Mercury in the Environment

Name: _________________________________       Date: _____________

Mercury is an extremely toxic metal. Even small amounts can damage the body. In this activity, you'll find out how mercury gets into the environment and the problems it causes.

  1. Read this Planet Diary report EPA: Too Much Mercury in Fish. What did the study conclude about mercury levels in U.S. waterways?
  2. What health problems are linked to high levels of mercury?
  3. What targets did the U.S. government set for reducing mercury?
  4. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency's What You Need To Know About Mercury. How does mercury get into the environment?
  5. Go to PBS Online's The Mercury Story and read Mercury in Fish. Describe the health risks faced by children exposed to high mercury levels.
  6. Where does much of the mercury that gets into the body come from?
  7. What role do bacteria play in moving mercury up the food chain?
  8. What happens to mercury levels as it moves up the ocean food chain?