Canada’s Big Dams Produce Clean Energy, Though With High Levels of Mercury

Image result for Canada’s big dams produce clean energy, though with high levels of mercuryAt the large Muskarat Falls hydroelectric dam which under construction in a remote area of Labrador, the indigenous people within the environs are raising louder alarms in the form of demonstrations. The issue is not with the dam itself, rather the controversy lies on what will flow from it. The protests are channeled towards a usually ignored side effect of hydroelectric power; the reservoirs behind dams develop high amounts of methyl mercury, leading to poisoning amongst people consuming fish and other game meat from downstream.

Activists at the Muskrat Falls Dam recently agreed on truce, which mandated the project’s

administrators to oversee partial flooding of the reserve while promising to enact the requisite steps in negating mercury concerns, based on ideals from independent advisory groups and scientists.

Chronic exposure to high levels of methyl mercury have proved to be harmful to human health, bringing in changes in heart rate, persistent spiking sensations on the skin, as well as difficulty in muscle coordination.

Reference

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/world/canada/clean-energy-dirty-water-canadas-hydroelectric-dams-have-a-mercury-problem.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fscience&_r=0

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