Bioaccumulate: To store up a
substance over time within an organism. Substances that bioaccumulate
tend not to break down and dissipate. Methylmercury
bioaccumulates in fish tissue.
Clean Air Act (CAA): The most important
of federal air quality laws. Congress originally passed the CAA
in 1970, adding significant amendments in 1977 and 1990, to establish
health- and technology-based air quality standards administered
by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Emissions Trading: A program
that allows sources that over-control emissions to sell or trade
emissions reduction credits with other sources where the costs of
controls would be prohibitively expensive. A trading market is created
among all sources whereby an overall cap on emissions is not exceeded.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
A federal agency created in 1970 to consolidate the federal government's
environmental regulatory activities that aim to protect the environment
and public health.
Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT):
Refers to the average emission limitation achieved by the best performing
12 percent of existing sources.
Mercury (Hg): A naturally occurring metal
in the Earth's crust that is emitted into the environment as a result
of both natural and human activities. In its elemental form, mercury
is a shiny, silver-white metal that liquefies at room temperature.
Mercury can be found in both organic and inorganic forms.
Methylmercury (MeHg): An organic species
of mercury that is created usually in water as
mercury cycles through the biosphere. Electric power plants do not
release organic mercury, and, therefore, electric utilities do not
emit methylmercury. Methylmercury is the form of mercury that bioaccumulates
in fish tissue.
Reference Dose (RfD): The estimated dose
of a substance that can be consumed daily for life without adverse
health effects, even in sensitive populations.
- See A
Review of DOE/NETL's Mercury Control Technology R&D Program
for Coal-Fired Power Plants,
U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory,
- See Blood
Mercury Levels in U.S. Children and Women of Childbearing Age
1999-2000, Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(13):1667-74.
- See Christian Seigneur, et al., Environmental
Science and Technology, 38:2, January 15, 2004.
- See Fish
Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular
Disease, Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association,
- See Frequently
Asked Questions About Mercury,
Electric Power Research Institute, December 22, 2003.
- See Mercury
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, September 2000.
- See Regulatory
Finding on the Emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants from Electric
Utility Steam Generating Units, 65 Federal Register 79825-31.
- See Second
National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for
Environmental Health, Pub. No. 02-0716, Revised March 2003.
- See "Should
pregnant women avoid eating fish? Lessons from the Seychelles,"
The Lancet, Vol. 361: 1667-68, May 17, 2003.
- See Toxicological
Effects of Methylmercury, National Resource Council, Board
on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Commission on Life Sciences,
- See Toxicological
Profile for Mercury-1999 Update, U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances
and Disease Registry, April 1999.
- See What
You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish, U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration,