From the Office of Government Relations Newsletter, June 27, 2019.
On Tuesday, June 18, Professor Nicholas Fisher of Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) attended meetings in Washington, DC with staffers of Sen. Schumer, Sen. Gillibrand, and Rep. Zeldin to advocate for the Comprehensive National Mercury Monitoring Act. Consumption of marine fish accounts for more than 80% of methylmercury intake in the US resulting in dangerous health impacts. An estimated 200,000 children born in the United States each year are exposed to levels of mercury in the womb that are high enough to impair neurological development.
Currently, scientists must rely on limited information to understand the critical linkages between mercury emissions and environmental response and human health. In order to successfully design, implement, and assess solutions to the problem of mercury pollution, scientists need comprehensive long-term data. To address this discrepancy and acquire this critical data, a Comprehensive National Mercury Monitoring Act would establish a national mercury monitoring network to protect human health, safeguard fisheries, and track the environmental effects of emissions reductions.