Florida League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

State of the Florida Environment Education Page


Summary and Documentation of Florida Environmental Problems and Solutions:       (not update for several years)


Article 1. State of the Florida Environment

Documentation on declining water tables, groundwater and surface water contamination, storm water and agricultural runoff, coastal problems such as sea level rise, salt water intrusion of water table, sea grass and fishery declines, dead zones and reef declines, growing congestion, air emissions, global warming, widespread mercury contamination of freshwater and saltwater fish, other toxics in the food chain, etc.


Article 2. Florida Energy Problems, Options, and Suggested Solutions

Energy dependence and export of capital, air emissions(mercury, other toxics, particulates, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, dioxins), global warmingsea surface temperature increasessea level rise,  ozone layer decline, etc. 


Article 3. Widespread High Levels of Mercury in Florida Freshwater and Saltwater Fish, and in People

The majority of freshwater lakes and rivers have health warnings to limit fish consumption due to high levels of mercury, and salt water fish and shellfish appear to be an even bigger problem.  Most common Gulf Coast species have been documented to have high levels of mercury, and studies show most who eat fish at least once per week have dangerous levels of mercury, enough to cause adverse health effects.  A significant portion of the Florida population falls in this category.


Article 4.  Neurological Effects of Toxic Metal Exposure on Children

           Toxic metal exposure is the largest cause of chronic childrens neurological conditions such as autismADHD, dyslexia, learning disabilities, etc. Government agencies have found mercury, arsenic, and lead to be the 3 most common toxic exposures affecting large numbers of people, with cadmium, nickel, and aluminum also affecting large numbers of people. There has been a huge increase over the last decade in neurological conditions affecting children documented by Government agencies, due to increased toxic metal exposure. The largest sources of mercury exposure on children are mercury thimerosal from vaccines, fish, and prenatal or exposure through breast milk from mothers dental amalgam fillings.  The largest sources of arsenic are playground and patio pressure treated wood, drinking water, and shellfish. The largest sources of lead are home paint, water pipes and solder, soil.   Large sources of cadmium are drinking water and the food chain, while common sources of exposure to nickel include dental work, braces, food. 



Article 5. Exposure and Health Effects Due to Arsenic in the Florida Environment

U.S. EPA/ATSDR consider arsenic to be in the top 3 toxic exposures affecting large numbers of people. Arsenic is documented to cause cancer, cardiovascular problems, and neurological problems.  The most common significant exposures are treated wood from playgrounds and patios, water, and fish/shellfish.

Some case histories of affects on children     


Article 6. Health Effects of Pesticide Exposure

Exposure to pesticides is very common and exposures are documented to cause widespread neurological, immune, and reproductive problems- including birth defects, ADHD, and autoimmune conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease and Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  Exposures also degrade the immune and neurological systems and contribute to many common conditions.  


Article 7. Health, Hormonal, and Reproductive Effects of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals in the Food Chain

Toxics such as dioxins, PCBs, organochlorine and organophosphate chemicals, mercury, phytalates, etc.  have been found to accumulate in the hormone glands and to cause common and significant disruptions to the endocrine(hormone) system, which controls most bodily functions. These chemicals and growing in the environment and food chain and having widespread, common, and serious effects on large numbers of people, as well as widespread effects on wildlife.



Article 8. Air Emissions and Air Toxics Page: Global Warming, Ozone layer,

                Acid Rain, Economics of Air Pollution and Toxic Metals

Florida has high levels of toxic and acidic emissions from power plants, incinerators, and vehicles.  Many of these are increasing in the environment and food chain as population grows and having widespread effects on the environment and health. 


Article 9 . Environmental Effects of Dental Amalgam

Dental amalgam for most with such fillings is the most common and largest source of mercury exposure in Florida and elsewhere.  All sewer plants and sewer sludge in Florida have high levels of mercury, and are a significant source of mercury in rivers, lakes, bays, fish, crops, and rainfall.  Dental amalgam has been documented by EPA and municipal sewer agencies to be the largest source of mercury in sewers, with dental office sewers and excretion into sewers by those with amalgam(silver) fillings the two largest sources.  Over 50% of Florida lakes and rivers have dangerous levels of mercury in fish, and similar for coastal bays and saltwater fish.  Large numbers of people who eat fish commonly have  mercury exposure at levels documented  to cause adverse effects.  However, direct exposure

to mercury from dental fillings is the largest source of exposure in most people, to both inorganic and methyl mercury(the form in fish).  Bacteria and other methylators in the body convert elemental mercury from amalgam to methyl mercury, as also happens in the environment resulting in methyl mercury in fish.


Article 10. Health Effects of Solvent or Organic Chemical Exposure

Organic solvent exposures are common from occupational exposures and well water.  They have well documented adverse health effects.


Article 11. Rooftop (Urban) Farming utilizing hydroponics, industrial waste heat, solar energy, and solar greenhouses to increase energy efficiency.



The Florida League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (FLCVEF) was established in 1994 as a separate non-profit corporation growing out of the Florida League of Conservation Voters, which has been a voice for environmentalists in Florida for twenty-five years. The FLCV Education Fund exists because we believe that the participation of informed citizens in state and local electoral, legislative, and administrative processes helps to ensure protection, restoration and conservation of Floridas natural resources. The FLCV Education Funds goal is to educate the public about conservation, environmental protection, and the political process, and to encourage, through education, research, and debate over public policies that protect the environment and conserve natural resources. To this end, FLCVEF conducts research, monitors governmental and policy-making institutions, and distributes information on environmental issues to citizens, media, environmental and other public interest activists and organizations, etc. FLCVEF develops education and participation programs, and networks with like-minded organizations to activate their members in these educational endeavors. FLCVEF has carried out its program through the efforts of volunteers, including a board, officers and executive committee comprised of a broad-based, statewide group of environmental leaders. 


Florida League of Conservation Voters Education FundPO Box 972Tallahassee, FL 32302

Contacts- technical: berniew1@embarqmail.com   850-878-9024

DAMS International (patients support organization for toxic metal problems)