Scientists have long known that forest fires release mercury into the atmosphere. Peatlands, which are widespread in the vast boreal forest stretching across nearly every Canadian province and far into the territories, release huge tonnages of mercury when burnt because, “As water flows through, peat filters mercury out of the water,” said Mike Flannigan of the Canadian Forest Service. When peatlands burn, mercury is released into the atmosphere, eventually falling to earth where it combines with sulphur to form mercury’s most toxic form. Climate change could double the estimate that peat-burning forest fires currently release 341 tonnes per year across the world’s northern forests. That compares with about 48 tonnes annually for all American power plants.
The FDA says that 2 to 3 thousand tons of metallic mercury is being released into the air from manmade sources. Chemical radioactivity is an appropriate phrase to describe what the situation is with mercury and other chemicals that are causing disease rates to sore. And what has already arrived gets worse with the hundreds of millions of tons of toxic chemicals that get produced and added to the human biosphere each year. Everyone now has to live and breathe in the context of a dangerous chemical cloud with radioactive like fallout that penetrates our human skin. Having failed to destroy ourselves with radioactive clouds from atomic bombs we have managed to muddle through and threaten ourselves through chemical means. Actually now with the use of depleted Uranium weapons it is in reality clouds of chemicals and radioactivity combining that is threatening us.
Mercury pollution is making its way into nearly every habitat in the U.S., exposing countless species of wildlife to potentially harmful levels of mercury, a September 2006 report from the National Wildlife Federation shows. “From songbirds to alligators, turtles to bats, eagles to otters, mercury is accumulating in nearly every corner of the food chain,” says Catherine Bowes, Northeast Program Manager for the National Wildlife Federation and principal author of the report. “This report paints a compelling picture of mercury contamination in the U.S., and many more species are at risk than we previously thought. Fish, long thought to be the key species affected by mercury, are just the tip of the iceberg.” People forget all too easily that humanity is also an animal species and the same thing that his happening to these animals is happening to us. Not too many people are paying attention to the absolute nightmare that is happening with mercury and even less how it relates to global warming.