It's beginning to look like Illinois' biggest mercury polluters are going to argue that protecting children's brains and nervous system is too expensive for them. See this story in today's Chicago Tribune:
If so then they must only care about their own pocketbooks, because the rest of us are the ones paying because they haven't cleaned up their act. A Mt. Sinai study released last year estimated that mercury contamination costs at least $8.7 billion annually in health care costs and decreased productivity due to kids brains and nervous systems being damaged by mercury. (See http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/press/030205.html)
Also, what's the impact on Illinois' fishing and tourism industry due to the health warning now attached to every river and lake in Illinois due to mercury pollution? How many more people would spend their vacation and recreation dollars fishing in Illinois if it were safe to feed their catch to their families?
Most public health problems are difficult to solve because there are usually many contributing factors that are hard to get a handle on. This is a case where most of the Illinois mercury pollution comes out of 22 smokestacks, and the technology to shut most of it off is readily available.
It's time to do it.
Governor Blagojevich announcing his mercury reduction plan Thursday at Navy Pier in Chicago.