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Mean concentrations of trace metals and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Mean concentrations of trace metals and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
The term trace metal is used here for potentially toxic metals that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate in human and animal tissues, and biomagnify in food chains. Metals and organometallic compounds are commonly included in emission inventories and monitoring networks, specially mercury, cadmium and lead. Urban and industrial wastewaters, atmospheric deposition and run-off from metal contaminated sites constitute the major sources of toxic...
19 Nov 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Concentrations of heavy metals in children's toys Concentrations of heavy metals in children's toys
The study found that of the 569 products tested, 104 (18 per cent) exceeded the limit for lead, 18 (3 per cent) exceeded the limit for mercury, 45 (8 per cent) exceeded the limit for arsenic and 75 products (13 per cent) exceeded the limit for antimony. Seventy-five (13 per cent) of these products contained two or more toxic metals, thereby increasing the likelihood of harmful impacts.
25 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Percentage of analysed toys that exceeded the Russian regulatory limit for toxic metal content in soil Percentage of analysed toys that exceeded the Russian regulatory limit for toxic metal content in soil
The study found that of the 569 products tested, 104 (18 per cent) exceeded the limit for lead, 18 (3 per cent) exceeded the limit for mercury, 45 (8 per cent) exceeded the limit for arsenic and 75 products (13 per cent) exceeded the limit for antimony. Seventy-five (13 per cent) of these products contained two or more toxic metals, thereby increasing the likelihood of harmful impacts.
25 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Heavy metals in sediments Heavy metals in sediments
According to the first monitoring programme, 23 metals were found in Caspian Sea sediments. Some of the most significant results show: Arsenic (As) concentrations were fairly high in the region and, in some areas, exceeded the NOAA standard value of 8.2 µg/g nearly three times, with values of 22.6 µg/g in Azerbaijan, 20.1 µg/g in Iran, and 20.2 µg/g in Kazakhstan. Copper (Cu) dispersion in sediments was considerably lower in the North Caspian ...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Merury management options Merury management options
Several stabilization technologies exist: chemical transformation into a more stable, less mobile chemical compound; micro-encapsulation, the embedding of particles in an impermeable matrix such as cement; and macro-encapsulation, the covering of waste material with an impermeable material, for example polyethylene. The fact that stabilized mercury is non-toxic significantly helps the search for suitable storage sites. Unlike liquid mercury, the ...
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Compact fluorescent lamps (CLFs) Compact fluorescent lamps (CLFs)
Mercury is widely used in compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and the demand for them is increasing in the quest for energy efficiency. According to the EU Directive 2002/95/EC on the restriction of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Directive), mercury content in CFLs not exceeding 5 mg per lamp is allowed. These lamps reduce electricity consumption so that in countries that generate electricity largely from coal, the...
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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The industry's self-commitment to phase out mercury use in the chlor-alkali industry The industry's self-commitment to phase out mercury use in the chlor-alkali industry
Efforts to confront the threat posed by mercury to human health and the environment have grown over the last decades. There are a number of initiatives aiming, for example, to reduce the use of mercury in products, to remediate sites and to clean up historic pollution. Some countries have introduced far-reaching regulations. Global action, however, has been rather limited. In 2008, United States of America (USA) introduced its Mercury Export B...
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM)
Mercury residues from mining and industrial processing, as well as mercury in waste, have resulted in a large number of contaminated sites all over the world. Polluted soil can contain as much as 400 grammes of mercury per hectare, as measured at a Venezuelan gold mining site (Garcia-Sanchez et al., 2006). Most mercury contamination sites are concentrated in the industrial areas of North America, Europe and Asia; and in sub-Saharan Africa and Sou...
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Long-range mercury transport Long-range mercury transport
Coal burning for electric power generation and for industrial purposes continues to increase, especially in Asia (UNEP, 2013). Assessing the global spread and fate of mercury is a challenging task, as there are few studies available about net deposition of different forms of mercury in air, water and land. For example, when mercury moves from air to water and land it is generally in an oxidized gaseous or particle form, whereas when it is remitte...
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Emissions to air Emissions to air
Emissions of mercury from ASGM reported for 2010 are more than twice those reported for 2005. While the higher price of gold and increased rural poverty may indeed have caused more activity in this sector, the increased emissions estimates are thought to explained mainly by better data (UNEP, 2013).
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Regional mercury emissions in 2010 Regional mercury emissions in 2010
Global emissions of mercury to the air in 2010 from human activities were estimated at 1,960 tonnes. Although it is difficult to compare emissions estimates for individual years, total anthropogenic emissions of mercury to the atmosphere appear to have been relatively stable from 1990 to 2010 (UNEP, 2013). There has been a large shift in regional patterns, however. Economic growth has driven an increase in anthropogenic emissions in Southern and ...
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Mercury and human health Mercury and human health
Mercury can enter the food chain either from agricultural prod- ucts or from seafood. It was widely used in agriculture, and at least 459 people are known to have died in Iraq after grain treated with a fungicide containing mercury was imported in 1971 and used to make flour (Greenwood, 1985). Those who showed the greatest effects were the children of women who had eaten contaminated bread during pregnancy. Human groups at risk include the mil...
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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How mercury can enter our environment How mercury can enter our environment
While some pollutants are restricted in their range and in the size and number of the population they affect, mercury is not one of them. Wherever it is mined, used or discarded, it is liable – in the absence of effective disposal methods – to finish up thousands of kilometers away because of its propensity to travel through air and water. Beyond that, it reaches the environment more often after being unintentionally emitted than through negligen...
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Industrial processes: input and output of mercury Industrial processes: input and output of mercury
Socio-economic conditions are often barriers to the adoption of better practices (UNEP, 2012). This figure shows the inputs and outputs of mercury by industries.
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Global mercury supply Global mercury supply
Artisanal and small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) is the largest sector of demand for mercury, using it to separate the metal from the ore. Though mercury mining and by-products were very high in the eighties, since then, mining practices have reduced and recycling is on the rise.
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Global mercury demand in 2011 Global mercury demand in 2011
In 2011, the largest demands in mercury were artisanal & small-scale gold mining as well as vinyl chloride monomers.
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Global mercury consumption in 2005 Global mercury consumption in 2005
Most of the world’s estimated 600,000 tonnes of mercury de- posits are found in a handful of countries, including China, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and Ukraine (USGS, 2012). Primary mining (where mercury is the target ore, not extracted as a byproduct) is now limited to even fewer countries, with only one (Kyrgyzstan) still exporting. Given present trends, it appears likely that most uses of mercury will continue to decl...
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Mercury in food and products Mercury in food and products
Even now, mercury is commonplace in daily life. Electrical and electronic devices, switches (including thermostats) and relays, measuring and control equipment, energy- efficient fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, mascara, skin- lightening creams and other cosmetics which contain mercury, dental fillings and a host of other consumables are used across the globe. Food products obtained from fish, terrestrial mammals and other products such as ric...
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Global annual mercury mining production Global annual mercury mining production
Global annual mercury production was at its peak in 1971 and has since significantly decreased. In 2005, UNEP estimated global annual mercury demand at be- tween 3,000 and 3,900 tonnes (UNEP, 2006). Demand has fallen significantly in the last 50 years, from 9,000 tonnes a year in the 1960s to 7,000 in the 1980s and 4,000 a decade later (UNEP, 2006). A growing understanding of the risks posed by the toxicity of mercury, the increasing availability...
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Global cases of mercury poisoning incidents Global cases of mercury poisoning incidents
Mercury poisoning incidents. As elemental mercury is eligible for long distance transport, it can also accumulate in various forms. This figure illustrates its global distribution as well as the number of affected people along with the fatalities.
11 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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