October 10, 2005

Mercury Pollution - Cut It Out!

Tonight we finished a statewide series of free hair testings for mercury contamination. At 11 locations around the state, we met hundreds of moms, dads, kids, young adults, and seniors who are concerned that pollution from coal power plants is ending up on their plate and in their bodies.

From Peoria to Pilsen, Carbondale to Highland Park, Illinoisans lined up to have a lock of their hair taken as part of a national analysis being done by the Environmental Quality Institue at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Each will get confidential results of their own mercury test, which will be part of a national study to be released in November.

Thanks to everyone who took part, and especially the salons and barbershops who hosted these community events and collected the samples. Until we require pollution controls on mercury from power plants, educating the public about how they can limit their own exposure through their diet is the best way to prevent children from suffering from mercury poisoning.

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