A new study finds that farmers in Washington, D.C., are more likely to have mercury poisoning than people in other states.
The study, by the University of Washington and the Washington State Department of Health, found that the rate of mercury poisoning in Washington farmers was four times higher than in neighboring Washington state.
That’s likely because farmers have higher levels of mercury than the rest of the state, according to the researchers.
In other words, a high level of mercury exposure could increase your risk of mercury-related problems.
The researchers also found that a higher prevalence of mercury contamination was also found among people in the Washington, DC metro area.
Washington is one of the most mercury-polluted states in the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.3 million Americans die annually from mercury-containing air pollution, a number that has risen sharply over the past decade.
According to the CDC, about one in every five Americans has some exposure to mercury, and the highest concentration of mercury in the blood is found in the kidneys.
That could explain why the researchers found higher rates of mercury pollution in Washington.
A number of factors may contribute to the high rate of exposure to toxic mercury in Washington: A higher prevalence in Washington of the mercury-contaminated air pollution is likely because of a more polluted city.
That makes Washington the second-poisoning state after New York, according the study.
Mercury-contamination levels in the air were highest in the suburbs of Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.
Other factors that could also be contributing to the elevated rate of air pollution in the state include the presence of industrial sites, farms, and homes that are more prone to mercury contamination.
The report’s lead author, Elizabeth G. Sibley, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told the Seattle Times that “environmental exposures to mercury in farming and forestry are linked to a number of environmental health risks.”
The researchers, however, are not saying that farming and other occupations should be avoided.
Instead, they’re suggesting that people think about the potential health risks and take steps to reduce their exposure to the substance.
In general, the researchers recommend that people who are already at risk for mercury exposure avoid all outdoor activities, such as swimming, and that people with chronic health conditions who are exposed to mercury should be monitored closely.
More stories from Washington.
The Mercury-Mercury Connection