Mercury Drives Zebra Finches Crazy
1 Samuel 21:13
"And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard."
A few days ago, a light bulb on my ceiling fan exploded, showering my room with thousands of large, small, and tiny pieces of glass. I breathed a sigh of relief because I hadn't been hit by any flying glass. But there's another reason I was grateful.
At a recent Animal Behavior Society meeting at Princeton, John Swaddle of the College of William and Mary told how he and his colleagues had exposed zebra finches to an amount of mercury simulating a contaminated environment. The poisoned birds were bolder and hyperactive but spent less time feeding. Swaddle said that their hyperactivity would put them on the dementia side of mercury poisoning.
He said this because small doses of mercury are known to cause dementia in humans. And this is why I was grateful that the light bulb which had exploded near me was a regular incandescent bulb. If it had been a new compact fluorescent light bulb, I would have been exposed to poisonous mercury vapor. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has a ten-step advisory on how to handle broken CFL bulbs. All I had to do was sweep up the broken glass.
Since Alzheimer's disease and dementia are rising, one has to wonder why the United States would ban incandescent bulbs and insist that they be replaced with light bulbs containing mercury, a substance known to cause depression and dementia.
While Creation Moments supports good stewardship of the environment, we do not support actions that put our health at risk. After all, we were made in the image of God.
Notes: "Zebra finches go mad with mercury, and other animal updates", ScienceNews, S. Zielinski, 8-17-14. www2.epa.gov/cfl/cleaning-broken-cfl. Photo: Courtesy of Jim Bendon. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Creation Moments, Inc., P.O. Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 www.creationmoments.com
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