Thursday, May 6, 2010

I'll have the Fish Tacos, Hold the Mercury: Mercury levels in Pompton Lakes

By Demelza Davies

Mercury in the body does a lot of harm. It can damage the kidneys and cripple the nervous system. Mercury is poisoning to the body's development and prevents a healthy lifestyle. Most people would agree that Mercury is something to be avoided and not ingested. However, Mercury is ingested unknowingly.

Mercury thrives on our environment through our rivers and water supplies. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been getting involved to reduce the levels of Mercury in the environment. One of the biggest benefactors of Mercury in the State of New Jersey is the Pompton Lake which is located in the northern region of New Jersey. The lake is home to fish life that people depend on for food and the simple balance of our ecosystem.

The Mercury in the town of Pompton Lakes comes from the DuPont explosives company, which closed in 1994. During its productivity, the DuPont plant leaked Mercury into Pompton Lake for years. The EPA and other environmental organizations have been working on the pollution DuPont left behind, but it is very difficult to simply remove Mercury.

It is possible to "suck up" the Mercury using other chemicals, however, it is a very complicated and expensive process that the EPA decided it was not favorable. Another method for getting rid of the Mercury is to absorb the Mercury by the surrounding soil. But that would mean we would be experiencing the Mercury through the soil which grows our food rather than our water.

The EPA seems to not be as proactive as they could be in getting rid of the Mercury. Many people would never consider the high levels of Mercury in their water or think twice before taking a bite into a perfectly deep fried piece of pike which swims freely in the Pompton Lake. But it is evident that Mercury is absorbed in the meat of fish and other water life, making it unsafe to consume. In New Jersey, there is no such thing as fresh fish. In the Pompton Lake area, under advisory, fishing is for pure sport and not for keeps. However, experienced fishermen admitted that they feel the fish is so toxic, they are careful to wear black gloves when they throw their catch back in the lake. It is only amazing that this fish have become so immune to the pollution that they continue to survive in the toxic place that is the Pompton Lake.

For more information on the situation with the DuPont site and Mercury please visit:

No comments:

Post a Comment