December 28, 2007--Mercury levels may be high in mountains (Durango Herald)

High levels of mercury are falling in the San Juan Mountains, according to early results from a study. The Mountain Studies Institute reported the finding in its December newsletter. Mercury is a poisonous substance that comes from a variety of sources, including coal power plants. The institute, which has offices at Fort Lewis College and in Silverton, collected rain and snow on Molas Pass from April through November. Early results from the study show mercury concentrations ranging from 3 nanograms to 29 nanograms per liter. Readings of 12 nanograms per liter are considered high, while 6 nanograms are considered low, according to the institute. The state health department says the fish in 14 Colorado lakes contain too much mercury to eat. Five of the reservoirs are in Southwest Colorado - Navajo, Vallecito, Totten, McPhee and Narraguinnep.

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