Date of Award

5-16-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Kyle Nichols

Second Reader

Robert Turner

Abstract

Mercury is an environmental contaminant affecting neurological development, the immune system and cardiac health. Air emissions become environmental pollutants impacting air, water and land. Consumption of mercury-contaminated fish can create public health concerns, primarily to pregnant women and their fetuses. New York State's public policy response addresses incidental exposures with annual fish advisories and restrictions on mercury emissions and products sold or used. Additional public policy responses to the mercury problem can include: direct notification of advisories to fish consumers, enhanced public health notification of benefits and risks of consuming fish, labeling requirements on mercury-containing products, and expanded scientific data collection to track mercury interactions in the atmosphere to determine confounding factors contributing to mercury exposures.

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