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Keep Houston Press Free
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Houston's Weather Has Always Been Mercurial, and Now We've Got Real Mercury to Deal With?

New Zealanders have something new to fear today: Chinese blankets loaded up with formaldehyde! Apparently formaldehyde gives the blankets a “permanent press effect.” They have been recalled.

Aren’t you glad you’re not sleeping in a poisonous Chinese blanket in New Zealand? We were feeling smug about that until we read our email. According to a recent University of Houston study, there’s a surprising amount of formaldehyde right here in town – we’re all breathing it, and we’re all gonna die (someday, anyway). Actually, the formaldehyde in the air isn’t a direct danger to humans, but it’s not good for the ozone layer.

Breathing a bit easier? Don’t. There’s still mercury to contend with. According to the study, probably the first to measure Houston mercury levels, our air has anywhere from two to six times more mercury in the air than other parts of the country. Most in danger: the young and the knocked-up. “Mercury is toxic and is most detrimental to children and pregnant women and causes developmental abnormalities,” according to UH’s Barry Lefer.

Does that mean pregnant ladies can go ahead and eat sushi now? In our professional opinion, sure! Go ahead and devour that spicy tuna roll. Your kid’s already effed. – Cathy Matusow

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