NY Neighbors of Cement Plant Test High for Mercury

"RAVENA, NY -- Nearly one person in 10 tested for toxic mercury had elevated blood levels enough to warrant a visit to their doctor, according to a study of people who live around the Lafarge cement plant by the Harvard University School of Public Health.

The results, based on a study of 172 people who last spring volunteered to give blood and hair samples, also found that eating local fish is not behind most of the elevated mercury levels. The state advises that the best way to avoid mercury exposure is not to consume local fish.

"Our study also does not explain the source of this mercury. But there are techniques that could be used to do that in further studies," said Michael Bank, the Harvard School of Public Health researcher who led the study."

Brian Nearing reports for the Albany Times-Union January 7, 2011.

Source: Albany Times-Union, 01/07/2011