Workshop on Mercury - Needs for Further International Environmental Agreements

This report is the outcome of a workshop arranged to support the development of the EU strategy on mercury (based on the Council decision in December 2002), and to support international conventions aimed at reducing emissions, environmental contamination and human exposure to mercury. Specific objectives of the workshop were,

a) To summarise the state-of-the-art on sources, emissions-distribution-deposition-exposure, options and technologies to reduce uses and releases, the waste problem and waste management options, and health/environmental impacts of mercury.

b) To identify and discuss priority problem areas.

c) To derive recommendations for an effective European mercury abatement strategy especially:

- How to deal with the surplus mercury from the chloralkali industry?

- How to deal with mercury in products and waste?

- How to deal with mercury from coal-fired power plants and other atmospheric point sources?

d) To review national, regional and international programs e.g. the UNEP mercury programme and the revision of the CLRTAP Protocol on Heavy Metals.

The report consists of an executive summary, reports from group discussions and background papers prepared by participants. About 100 participants representing research, policy, industry and NGOs were present at the workshop.