Streams

Mercury, Songbirds, and Bats

Monday, January 30, 2012

David C. Evers, executive director of the Biodiversity Research Institute, discusses how mercury in the environment is harming songbirds and bats, which suffer some of the same kinds of neurological disorders that mercury causes in humans. The Biodiversity Research Institute has issued a report, titled “Hidden Risk: Mercury in Terrestrial Ecosystems of the Northeast.”

Guests:

David C. Evers

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Comments [5]

Amy from Manhattan

Lars, more mercury is released into the atmosphere by burning coal to power incandescent bulbs than is used in an equal number of fluorescents. And compact fluorescent bulbs (I'm not sure about the tubes) can now be recycled w/no release of mercury. See the 1st subsection in the EPA's webpage on CFL recycling (http://www.epa.gov/cfl/cflrecycling.html). You can find out how & where to recycle them at Earth911.com (type "cfl" in under "Find recycling centers for").

Jan. 30 2012 01:51 PM
Larry in Nyack from Nyack, NY

Am I hurting my back-yard birds by feeding them birdseed and sunflower seeds purchased in supermarkets? Ire there residual poisons from agriculture in such seed that gets concentrated in the birds [as you've described with mercury]?

Jan. 30 2012 01:26 PM
Lars from Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

How about all of the flourescent lights and bulbs? These have been pushed upon us as a "green" choice, and yet they use mercury, and there is no infrastructure to recapture this mercury and keep it out of the environment.

Jan. 30 2012 01:24 PM

Is the level of mercury being produced going down because most industry is now overseas, and because cars are cleaner than in the past?

Also, does mercury dissipate or have a half life?

Finally, does mercury naturally emanate from coal that is still in the ground, over time?

Jan. 30 2012 01:23 PM
LL from UWS

Please let us know if there is any activism we can do. If there are any links please post on the website. Thanks.

Jan. 30 2012 11:08 AM

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