Autism Risk Linked To Distance From Power Plants, Other Mercury-releasing Sources
ScienceDaily (2008-04-25) -- How do mercury emissions affect pregnant mothers, the unborn and toddlers? Do the level of emissions impact autism rates? Does it matter whether a mercury-emitting source is 10 miles away from families versus 20 miles? Is the risk of autism greater for children who live closer to the pollution source? A newly published study of Texas school district data and industrial mercury-release data indeed shows a statistically significant link between pounds of industrial release of mercury and increased autism rates. ... > read full article

Mom & Pop Gold Miners Threaten New Wave Of Mercury Pollution
ScienceDaily (2007-05-29) -- Could tons of neurotoxic mercury now stored in the United States wind up in the hands of poverty-stricken gold miners in developing countries and eventually be released into the environment, where it could end up entering the human food chain? A new article explores that possibility in a script that reads like an environmental version of the hit film, Blood Diamond. ... > read full article

New Wastewater Treatment System Removes Heavy Metals
ScienceDaily (2007-10-22) -- The presence in the environment of large quantities of toxic metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, zinc or others, poses serious health risks to humans, and this threat puts the scientific community under pressure to develop new methods to detect and eliminate toxic contaminants from wastewaters in efficient and economically viable ways. A new type of nanomaterial called nanostructured silica has been found to fulfill the requisites necessary for these applications. ... > read full article

Cheap Test to Detect Mercury
ScienceDaily (August 1, 2006) -- Physical chemists have created a new, cheap test to detect mercury, an element known to harm the brain, kidneys, heart, lungs and immune system. A gold nanorod absorbs mercury from a sample and, then and an optical spectrometer measures changes in the nanorod's light absorption. The process, which takes less than 10 minutes, can test mercury concentrations in liquids, gases, or solids.