Center for Mercury Studies

Scientific Research Policy Outreach Publications and Resources

ICMGP - International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant

July 28-August 2, 2013 • Edinburgh, Scotland

BRI Presentations and Panel Discussions
Mercury pollution is widespread and knows no borders. Since its inception, BRI has been a leader in research designed to understand the exposure and effects of mercury in ecosystems. Executive director, David Evers, Ph.D., is a member of the steering committee for the ICMGP, an international forum for formal presentation and discussion of scientific advances concerning environmental mercury. The ICMGP this year is of particular public importance because in October, the United Nations Environment Programme will formally sign a global treaty on mercury monitoring. BRI has contributed to the UNEP treaty process since 2010. Click here for more details about BRI’s participation in the ICMGP.

Current Research Projects

Global Mercury Observation System
To improve our understanding of mercury contamination in the global environment, there is a need for a concerted international effort to monitor the concentration of mercury in air, water and biota in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

Mercury Connections - Western Regions
BRI continues its efforts to assess environmental mercury deposition across North America in a new initiative for the western region of the continent.

Published in 2013 — New Reports Highlight Studies on Global Mercury Contamination

Global Mercury Hotspots: New Evidence Reveals Mercury Contamination Regularly Exceeds Health Advisory Levels in Humans and Fish WorldwideGlobal Mercury Hotspots: New Evidence Reveals Mercury Contamination Regularly Exceeds Health Advisory Levels in Humans and Fish Worldwide

BRI and IPEN (International Persistent Organic Pollutants Elimination Network) are collaborating to conduct a global mercury study in response to strong public interest and governmental negotiation of a mercury treaty—the first global treaty on the environment in well over a decade by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Global Fish and Community Mercury Monitoring Project is the first of its kind to identify, in one collaborative effort, global biological hotspots that represent elevated levels of mercury exposure that may pose serious threats to both ecosystem and human health. This report outlines the initial findings from 12 countries. The study is ongoing and will eventually encompass results from nearly 40 countries.IPEN logo

The partnership between IPEN and BRI provides a rare opportunity to compile new and standardized mercury concentrations on a global basis that reflect the potential impacts of mercury on human populations around the world.

Global Mercurcy Hotpots making news worldwide!

Mercury in the Global Environment: Patterns of Global Seafood Mercury Concentrations and their Relationship with Human HealthMercury in the Global Environment: Patterns of Global Seafood Mercury Concentrations and their Relationship with Human Health

BRI has developed a Global Biotic Mercury Synthesis (GBMS) project, the first of its kind, that is a compilation and synthesis of existing fish/seafood mercury data collected from all over the world. From this synthesis, BRI researchers are able to determine the impact of mercury on a global scale in relation to wildlife and human health. The results gathered to date are presented in this new BRI report.

The report provides insight into the species of marine organisms with greatest concentrations of methylmercury, which could pose risks to people when consumed, especially sensitive populations and those that consume large quantities of high mercury seafood. The information in this report may contribute toward the development of national fish consumption advisories for mercury by providing robust datasets that can be used as a basis for seafood mercury concentrations at geographically relevant scales.

BRI’s GBMS study demonstrates the global nature of the challenges mercury poses and reinforces the action by the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme to develop a global legally binding instrument on mercury.

Acting Director:

David C. Evers, Ph.D.

Doctoral Graduate Student: Amy Sauer