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Get Tested For Mercury Contamination

Feature story - September 24, 2009
The mercury hair testing program has ended. We regret that we are no longer able to offer kits for testing mercury levels in hair. Our partner laboratory will be closing shortly.If you are interested in being tested, we recommend that you contact your primary physician or your state health department for further information.This project has provided thousands with information about their mercury levels. It has shown the dangerous level of mercury in our environment, and highlighted the ongoing dangers from the largest emitter of mercury pollution - coal-fired power plants. It is possible to reduce mercury emissions from these plants by 90 percent today, but several administrations have stalled reductions for over a decade. More than 10,000 concerned citizens were tested and over 500,000 people contacted the Bush administration asking that mercury standards be strengthened.

If you have placed an order but have not received your test kit, please contact Supporter Care at or by phone at 1-800-722-6995, Mon - Fri, 9:30am - 5pm EST.

More than 9,000 individuals have taken part in our mercury testing program. Hear from some of them.

Why did you get tested for mercury?

As someone concerned with health and the environment, I'm deeply worried about the quality of air and water in my community. With mercury contamination, you're dealing with invisible particles. It's out there, but you can't see it. I hear about levels of mercury increasing in the state of Florida and so I want to know the mercury levels for me and my family.

-Jorge Vera, Executive Director, Florida Conservation Alliance

My son and I got tested because of the health risks associated with high levels of mercury. The impacts of mercury on children like behavioral problems are avoidable if people aware of their diet when pregnant. I want to make sure my child's diet will keep him safe.

-Leila Varella, Philadelphia, PA

I am happy to have the opportunity to take this test. I have heard the risks, but, until now, did not know how to find out if I was at risk. Our lawmakers should be doing more to protect us.

-Michelle Miles, Denver, CO


 

The Dangers of Mercury

Mercury is a highly toxic chemical that can affect the central nervous system. Personal exposure to mercury, especially in the womb, can cause severe problems similar to those seen in other neurotoxins like lead: inability to focus and pay attention, delayed language development, impaired memory, vision and motor coordination, and problems processing information.

The largest emitter of mercury pollution is coal-fired power plants. It is possible to reduce mercury emissions from these plants by 90 percent right now, but the Bush administration is trying to stall the clean up for at least 10 years. More than 500,000 people have contacted the Bush administration asking that mercury standards be strengthened, NOT weakened.