As the Industrial Revolution took hold, so too did one of the first iterations of a global economy. In the late 18th and early 19th Centuries North American trappers and fur traders built a thriving economy providing furs to Europe. As has often been the case, decades of prosperity have delivered a toxic legacy of much longer duration. Mercury, used at the time in the tanning process, is still found in Superior and contaminates the animals and people in the region. One recent study found that, among 1,400 babies in the region, 1 in 10 were born with potentially dangerous levels of mercury in their systems. The Smithsonian reports: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/historical-fur-trade-blame-high-mercury-levels-lake-superior-shore-180954388/