Q. Why is mercury an environmental concern?
A. In sufficient concentrations, mercury may cause adverse health effects. Sources of mercury in the environment from human activity include fluorescent lamps, batteries, and coal-burning power plants. Small amounts of mercury are a necessary component of fluorescent lamps, but when a lamp is broken, crushed, or disposed of in a landfill or incinerator, mercury may be released into the air, surface water, or groundwater.