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Mercury

8. Conclusions

    There is sufficient evidence of significant adverse impacts of mercury and its compounds on a global scale. There should be international action to reduce the risks to human health and the environment arising from mercury releases.

    It is important to have better understanding of the issues, but it is not necessary to have full consensus or complete evidence in order to take action. These adverse effects need to be addressed at the global, regional, national and local levels.

    Options include:

    • reducing or eliminating the production, consumption and releases of mercury;
    • substituting products and processes;
    • extending legal and voluntary agreements; and
    • strengthening cooperation amongst governments for information-sharing, risk assessment and risk communication.

    Areas for immediate action have been proposed, which include:

    • increasing protection of sensitive populations, such as pregnant women;
    • providing technical and financial support to developing countries and to countries with economies in transition; and
    • supporting increased research, monitoring and data-collection on the health and environmental aspects of mercury, and on environmentally friendly alternatives.

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