WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2007 /U.S. Newswire/ -- As the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) face pending deadlines on mercury reduction plans, a new study published today calculated that the U.S. loses $8.7 billion annually due to the impact of mercury on children's brain development. The peer-reviewed study by the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine's Center for Children's Health and the Environment was published today, February 28, online by the National Institutes of Health journal, Environmental Health Perspectives.
"Before they take their first breath, as many as 600,000 babies may suffer permanent brain damage from their mothers' exposure to mercury pollution," said Susan Marmagas, MPH, director of Physicians for Social Responsibility's Environment and Health Program. "The damage has personal consequences for these children, but now we see that it also has enormous implications for the national economy."