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General Information about Mercury
Research about Mercury
Mercury in Air
Mercury in Water

General Information about Mercury

Mercury Study Report to Congress - EPA prepared this report to fulfill requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Published in 1997, it is an eight volume assessment of the magnitude of U.S. mercury emissions by source; the health and environmental impacts of those emissions; and the availability and cost of control technologies.

Mercury Hazard Summary - general, plain-English information about mercury, compiled from EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), which contains information on inhalation chronic toxicity and the RfC for elemental mercury, oral chronic toxicity and the RfD for inorganic and methyl mercury, EPA's Mercury Study Report to Congress, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR's) Toxicological Profile for Mercury. Other secondary sources include the World Health Organization's Environmental Health Criteria Documents on Methyl Mercury and Inorganic Mercury.

IRIS Health Assessment for Mercury and Methylmercury - Information about the human health effects that may result from exposure to mercury and methylmercury (separate health assessments). The Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) is a database of human health effects that may result from exposure to various substances found in the environment. The information in IRIS is intended for those without extensive training in toxicology, but with some knowledge of health sciences.

Envirofacts Master Chemical Integrator (EMCI) for Mercury - EMCI identifies chemicals found in several different EPA office system databases: the Aerometric Information Retrieval System, the Permit Compliance System, and the Toxics Release Inventory System. Using this integrator, you can learn details about a chemical substance, such as chemical names, discharge limits, and reported releases, without having to know how the chemical is identified in the various EPA office systems.

Water Quality Criterion for the Protection of Human Health: Methylmercury - This 2001 document in support of the Clean Water Act provides information on health effects of and exposure to methylmercury.

Treatment Technologies For Mercury in Soil, Waste, and Water (August 2007; PDF) (133 pp., 3.84 MB) (About PDF) - This report provides a synopsis of the availability, performance, and cost of eight technologies for treatment of mercury in soil, waste, and water (solidification and stabilization; soil washing and acid extraction; thermal treatment; vitrification; precipitation/coprecipitration; adsorption treatment; membrane filtration; and biological treatment). It also describes research under way on innovative methods to treat mercury contamination. This report is intended to be used as a screening tool for mercury treatment technologies. It describes the theory, design, and operation of the technologies; provides information on commercial availability and use; and includes data on performance and cost, where available.

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Research about Mercury

Steubenville, Ohio Mercury Monitoring and Receptor Modeling Study Exit EPA Disclaimer- EPA and University of Michigan researchers have refined tools used to trace mercury by using a combination of advanced methods that include precipitation monitoring and computer models. Their study, entitled Sources of Mercury Wet Deposition in Eastern Ohio, was published in the September 8, 2006 issue of Environmental Science and Technology. View the abstractExit EPA Disclaimer. Subscribers to Environmental Science and Technology will also be able to view the full article online. Non-subscribers who would like to request a copy of the article may do so by calling (202) 872-4582 or by emailing the journal at est@acs.org.

Environmental Information Management System - EPA's Office of Research and Development has developed a scientific environmental information management system (EIMS) that stores, manages, and delivers descriptive information for data sets, databases, documents, models, multimedia, and spatial information. Information in EIMS, such as mercury research conducted at EPA, can be accessed with standard Internet Web browsers.

Science Inventory - The Science Inventory is a searchable, EPA-wide database of more than 4,000 scientific and technical work products. Database records provide such information as project descriptions (abstracts), contacts for additional information and electronic links.

STAR Mercury Transport and Fate Research Projects, 2000 (8 pp., 463K, About PDF) - EPA’s STAR (Science to Achieve Results) program funded a set of studies to develop a better understanding of mercury's terrestrial and aquatic fate and transformation processes that influence ecological and human exposure. This is a synopsis and overview of the research conducted through the grant program for 1999.

Mercury: Transport and Fate through a Watershed 1999 STAR Grant Recipients and Abstracts - Abstracts of high-quality research conducted by the nation's scientists through EPA’s STAR (Science to Achieve Results) program. STAR funded a set of studies to develop a better understanding of mercury's terrestrial and aquatic fate and transformation processes that influence ecological and human exposure.

Monitoring Water Quality in Lake Michigan: Mass Balance Methods Compendium - The Lake Michigan Mass Budget/Mass Balance (LMMB) Study measured PCBs, mercury, trans-nonachlor, and atrazine in rivers, the atmosphere, sediments, lake water, and the food chain. A mathematical model predicts what effect reducing pollution will have on the lake, and its large fish (lake trout and coho salmon). The Study was initiated in late 1993 as part of the Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) for Lake Michigan. The primary goal of the LaMP and the LMMB Study is to develop a sound, scientific base of information with which to guide future toxic load reduction efforts at the federal, state, and local levels. The compendium describes the sampling and analytical methods used in the LMMB Study.

University of Wisconsin - Madison, Environmental Chemistry & Technology Program Mercury Research GroupExit EPA Disclaimer

Substance Flow Analysis of Mercury Intentionally Used in Products in the United States (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (15 pp., 422K) This article presents an effort to use substance flow analysis to develop improved estimates of the environmental releases caused by mercury-containing products and to provide policy makers with a better understanding of opportunities for reducing releases of mercury caused by products. Written in part by EPA staff, the article was published by The MIT Press in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 11, Issue 3, on pages 61-75.

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Mercury in Air

Mercury Study Report to Congress - EPA prepared this report to fulfill requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Published in 1997, it is an eight volume assessment of the magnitude of U.S. mercury emissions by source; the health and environmental impacts of those emissions; and the availability and cost of control technologies.

Speciated Mercury Emission Test Reports - During 1999, as part of an Information Collection Request (ICR) related to the utility study, 80 coal-fired utility units were required to perform speciated mercury emission testing using the Ontario-Hydro method. These reports provide the results for elemental, oxidized, and particulate mercury. The data were used in estimating the nationwide mercury emissions for 1999 and in the regulatory development effort.

EPA Great Waters Program - Documents, including EPA's Third Report to Congress, about the deposition of air pollutants to the Great Waters, a collective term for the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, Lake Champlain, and coastal waters (identified by their designation as sites in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System or the National Estuary Program).

Environmental Technology Verification Program - Develops testing protocols and verifies the performance of innovative technologies to problems that threaten human health or the environment. ETV was created to accelerate the entrance of new environmental technologies into the domestic and international marketplace.

Generic Protocol for Pilot-Scale Verification of Continuous Emission Monitors for Mercury (PDF) (56 pp., 1.1M, About PDF) - This test protocol provides generic procedures for implementing a verification test of continuous air emission monitors used to measure total and chemically-speciated mercury (Hg) in source emissions.

Verifications for Mercury Continuous Emissions Monitors - These verifications are reports on tests of the performance of continuous air emissions monitors for mercury.

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Mercury in Water

Sources to Seafood: Mercury Pollution in the Marine Environment (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer -- A synthesis of 11 papers written by members of C-MERC, the Coastal and Marine Mercury Ecosystem Research Collaborative, this report reviews current knowledge and knowledge gaps relating to mercury contamination of the world's marine fish.

Water Quality Criterion for the Protection of Human Health: Methylmercury - This document describes the development of 2001 water quality criterion for methylmercury, the form of mercury that accumulates in fish. It provides information on health effects of and exposure to methylmercury.

Mercury Maps - A tool that relates changes in mercury air deposition rates to changes in mercury fish tissue concentrations on a national scale.

Method 1631: Guidelines Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants; Measurement of Mercury in Water - EPA publishes methods used by industrial and municipal facilities to analyze the components of wastewater, drinking water, sediment, and other environmental samples. The methods are used to collect scientific information under the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Method 1631 is an additional testing procedure for compliance and water quality monitoring, effluent guidelines, and general laboratory use that improves EPA's ability to measure low level mercury in water.

Everglades Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Pilot Study - The report on the results of the Everglades Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load Pilot Study was released November 2003. The pilot project investigated the methods for taking air sources into account when determining total maximum daily loads (TMDL). TMDL specify the amount of a pollutant that may be in the water and still allow the waterbody to meet state water quality standards.

EPA Great Waters Program - Documents, including EPA's Third Report to Congress, about the deposition of air pollutants to the Great Waters, a collective term for the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, Lake Champlain, and coastal waters (identified by their designation as sites in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System or the National Estuary Program).

METAALICUSExit EPA Disclaimer- Mercury Experiment To Assess Atmospheric Loading In Canada and the United States (METAALICUS) is an experimental project in which leading mercury researchers from the United States and Canada working to address the critical uncertainties linking atmospheric mercury deposition to methylmercury concentrations in fish. In October 2007, these researchers published an article in the Proceedings of the [United States] National Academy of Sciences, "Whole-ecosystem study shows rapid fish-mercury response to changes in mercury deposition," that concluded that an increase in mercury loading at rates relevant to atmospheric deposition resulted in an increase in methylmercury production and concentrations in aquatic biota in only three years. Read the abstract. Exit EPA Disclaimer

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