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Mercury

7. What further research and information is needed?

  • 7.1 What are the needs of individual countries?
  • 7.2 What are the global data gaps?

7.1 What are the needs of individual countries?

There seems to be a general need for further information relevant to environmental management strategies for mercury. Some countries lack full information on uses and emissions of mercury, sources of releases, levels and pathways in the environment, impacts on humans and ecosystems, as well as on prevention and control measures. Other countries that are further advanced in managing mercury want more knowledge in order to improve risk assessment exercises and to ensure effective risk management.

Some of these data gaps are specific to a country and must be addressed at the national level. Certain data is universal and might be exchanged nationally, regionally or internationally, even though it may need to be adapted to the cultural and economic framework of an individual country. More...

7.2 What are the global data gaps?

Mercury is among the best-studied environmental toxicants. There has been about half a century's extensive research on mercury’s impacts and its pathways. However, there are gaps in the basic understanding of a number of general, global issues relevant to mercury. Further research is needed to provide the data demanded by environmental modelling and decision-making tools.

Gaps include:

  • the pathways of mercury in the environment, and from the environment to humans;
  • the pathways of mercury from humans to the environment; and
  • the possible effects on humans, wildlife and ecosystems, the numbers affected, and the magnitude and severity of the effects.

Despite these gaps in information, current understanding of mercury is sufficient that international action to address the global adverse impacts of mercury should not be delayed. More...


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