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Most of us know Mercury (chemical symbol Hg) as the metal which is liquid at room temperature.  Our knowledge is limited to it being used in thermometers.  Mercury is harmless in insoluble form but very dangerous in soluble form.  According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,

Mercury can be taken in through the lungs, mouth, skin, or by eating mercury-contaminated fish.  It affects the human brain, spinal chord, kidneys, lungs, and liver. Symptoms of short-term exposure to high levels of mercury include nausea, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, sore gums, and an elevated white blood cell count.  Long-term exposure leads to tingling sensations in the fingers and toes and  numb sensation around mouth. These symptoms can get progressively worse leading to personality changes, tunnel vision, and coma.Women who expect to become pregnant should not eat mercury-contaminated fish since it affects fetal development. Affected children show lowered intelligence, impaired hearing and poor coordination. 

Dangers of Mercury combined with a government asleep . 

Over the last seven years, European exporters including Spain, Britain, Russia, Italy as well as the United States have managed to sell – critics say dump – 3,000 tonnes of mercury to India. Activists say this is happening because of tougher laws in Europe, which has decided to phase out all its mercury-based plants. It needs to export about 15,000 tonnes of mercury to countries like India, which have weak laws and unsuspecting publics. 

Though we have lot of environment groups trying their best to spread awareness, there’s definitely a limit to their capacity. How long will it take for  the government to wake up to the dangers facing our country on all fronts and when will it take action? Or will we be  a ‘helpless country whose government is lax’ apart from being a ‘dumping ground for toxic Mercury’. Read more at http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=20942

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