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Report: Mercury Levels Mostly Down In Great Lakes

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(credit: CBS)

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DETROIT (AP) – A newly released report says mercury levels in the Great Lakes region generally have dropped over the past four decades, although concentrations in some fish and bird species have increased more recently.

The report was being released Tuesday at a news conference in Detroit. It sums up the findings of 35 recently completed scientific papers.

Scientists credit reduced air emissions in the Great Lakes region and nationwide for the drop in mercury levels in the lakes.

The report comes about a month before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to release tougher rules for emissions from coal-fired power plants, a leading source of mercury.

But despite the drop-off, the report says mercury pollution exceed thresholds for posing health risks to humans and the environment in many areas, especially inland waterways.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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