Center for Mercury Studies
New Reports Highlight Studies on Global Mercury Contamination
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.
Mercury 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.
BRI executive director, David Evers, Ph.D., is a member of the steering committee for the International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP), the pre-eminent international forum for formal presentation and discussion of scientific advances concerning environmental mercury.
Mercury pollution is widespread and knows no borders. Since BRI’s inception, the Institute has been a leader in research designed to understand the exposure and effects of mercury in ecosystems.