Mercury emanating from humans pollutes the deepest oceanic cracks in the world, a new study showed.
Scientists have discovered that artificial mercury pollution has reached the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean – the Mariana Trench. This has serious consequences on how mercury affects the marine environment and how it can accumulate throughout the food chain.
Mercury is toxic to humans and other animals, and in the past it caused natural disasters, especially in Minamata in Japan in the 1950s, when it led to birth defects and serious neurological symptoms in children.
It is usually concentrated in marine organisms – harmful levels of mercury can be concentrated in animals that are higher in the natural food chain. This leads to a concentration of mercury in the swordfish, 40 times the concentration of salmon.