October 23, 2018
Mercury accounts for one-third of the “impaired waters” listing for Minnesota—1,670 of the 4,603 lakes and rivers. As the word “impaired” implies, it is defined as body of water that is not meeting state water quality standards. Elevated exposure to mercury can harm the nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) and the kidneys. It can cause illness or, in extreme cases, death, and it is a special concern for fetuses, infants and children, according to the Minnesota Health Department. Exposure to mercury during the time the nervous system is developing can affect a child’s ability to learn and process information.