Global mercury emissions down 30 percent as coal use drops: USGS

WASHINGTON Global emissions of mercury from manmade sources fell 30 percent from 1990 to 2010, in part from decreasing use of coal, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported on Wednesday. The greatest decline of the toxic pollutant was in Europe and North America, offsetting increases in Asia, the agency said, citing an international study.

Molting elephant seals add mercury to coastal seawater

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As fish-eating predators at the top of the marine food chain, elephant seals accumulate high concentrations of mercury in their bodies. A new study by scientists at UC Santa Cruz shows that elephant seals shed significant amounts of mercury during molting, resulting in elevated concentrations of the toxic metal in coastal waters near the elephant seal rookery at Año Nuevo State Reserve.