Target: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy
Goal: Protect environmental and human health by eliminating sources of mercury pollution.
Global mercury pollution has a significant and lasting effect on human and animal health, but there are still plenty of unnatural sources of the toxic substance leaking into our air, water, and food. When mercury is deposited in waterways, fish at the top of the aquatic food chain can have extremely elevated levels of mercury which can be passed on to humans or wildlife who consume these fish. The EPA needs to continue to work to control the amount of mercury released, reduce emissions, and conduct further research to determine the best approaches to use.
Most of the mercury found in the United States is deposited by global sources such as volcanoes, forest fires, coal-fired power plants, gold production and gold mining. Because mercury is an element, it cannot be broken down into a harmless substance. Mercury evaporates easily and travels in the atmosphere causing local and global pollution. Historically, deposited mercury is also re-emitted into the atmosphere.
The EPA must work with manufacturers to reduce the amount of mercury being used. Continuing to replace mercury-releasing coal with natural gas in power plants will greatly reduce mercury in the atmosphere. Additionally, dental facilities which use mercury in implants discharge mercury into the atmosphere and there are two remaining chloralkali chemical plants in the United States which still use mercury.
The EPA also needs to expand its bilateral mercury cooperation programs in Asia, enforce the protocol on heavy metals, promote the United Nations Environment Program Global Mercury Partnership, and work with countries to eliminate mercury-containing medical devices in hospitals. The general public can also reduce the amount of mercury by purchasing mercury-free thermometers, thermostats, relays and switches, and barometers. Be sure to recycle old items containing mercury according to your local hazardous waste collection program.
By signing this petition below, you will urge Administrator McCarthy to continue to work nationally and internationally to reduce global mercury usage.
Dear Administrator McCarthy,
The use of mercury in chemical plants, cement kilns, batteries, and other household products muse be reduced or eliminated. Americans face a barrage of unavoidable pollutants every day. If the EPA can continue to work to eliminate mercury as one of these pollutants, then both humans and wildlife can live a more healthy existence.
Naturally-occurring or historically-deposited mercury cannot be eliminated, but its use in thermometers, thermostats, barometers, and switches and relays can be discontinued. Additionally, the two remaining U.S. chloralkali chemical plants need to be phased out or converted into non-mercury producing plants.
I urge you to work to further reduce and eliminate global mercury usage. Please take action to improve the world’s health today.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Marcel