A study done by the Sierra Club found elevated levels of mercury in New Jersey residents’ hair, but the state Department of Environmental Protection says further information is needed to determine the study’s significance.
Of the 34 people in Ocean City who agreed to be part of the national hair test, the Sierra Club found nearly a quarter had mercury levels about the EPA’s safety recommendations.
But the DEP says a lack of statistics and context has caused what could be undue concern. Spokesman Larry Ragonese told the Press of Atlantic City there isn’t enough information from the study to determine why eight of the 34 New Jerseyans tested have elevated mercury levels.
The Sierra Club conducted the study to encourage the support of national standards for how much mercury can be emitted from coal-fired power plants. Hair samples can be used to gauge the amount of mercury in a person’s body.