Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water and soil. It exists in several forms: elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds. Mercury is an element in the Earth’s crust. Humans cannot create or destroy mercury. Pure mercury is a liquid metal, sometimes referred to as quicksilver that volatizes readily. It has traditionally been used to make products like thermometers, switches, and some light bulbs.
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued a statewide total maximum daily load (TMDL) for mercury. The ultimate goal of the TMDL is to ensure safe levels of mercury in fish throughout North Carolina for human consumption.