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Hydroelectric Projects Pose Risk to First Nations, Harvard Study Warns | VICE | Canada

29.11.16

Hydroelectric Projects Pose Risk to First Nations, Harvard Study Warns | VICE | Canada: Inorganic mercury is created by forest fires, volcanoes, mining gold, and burning coal, but benignly stored in soil and vegetation. That is, until the area is flooded with the damming of a river to create a reservoir, stimulating the now-underwater material to start decomposing and the chill mercury to be converted by bacteria into methylmercury, a dangerous neurotoxin that bioaccumulates in fish, birds and larger mammals, including humans. That latter happens most often with Indigenous people in remote and Northern communities, many of whom rely on fish and other wildlife as a key part of their diet. This can result in many generations of increased chances of heart problems, nervous system abnormalities, kidney damage, and ADHD in children.


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