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EPA gives $3.6 million in grants for projects to reduce mercury exposure in Great Lakes region (11/22/2013)
TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded four grants totaling over $3.6 million for projects designed to reduce exposure to mercury and other toxins for people eating Great Lakes fish. State health departments in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin about nearly $1 million each. Cornell University got about $600,000 for a project to reduce toxic exposure among urban anglers in the Great Lakes region. The grants came from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an Obama administration program that focuses on some of the most persistent environmental problems affecting the lakes, including toxic pollution, invasive species and habitat loss.
Grant targets exposure to tainted fish (11/22/2013)
The aim is to limit consumption by young women of mercury-tinged fish from the Lake Superior basin. Minnesota will receive nearly $1 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to expand efforts to change fish consumption among young women, a response to high levels of mercury detected in the Lake Superior basin. Along with an earlier grant, the Minnesota Department of Health will spend a total of $2.4 million to reduce mercury exposure in women of childbearing age by developing new public health messages delivered at the doctor's office. The project follows a 2011 study that found 8 percent of the infants born around the shores of Lake Superior had unhealthy levels of mercury in their blood. In Minnesota, the rate was even higher -- one in 10. Mercury is a neurotoxin that causes developmental problems in children.
Women still eating fish, but consuming less mercury (11/22/2013)
Warnings about the dangers of mercury appear to have resonated with women. Mercury blood levels in women of childbearing age have dropped by 34 percent, even though fish consumption has remained relatively constant over the past decade, a new government study shows. Most likely that's because women between the ages of 16 and 49 have been choosing fish that is low in mercury, researchers from the Environmental Protection Agency concluded. "We were thrilled to have this finding," said Betsy Southerland, director of the Office of Science and Technology for the EPA's Office of Water.
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