How to Stop Mercury Polluters

The story of one scientist’s quest to save the birds he loves

Finches used to test the effects of methylmercury (photo by Paul Greenberg)

was just another sweltering summer afternoon gathering blood samples from Shenandoah Valley birds when the news came in. The ornithologist Dan Cristolhad been conducting a preliminary assessment funded by DuPont to determine to what degree the company’s pollution of the watershed might have affected the…