Without this conversion, the low concentrations of mercury in the environment would not be a problem. Mammals such as fishers, bears and people are also at risk. Mercury is able to travel long distances in the air. Mercury contamination of fish is the primary reason for issuing fish consumption advisories, which exist in every State in the Nation. Much of the mercury in the environment originates from combustion of coal and can travel long distances in the atmosphere before being deposited on the land surface. Mercury is emitted into the environment from many natural and human-made sources. Just a couple of these technologies include the following: Scrubber technology can be used to get 90 percent of the mercury out of emissions. Industrial processes can release mercury as a by-product into the atmosphere. Most forms of mercury can’t pass through a cell membrane because they are bound to large molecules or because they carry a charge. Activities such as burning coal for fuel or for manufacturing release mercury into the air. Mercury itself is a naturally occurring element that is present throughout the environment and in plants and animals. That’s because sulfide helps mercury get into cells. HOW DOES MERCURY GET INTO LAKES? Mercury is introduced into the environment in three ways. When products and wastes containing mercury are improperly disposed, mercury is released into the air, ground or water. Like lead or cadmium, mercury is a constituent element of the earth, a heavy metal.In pure form, it is known alternatively as "elemental" or "metallic" mercury (also expressed as Hg(0) or Hg 0).Mercury is rarely found in nature as the pure, liquid metal, but rather within compounds and inorganic salts. How does mercury get into the environment? Mercury can collect in the body tissue of fish. For example, a coal-burning power plant could release mercury into the air in its fumes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that human fetuses exposed to mercury before birth “may be at an increased risk of … Mercury in the air is deposited into the water. Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and exists in a large number of forms. Ways to Eliminate Mercury in Water. After mercury falls to Earth with rain, snow, or dust particles, bacteria convert it into a form called methylmercury. This build-up of mercury has major health implications not only for fish, but also other species that consume them. Mercury Contamination. How does mercury get into the environment? The technology exists to do a much better job at controlling mercury pollution and it does not have to be emitted into our air and streams. Mercury is also in the environment from natural sources, such as rocks, soil and volcanoes. Second, mercury is emitted into the air from … Birds such as loons, ducks, eagles, herons, and others consume large quantities of fish. 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