Mercury Policy Project

Promoting policies to eliminate mercury use and reduce mercury exposure

In advance of mercury treaty adoption, ZMWG hair ‘snapshot’ shows worldwide exposure

October 4th, 2013

A new ZMWG report highlights the importance of the new treaty being ratified as soon as possible to reduce global pollution and exposure to mercury. The treaty will be signed next week near Minamata, where a major mercury poisoning incident was first discovered. NGOs from 9 countries participated in the study in order to ascertain mercury hair levels in women.  Nearly one-quarter (24%) of the samples exceeded the widely recognized U.S. EPA guideline of 1 μg/g.  In 4 countries, a high percentage exceeded the threshold, specifically:  71% in Japan; 64% in Spain; 36% in Mauritius; and 23% in Côte d’Ivoire. “The results indicate that the mercury hair levels in Japanese women were significantly higher than the other countries tested,” said Dr. Takashi Yorifuji, Associate Professor at Okayama University Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science, Japan. “Risk of adverse health effects in children following in utero methylmercury exposures is well documented and rises as maternal exposure increases.”

This entry was posted on Friday, October 4th, 2013 at 8:13 am and is filed under Developing World, Environmental Justice, Events, Fish and Seafood, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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