A fishy situation

Mercury seeps into waters from coal-burning power plants

A study released recently by the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that almost half of the lakes and reservoirs in the United States contain fish with potentially harmful levels of mercury, according to The Associated Press.

Scientists found mercury, a toxic metal primarily released from coal-fired power plants, in all fish samples collected from 500 lakes and reservoirs between 2000 and 2003. The EPA determined that mercury concentrations in 49 percent of the fish samples exceeded levels safe for human consumption. The toxin is known to damage the nervous system and cause learning disabilities in fetuses and young children.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced its plans to craft new regulations to control mercury emissions from power plants.