Mercury is a highly toxic element that is found both naturally and as an introduced contaminant in the environment.  Although its potential for toxicity in highly contaminated areas such as Minamata Bay, Japan, in the 1950's and 1960's, is well documented, research has shown that mercury can be a threat to the health of people and wildlife in many environments that are not obviously polluted.  The risk is determined by the likelihood of exposure, the form of mercury present (some forms are more toxic than others), and the geochemical and ecological factors that influence how mercury moves and changes form in the environment.  Do not miss this factual report.