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Mercury in Environmental Samples: Environmental Issues
Mercury source to be enforce is contaminated fertilizer marketed in the less developed countries Contamination of soil leads to serious environmental and health issue
Mercury in Environmental Samples: Environmental Issues

Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that can harm the environment and human health.
Mercury pollution occurs through industrial processes, mining, and burning fossil fuels.
It accumulates in water bodies, soil, and air, and can travel long distances through the food chain.
Mercury affects ecosystems, wildlife, and human health, causing neurological damage, birth defects, and kidney damage.
The Minamata Convention aims to reduce mercury emissions and releases globally.
Reducing mercury use in products like thermometers, batteries, and lighting can help minimize its environmental impact.

Main sources of mercury pollution

  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Weathering of rocks
  • Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM)
  • Stationary combustion of coal
  • Non-ferrous metals production
  • Cement production
  • Waste from products
  • Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) production
  • Biomass burning
  • Ferrous metals production
  • Chlor-alkali production
  • Waste incineration
  • Oil refining
  • Stationary combustion of oil and gas
  • Cremation

Some facts about mercury pollution

Major sources

Mercury pollution comes from industrial processes, mining, and burning fossil fuels, particularly coal. The largest source is small-scale gold mining, accounting for 20-30% of global emissions.

Health impacts

Mercury exposure causes brain and kidney damage, birth defects, and neurological disorders. It can also lead to tremors, muscle weakness, and vision and hearing problems.

Environmental impacts

Mercury accumulates in water bodies, soil, and air, contaminating ecosystems and wildlife. It affects fish and shellfish, making them unsafe for human consumption. Through entertaining in soil it will shifted to food chain and transfer to human body. It has different sources as stated above other as main source of mercury is fertilizer by adding to soil for increasing crop production but presence of mercury in fertilizer lead to heavy pollution in soil and also in food.

International efforts

The Minamata Convention aims to reduce mercury emissions and releases globally. Signatory countries must develop national action plans to minimize mercury use and emissions.

Reducing mercury use

Alternatives to mercury-based products, like thermometers and lighting, can help minimize its environmental impact. Recycling and proper disposal of mercury-containing products are crucial. Disposal by incineration is also important for

EPA regulations

In the US, EPA sets standards for mercury emissions from power plants, incinerators, and industrial processes. The agency also regulates mercury use in products and provides guidance for reducing exposures. It should be followed by all EPAs of the world, standard limits for mercury and reduce pollution on disposal.

Global progress

Mercury emissions have decreased in some regions due to regulations and alternative technologies. However, ongoing efforts are necessary to address the persisting global mercury pollution problem. There are so many alternative to reduce uses of mercury, detail of alternatives is given in other blog.

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