A Harvard University study has found high levels of mercury in residents of Revena, a small town in upstate New York. Though the study itself does not detail the source of the mercury, residents suspect the abnormal levels may be caused by pollution from a local cement plant.
Researchers began the study last May by collecting voluntary samples of blood and hair from 185 residents of the town. After analysis, they discovered that ten percent of adults and five percent of children have levels of mercury high enough to warrant medical attention.
The study was sparked by the group Community Advocates for Safe Emissions. The results have increased the group’s suspicion of the cement plant by confirming that the increased mercury levels have not been caused by consuming fish, which is a typical source of high mercury. Elyse Kunz, co-founder of CASE told Times Union reporters, “While the study does not say where the mercury is coming from, it is hard not to look at the big smokestack across the street.”
Since some cannot afford the expense of relocating if they live in an area prone to air or water pollution, residents with similar circumstances to those in Revena, may want to ensure that thay have excellent health insurance coverage as well as a solid life insurance policy, in the event of illness, injury or death.