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What are the biggest sources of mercury air emissions in the U.S.?

According to EPA's 2008 National Emissions Inventory, version 2,  http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/net/2008inventory.html#inventorydoc, coal-fired electric power plants are the largest source of human-caused mercury air emissions in the U.S. These power plants account for about 48% of total U.S. man-made mercury emissions. Other large sources are:

  • Industrial boilers (about 7% of U.S. mercury emissions),
  • Burning waste from the manufacture of Portland cement (about 7%),
  • Electric arc furnaces used in steelmaking (about 8%), and
  • Gold mining (about 3%).

Burning municipal waste and medical waste was once a larger source of emissions. Today, in response to EPA and state regulations and reductions in mercury use, emissions from these sources have declined over 95 percent.

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 23002-21198
  • Date Created: 1/19/2005
  • Last Modified Since: 4/9/2014
  • Viewed: 2975

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