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