Bush does something right

By some freakish chain of events, President Bush signed into law a new ban on exports of the deadly heavy element mercury (Hg) from the US. The ban will go into effect in 2013, and complements a similar ban on Hg exports from the European Union. The EU ban goes into effect in 2011. Two years before our ban. Of course.

Mercury is a toxic heavy metal. When released into the environment the most common path for Hg is to complex with organic compounds in lakes, rivers and the ocean, where it eventually is converted by bacteria into methylmercury HgCH3+ or dimethylmercury Hg(CH3). Both methylated forms of mercury are ridiculously dangerous, and tend to accumulate in animal fatty tissues. Small fish feed on Hg-contaminated plankton and food particles, then larger fish eat the smaller, establishing a trophic chain that results in top predator fish with high levels of Hg in their tissues. Humans like to eat top predator fish.

Did no one mention to Bush that passing this new law will involve both cooperating with foreigners, and the prevention of suffering? Perhaps the law also contains a subsection that allows for the public stoning of adulterers, or something along those lines.


~ by Planetologist on October 22, 2008.

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