Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is reintroducing a bill that would track mercury pollution to better protect human health and fisheries.
The American Lung Association supports the bill. The vice-chair of the Maine chapter, Dr. Marguerite Pennoyer, says better monitoring is important, paired with federal efforts to reduce mercury emissions. But she’s concerned about a proposal in the Environmental Protection Agency to undermine mercury standards.
“It’s a small step to have the EPA do just what we really need, which is to enforce the current mercury and air toxic standards, rather than dismantling those.” she says.
It’s estimated that every year, as many as 200,000 babies in the womb are exposed to mercury levels high enough to impair neurological development.