EMECAP Conference on mercury as a global pollutant
| Country: EU Projects
| Start Date:
Project Type: Concerted Action
| Contract Number:
| Organisation Type:
Contaminated land-->Contaminants-->Heavy metals
Contaminated land-->Risk assessment-->Risk assessment overview
Diffuse pollution-->Contaminants-->Contaminants overview
| Project objectives:
The objective of the EMECAP Project is to improve the tools at Regulatory Bodies disposal to plan the actions to safeguard citizens health from mercury pollution.
The EMECAP project will design and develop two innovative mini-devices for measuring atmospheric mercury concentration, an enhanced mathematical model
to simulate mercury dispersion, a smart software to render explicit the correlation between the data acquired through epidemiological and environmental
researches and improved diffusion samplers/dosimeters for gaseous mercury to measure personal exposure level to mercury. Relevant results on human health
risks of mercury emissions from Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali (MCCA) plants will be obtained from the combined epidemiological and environmental studies carried
on three demonstration sites.
Environmental problem management
The process of risk management for environmental contaminants involves the integration of environmental and biomedical data with social, economic, and
political information to decide how to reduce or eliminate potential human health risks. It would be valuable to develop a set of links and partnerships between
organisations and individuals across Europe to promote the exchange of ideas, information and technology on complex environmental problems, to better understand
them and to inform environmental operators, politicians and individual citizens.
The EMECAP project joins this vision and, taking into account technical, environmental and biomedical issues, provides individuals and regulatory bodies
with a new tool to face the problem of mercury pollution.
The problem of mercury
The toxicity of mercury on humans is well known and widely recognized because of its effects on the central nervous system and on organs like kidney and liver.
In particular, the effects of high doses of elemental mercury and methilmercury are well known, since many scientific studies have been carried out on mercury
mine workers and on regular consumers of contaminated fishes. Anyway less known are the effects that mercury causes on humans for long exposures to low concentrations.
Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali plant
The Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali (MCCA) sector constitutes one of most important anthropogenic metallic mercury source (about 15% of the global). At present
MCCA plants are all over the world with 100 operating units in Asia, 63 in Europe, 45 in America, and 17 in Africa.
| Achieved Objectives:
An EU project, EMECAP1, has investigated levels of mercury exposure to
populations living near chlor-alkali plants and the impact on human
health. It found that the overall health risk was low, but was higher
for some workers at the plants and for those who consumed contaminated
fish or had mercury dental fillings.
| Product Descriptions:
EMECAP Booklet (D6.4) (English)
| Additional Information:
| Project Resources:
Urinary mercury and biomarkers of early renal dysfunction in environmentally and occupationally exposed adults: A three-country study
Mercury and human genotoxicity: Critical considerations and possible mercury mechanisms.
EMECAP: European mercury emission from chlor-alkali plants
| Funding Programme(s):
EC Framework Programme 5
| Link to Organisations:
Professor Paul Bardos
Who does what?
Professor Paul Bardos
Who does what?