Solution needed on mercury

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Children used to play in the Ohio River, and families would frequently eat the fish they caught from the river.

While some still do, the state advises against eating fish from that source more than once or twice a week for some species, and no more than once a month for others due to mercury and other contaminants.

It isn’t just fish either. High mercury and lead levels in the meat of snapping turtles have led to warnings about eating them from some Ohio waterways as well.

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Pollution and water contamination is a serious problem across the state and nation. Some of it comes from the air, when industrial pollution combines with clouds to contaminate the very rain that replenishes our creeks and rivers. Some of it comes from industrial surface pollution. And some of it, as we’ve recently learned, comes from the wastewater our cities produce.

It seems unreasonable in some ways that the city of Ironton is being held to a standard that requires their treated sewage to contain less mercury than what is found in rainwater. But rather than being upset that we’re being held to an unfair standard, we must all ask ourselves what can we do to help with a solution?

We need to all work together to play our part in keeping our environment safe, and this includes our emissions and waterways.

This means doing things like disposing of chemicals and medicines properly.

We can’t stop the rain, but we can remain cognizant as a community in what is dumped back into the river and other waterways throughout Lawrence County.