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Study Finds NJ Residents Above Average In Metal Mercury Exposure

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(Some environmental groups advise avoiding consumption of king mackerel, above, and similar large fish because of their high mercury content.)

(Some environmental groups advise avoiding consumption of king mackerel, above, and similar large fish because of their high mercury content.)

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OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) - The Sierra Club conducted a national test recently on mercury contamination, and their findings indicate that certain New Jersey residents might want to get themselves tested.

Volunteers were asked to show up at hair salons — including one in Ocean City, NJ — where samples were taken and examined.

Of 34 women in New Jersey who allowed their test results to be released, eight had mercury levels higher than what the EPA considers safe — and all had some mercury in them.

According to Sierra Club spokeswoman Christine Guhl, the problem is eating fish.

“The bigger fish with the longer life spans have more mercury because it accumulates in their bodies over time,” she explains, “and the greatest source of mercury pollution is coal-fired power plants.”

She says the EPA is now considering limits on mercury emissions from those coal-burning plants.

It should be noted that these results are slightly above the national average, and mercury usually clears itself from the human body in six months’ time.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

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