiation yearly. To put these numbers in perspective, the average person encounters 360 millirems of annual "background radiation" from natural and man-made sources, including substances in Earth's crust, cosmic rays, residue from nuclear tests and smoke detectors.
Dana Christensen, associate lab director for energy and engineering at ORNL, says that health risks from radiation in coal by-products are low. "Other risks like being hit by lightning," he adds, "are three or four times greater than radiation-induced health effects from coal plants." And McBride and his co-authors emphasize that other products of coal power, like emissions of acid rain–producing sulfur dioxide and smog-forming nitrous oxide, pose greater health risks than radiation.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm ...
//////////
'phud fetid feces face fiend' flubbed:
More BS from the walloped commander TROLL!!
//////////
Wallop10 wrote:
Oh, good -- field's empty so I can vote a peanut to the Troll PennyHD.

I hate to pick among Xs or clueless or angry icons.
When peanut covers it soo well.
//////////
litesong wrote:
'phud fetid feces face fiend' continues his worthlessly childish & unfunny copied & reedited compositions. Plagiarized because his own words have no construction at all, its posts aren't even reedited, but one copied post fits all.
PHD

Bertram, TX

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#12
Feb 13, 2013
 

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litesong wrote:
litesong wrote:
'phud fetid feces face fiend' continues his worthlessly childish & unfunny copied & reedited compositions. Plagiarized because his own words have no construction at all, its posts aren't even reedited, but one copied post fits all.
In addition, you think topix does not know what you publish. Attacks on me will not delete or erase what you are and what you do. You should stop making an ASSumption of your---self before you know the facts. Do contact topix to satisfy your accusations of the reprint BS your posting of what I said. You are a dumbASSumption of your---self again.

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