Here's the money quote (emphasis mine):
part of its justification for the rule was based on the effect that mercury would have on children born to an entirely hypothetical population: 240,000 women of child-bearing age who consume 300 pounds of freshwater fish that they or their families have personally caught each year. .... the EPA never actually identified a member of this population -- it merely assumed that such women existed.
To determine the harm that mercury would have upon these children, the EPA utilized a computer model which predicted that the mercury would lower the I.Q. of the children by a miniscule 0.00209 points. On top of that, says Michaels, the EPA claims the loss of 0.00209 I.Q. points will cost those children up to $6,000,000 a year due to reduced earnings.
So let's see.
- A woman who consumes 300 pounds of personally caught freshwater fish a year, that's about a pound a day
- a loss in IQ of 0.00209, so that's 0.0000209% of their current IQ
- a loss of $6,000,000 a year in reduced earnings