Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mercury Alert

Pee Dee Area Physicians Call On DHEC to Test Humans for Mercury

In light of mercury threats to the Pee Dee region, area physicians will gather outside DHEC's Florence offices at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, December 6 to request formally that DHEC begin testing human populations in the Pee Dee region for mercury contamination.

A recent investigative series in the Charleston Post & Courier documented alarming and dangerous levels of mercury in South Carolina citizens who eat fish from the state's mercury contaminated rivers, including the Pee Dee.

DHEC has stated that the agency will not begin testing without a formal request from a physician.

Two weeks ago, Florence resident and neurosurgeon Dr. Ken Kammer submitted a request, and since that time two other physicians, Dr. Tim Dancy and Dr. Bernetha George, have submitted supporting letters calling for DHEC to test humans for mercury.

Physicians will address the human health risks of mercury and ask that DHEC rescind the draft air permit it granted Santee Cooper allowing the utility to emit 138 pounds of toxic mercury a year. One pound of methyl mercury is enough to contaminate 500,000 pounds of fish tissue.

Please join us on your lunch hour as we meet outside the DHEC offices for our press event.

WHAT: Physicians request DHEC to test humans for mercury
WHERE: DHEC offices, 145 E Cheves St, Florence, SC 29506
WHEN: Thursday, 6 December, 12:15 PM

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