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Research: mercury threat caused by seawater

June 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
New research shows seawater itself is the reason why mercury in saltwater fish poses more of a health threat to people than freshwater fish.Researchers found that the potentially harmful form of mercury, methylmercury, attaches onto dissolved organic matter in freshwater, but latches onto the salt in seawater.

They said this form of mercury is a powerful neurotoxin that can cause kidney and brain disorders, and even death.

The findings suggest that scientists and policy makers should focus their attention on the effects of mercury in the ocean, rather than in freshwater.