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Presentations may 23 25 2005 portland maine


May 23 – 25, 2005

Portland, Maine

For related information visit:

Unep s global mercury program

UNEP’s Global Mercury Program

By Charles French, U.S. EPA

May 23, 2005

Portland, Maine

Mercury pollution a global issue
Mercury Pollution: a Global Issue

  • Mercury is toxic, persistent, and bioaccumulates in food chains

  • Mercury is released from various sources throughout the world

  • These releases can be transported great distances through air and oceans, easily crossing national borders, cycling globally

  • Even nations with minimal mercury releases, and areas remote from industrial activity (such as the Arctic) are adversely affected

  • Current releases add to the “global pool”…..

Presentations may 23 25 2005 portland maine


Most mercury entering environment is due to emissions to air, but mercury is also released to water and land from various sources

Courtesy of Rita Schoeny U.S. EPA. Adapted from U.S. Dept. of Interior’s Report on Hg in the Florida Everglades

Many humans wildlife across the globe may be at risk
Many humans/wildlife across the globe may be at risk

  • Largely due to consumption of fish;

  • Also due to other sources of exposure (such as artisanal mining and other occupations, cosmetics, spills, ritualistic uses, etc…)

Artisinal gold mining/panning in Lao PDR - UNIDO photo

Anthropogenic air emissions of mercury by region in 1990 and 2000








South America




South America

North America



North America








Anthropogenic Air Emissions of Mercury by Region in 1990 and 2000


Total: 1,881 metric tons/yr

Total: 2,269 metric tons/yr

Note: Significant emissions also occur due to natural sources, and re-emissions from historic anthropogenic sources.

Based on Pacyna, J., Munthe J., Presentation at Workshop on Mercury: Brussels, March 29-30, 2004

Anthropogenic air emissions of mercury by industrial sector in 1995
Anthropogenic Air Emissions of Mercury by Industrial Sector in 1995


metal production

170 (7%)

  • Estimates are uncertain; most countries do not have Hg inventories

Pig iron and

steel production

30 (1%)



130 (5%)



1470 (62%)



110 (5%)


gold mining

300 (13%)


172 (7%)

Total: 2,382 metric tons

Source: Estimates derived from data in the 2002 UNEP Global Mercury Assessment

Epa model of contribution of u s vs international sources to mercury deposition
EPA Model of Contribution of U.S. vs. International Sources to Mercury Deposition

  • Based on modeling about half of U.S. mercury deposition is from U.S. anthropogenic sources and half is from other sources

  • Domestic sources dominate deposition for large part of Eastern U.S.

  • Global sources are dominant in the Western U.S.

Source: REMSAD model

Presentations may 23 25 2005 portland maine

Relative Contribution of Domestic vs. International Sources to fish mercury levels

U.S. Domestic Emissions

International Emissions

(Global Pool)


Farm Fish



Fish (East)

Atlantic Coastal/ Gulf Fish

Freshwater Fish (West)

Other Marine Fish

Increasing Domestic Percentage Contribution

Increasing International Percentage Contribution

United nations environment program unep
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to fish mercury levels

  • UNEP, in collaboration with other organizations, has been pivotal in raising global awareness of mercury pollution

  • The mandates, priorities, and scope of work for UNEP are largely determined by the UNEP Governing Council (GC), which holds a general session every 2 years

Unep global mercury assessment gma report
UNEP Global Mercury Assessment (GMA) Report to fish mercury levels

  • Completed in 2002 by UNEP Working Group

  • Initiated by UNEP GC in February 2001 (during 21st Session)

  • Extensive info on global mercury pollution, including sources of releases, uses in products and processes, fate & transport, toxicity, exposures, and prevention/control measures

Unep gc decision in february 2003 22 nd session
UNEP GC Decision in February 2003 (22 to fish mercury levelsnd Session)

  • Concluded there is sufficient evidence of significant global adverse impacts to warrant further international action

  • Decided national, regional and global actions should be initiated ASAP

  • Urged all countries to adopt goals and take actions to identify exposed populations & reduce releases

  • Requested UNEP to initiate technical assistance and capacity building activities

  • Established the UNEP Mercury Program

Unep mercury program 2003 05
UNEP Mercury Program 2003/05 to fish mercury levels

  • Hosted 7 Regional Awareness Raising Workshops

    • In Argentina, Lebanon, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, and Trinidad and Tobago

  • Drafting guidance materials to help countries:

    • Develop Inventories of Mercury Releases

    • Identify Populations at Risk

    • Others

  • Establish and maintain an information Clearinghouse

Unep gc decision in february 2005 the 23 rd session
UNEP GC Decision in February 2005 (the 23 to fish mercury levelsrd Session)

  • Requests UNEP to:

    • Further develop the Mercury Program

    • Prepare a report summarizing supply, trade and demand information on mercury, including in artisanal mining

  • Encourages Governments to:

    • “promote and improve evaluation and risk communication methods…..”

Unep gc decision in february 2005 23 rd session
UNEP GC Decision in February 2005 (23 to fish mercury levelsrd Session)

  • Requests Governments, private sector, etc... to take immediate actions to reduce risks posed by mercury in products and processes

    • Considering application and sharing of Best Available Techniques to reduce emissions…

    • Action on reducing risk of exposure related to mercury in products (such as batteries) and processes (such as chlor-alkali plants)

    • Consider curbing primary mercury production

Unep gc decision in february 2005 23 rd session1
UNEP GC Decision in February 2005 (23 to fish mercury levelsrd Session)

  • Urges Governments, IGOs, NGOs, and private sector to develop & implement partnerships… as one approach to reducing the risks due to the release of mercury to environment

  • Requests UNEP to:

    • Invite Governments to identify priority partnership areas ASAP, with the goal of identifying a set of pilot partnerships by September 1, 2005

    • Report on progress of the partnerships to GC at the 24th Session (February 2007)

Unep gc decision in february 2005 23 rd session2
UNEP GC Decision in February 2005 (23 to fish mercury levelsrd Session)

  • Requests UNEP to facilitate work among various stakeholders to:

    • Improve understanding of sources, fate, transport

    • Promote development of inventories

    • Promote development of environmentally sound disposal and remediation practices

    • To increase awareness of environmentally sound recycling practices

  • Decides to assess at next Session (February 2007) the need for further action, considering the full range of options, including the possibility of a legally binding instrument, partnerships and other actions

U s government support
U.S. Government Support to fish mercury levels

  • U.S. Government provides significant support to the Program, including financial, technical, staff time, etc…

  • Largest Donor:

    • $1.3 million in 2003-04

    • Plan to contribute over $1.5 million in 2005

U s government involvement
U.S. Government Involvement to fish mercury levels

  • Pleased with GC decision, and especially interested in establishing partnerships in the following areas:

    • Chlor-alkali production

    • Products

    • Artisanal, small-scale mining

    • Coal-fired power facilities

    • Research on Fate, Transport, Global Cycling

  • Believe Partnerships will strengthen existing Program, and that progress can be made in short-term to reduce uses and releases

U s involvement partnerships
U.S. Involvement - Partnerships to fish mercury levels

  • Each partnership will be unique because of the variation of sources, different issues, etc…, but in general, partnerships could include some or all of the following:

    • Sharing information about best management practices and appropriate technologies

    • Demonstration projects

    • Leveraging Resources

    • Data collection and reporting

    • Training and Workshops

    • Outreach and Education

    • Other activities with an aim to reduce uses and releases, etc…

Partnerships to fish mercury levels

  • Stakeholders are invited to participate

  • A “partner is an entity who indicates a willingness to contribute time, resources, or expertise to implement the partnership…”

U s hosting informal consultations to further discuss develop partnerships
U.S. Hosting Informal Consultations to Further Discuss & Develop Partnerships

  • May 25, from 2:00 to 5:00, at the Eastland Park Hotel, in Portland, Maine

    • Mercury Reduction in Products

      • Contact: Denise Wright (U.S. EPA)

    • Mercury Reduction in Chlor-alkali Sector

      • Contact: Angela Bandemehr (U.S. EPA)

  • June 15, from 1:00 to 5:30, at World Bank, in Washington D.C.

    • Mercury Management in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining

      • Contact: Marianne Bailey (U.S. EPA)

For more information
For More Information Develop Partnerships

  • See UNEP Mercury website:


Presentations may 23 25 2005 portland maine

Presentations Develop Partnerships

May 23 – 25, 2005

Portland, Maine

Mercury product life cycle tool uses and results

Mercury Product Life-Cycle Tool: Develop PartnershipsUses and Results

Alexis Cain, US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5

Achieving Mercury Reductions in Products and Wastes, Portland, ME, May 23, 2005

Questions Develop Partnerships

  • Are Products (Still) Important Sources of Mercury to the Environment?

    • Incinerators have been controlled

    • Mercury thermometers have become rare

  • Which Products Contribute the Most?

  • Which Pathways Contribute the Most?

  • Which Interventions Will Reduce Mercury the Most?

Mercury product life cycle release estimation project
Mercury Product Life-Cycle Release Estimation Project Develop Partnerships

  • Minnesota PCA (Ed Swain)/Barr Engineering (Carol Andrews, Bruce Monson)– estimates for MN in 2001– Used to improve MPCA mercury emissions inventories

  • Wisconsin DNR/Barr/Dane County– adapted for WI in 2003-2004

  • 2004-5; EPA Region 5, WDNR (Randy Case), Dane Co. (John Reindl), Barr (Cliff Twaroski, Sarah Disch) develop national estimates

Life cycle mercury flow approach
Life-Cycle Mercury Flow Approach Develop Partnerships

  • Mass Balance

  • Spreadsheets

  • Distribution Factors

  • Release Factors

  • Estimated releases to air, water, land in 1990, 2000, 2005-10

  • Mercury used in products is released, recycled, or maintained in inventory

Products covered
Products Covered Develop Partnerships

  • Dental amalgam

  • Fluorescent lamps, other lamps

  • Bulk liquid mercury

  • Switches and relays

    • Auto switches

    • Thermostats

  • Measurement and Control Devices

    • Thermometers

  • Batteries– a back of the envelope analysis

  • Did not evaluate chemicals, fungicides

Air emissions by product
Air Emissions, by Product Develop Partnerships

Air emissions by pathway
Air Emissions, by Pathway Develop Partnerships

Emissions by pathway 2005
Emissions by Pathway: 2005 Develop Partnerships

Total: 24.3

metric tons

Selected 1999 nei emissions compared with model 2000
Selected 1999 NEI* Emissions Compared with Model (2000) Develop Partnerships

NEI: EPA’s National Emissions Inventory. Steel furnace estimate from regulation development for foundries

and electric arc furnaces.

Iron and steel recycling
Iron and Steel Recycling Develop Partnerships

  • Less decrease than in most other categories

  • Not just autos– autos account for under 1/2 of steel furnace emissions (high uncertainty)

  • Not just steel furnaces– zinc production, shredders, auto fluff

Solid waste management system
Solid Waste Management System Develop Partnerships

  • Emissions declining rapidly

  • Big impacts from battery P2; incinerator regulations

  • Emissions could be significant for:

    • Burn barrels

    • Product breakage during use, transport to disposal sites

    • High uncertainty

Dental amalgam
Dental Amalgam Develop Partnerships

  • Significant water releases (495 kg in 2000) >50%

  • Air releases from sludge incineration and land application, dental office vacuum system, cremation, exhaled air (high uncertainty)

  • Potential BMP/Separator impact?

Evaluation of potential control options dental amalgam 2005
Evaluation of Potential Control Options: Dental Amalgam, 2005

In kg. Assumes that WWTPs are equally effective at removing

dental amalgam and other mercury from sewage.

Evaluation of potential control options air emissions impact
Evaluation of Potential Control Options—Air Emissions Impact

  • Auto switches, 2005

    • 0 switch removal– 5,050 kg emissions

    • 20% removal– 4,090 kg

    • 80% recycling—1,211 kg

  • Fluorescent lamps, 2005

    • 25% lamp recycling—1,142 kg emissions

    • 75% lamp recycling– 599 kg emissions

Conclusions Impact

  • Products Are Still Important Sources of Mercury to the Environment

    • Releases reduced significantly

  • Important reduction opportunities in iron and steel production/recycling; dental, lamps

  • Model provides opportunity to better understand release pathways and to test impact of potential control strategies

  • Quantification is rough—many uncertainties

  • More detail on the model: Wednesday, 5/25

Questions? Impact

  • Alexis Cain USEPA-Region 5 (312) 886-7018

Presentations may 23 25 2005 portland maine

Presentations Impact

May 23 – 25, 2005

Portland, Maine

Mercury pollution in the northeast sources impacts and role of mercury products

Mercury Pollution in the Northeast: Sources, Impacts and Role of Mercury Products

C. Mark Smith, PhD MS

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection/ CoChair NEG-ECP Mercury Task Force

Credits Role of Mercury Products

  • Inventory: Margaret Round, NESCAUM; state air program staff

  • Deposition modeling: John Graham; Jung-Hun Woo; Emily Savelli (NESCAUM)

  • Deposition monitoring: Gerald Keeler (U. Michigan); Margaret Round (NESCAUM); Thomas McGrath and Air Assessment Branch staff (MADEP)

  • Fish monitoring: Michael Hutcheson; Carol Rowan West, Jane Rose; Kenneth Hulme; Barbara Eddy; Oscar Pancorbo; Chi-ying Hsieh; Robert Maietta; Gregory DeCesare (MADEP) Normandeau Associates staff.

  • Costs: Praveen Amar (NESCAUM); James Hammitt (HCRA); Glenn Rice (EPA)

Part a mercury impacts in the northeast

Part A: Role of Mercury ProductsMercury Impacts in the Northeast

Presentations may 23 25 2005 portland maine

1. Many Waterbodies Impacted Role of Mercury Products

In MA > 60% of lakes tested; statewide advisory; over 100 waterbodies with specific advisories.

C. Mark Smith PhD, MS. 2003.

Presentations may 23 25 2005 portland maine

2. Many Children at Risk Role of Mercury Products

Based on CDC data 84,000 newborns each year at risk in the northeast

C. Mark Smith PhD, MS. 2003.

Presentations may 23 25 2005 portland maine

3. Wildlife At Risk Role of Mercury Products

Fish eating birds, even some songbirds

Fish Eating Mammals

C. Mark Smith PhD, MS. 2003.

4 mercury health costs significant
4. Mercury Health Costs Significant Role of Mercury Products

  • Mt. Sinai School of Medicine Mercury Health Cost Study (2005)

  • Harvard Center for Risk Analysis NESCAUM Mercury Reduction Health Benefit Study (2005)

Mt sinai school of medicine mercury health cost study 2005
Mt. Sinai School of Medicine Mercury Health Cost Study (2005)

  • Economic costs from mercury exposure from all sources/ utility emissions

  • Health effects considered:

    • Neurotoxicity (decreased IQ) in children

    • Other health/ environmental impacts not considered

  • Anthropogenic mercury costs for all sources: $2,200,000,000 – $43,800,000,000 per year.

    • NE costs: $293,000,000 – $5,835,000,000 per year

  • Costs per pound of mercury pollution (based on utility emissions): $13,000 (range: $1,000 - $66,000)

  • Harvard center for risk analysis nescaum mercury health benefit study 2005
    Harvard Center for Risk Analysis NESCAUM Mercury Health Benefit Study (2005)

    • Health benefits associated from 68,000 lb. reduction in emissions attributable to EPA’s utility rule.

    • Health effects considered:

      • Neurotoxicity in children (IQ); cardiovascular impacts in adults

      • Other health effects/ environmental costs not considered.

  • Benefit estimate:

    • $100,000,000 to $5,000,000,000 per year;

    • $1,500 to $74,000 per pound of mercury emissions prevented.

  • Part b mercury deposition in the ne origins and progress

    Part B: Mercury Deposition in the NE- Origins and Progress Benefit Study (2005)

    Regional deposition modeling and monitoring. Preliminary results and qualitative comparisons.

    Northeast total deposition 1998 ne regional mercury study
    Northeast Total Deposition Benefit Study (2005)(1998 NE Regional Mercury Study)

    Yellow= 10-30 ug/m2

    Lt red= 30-100

    Red= >100

    Regional Langrangian Model of Air Pollution (RELMAP) output

    Northeast total deposition preliminary results 2005 nescaum
    Northeast Total Deposition Benefit Study (2005)(preliminary results, 2005 NESCAUM)

    Regional Modeling System for Aerosols and Deposition (REMSAD) output.

    Presentations may 23 25 2005 portland maine
    Relative Contribution of Source Categories and Region to Modeled Hg Deposition in the NE States (1998)

    Presentations may 23 25 2005 portland maine
    Relative Contribution of Source Categories and Region to Modeled Hg Deposition in the Northeast States (2003)

    Part c taking action to address hotspots environmental results

    Part C: Taking Action To Address “Hotspots”- Environmental Results

    NE MA Study Area

    Targeted study of regional high deposition area
    Targeted Study of Environmental ResultsRegional High Deposition Area

    • NE MA: highest predicted Hg deposition 1998 Regional Mercury Study

      • Historical emissions: 3 MSWCs; 1 large MWI; several smaller MWIs; SSI; utilities

      • Controls= high delta in inputs

    • “Early-responder” hypothesis/ public health concerns

    • Components: emissions/ deposition/ biota/ sediments

    Presentations may 23 25 2005 portland maine

    Fish Mercury Concentrations in Northeastern MA Environmental ResultsBased on Public Health Risk Criteria

    Regional vs national emissions

    1996 EI Reduction (1998 vs. 2003)


    17.6 TPY

    2003 EI


    7.0 TPY

    Regional vs National Emissions

    124.3 TPY

    Emissions by states and sectors

    Emissions reduced significantly after controls put in place Reduction (1998 vs. 2003)

    Emissions - by States and Sectors

    1996 NESCAUM Emission Inventory 2003 NESCAUM Emission Inventory














































    Part e closing the loop mercury p2
    Part E: Closing The Loop- Mercury P2 Reduction (1998 vs. 2003)

    Estimated health benefits of mercury pollution control
    Estimated Health Benefits of Mercury Pollution Control Reduction (1998 vs. 2003)

    • $1,500 to $74,000 per pound of mercury emissions preventedHarvard Center for Risk Analysis NESCAUM Mercury Reduction Health Benefit Study (2005)

    • $13,000 (range: $1,000 - $66,000) per pound of mercury emissions prevented Mt. Sinai School of Medicine Mercury Health Cost Study (2005) Costs

    Cost estimates of mercury pollution prevention programs
    Cost Estimates of Mercury Pollution Prevention Programs Reduction (1998 vs. 2003)

    • Car Switch Collection Programs: $1,900 per pound of mercury collected (range= $1,100 (at $3 per switch, low-end estimate) to $3,800 (at $10 per switch, a maximum cost estimate). (Based on NJDEP report, 2004)

    • Thermometer exchange programs: $2,500-$3,000 per pound of mercury collected (MA EOEA and Vt. programs)

    • Community P2 programs: $840per pound of mercury collected (MA MSWC SSP, 2002)

    • School cleanout programs: $230-$500 per pound of mercury collected (MADEP program costs)

    Cost estimates of mercury pollution control programs
    Cost Estimates of Mercury Pollution Control Programs Reduction (1998 vs. 2003)

    • Amalgam Separators: $2,600 per pound of mercury disposal to wastewater prevented (range= $1,900-$3,800) (MA/MDS, 2004 data)

    • Coal-fired Utility Regulations: $2,700-$11,700 per pound of mercury air pollution prevented. (MADEP, 2002 report)

    Conclusions Reduction (1998 vs. 2003)

    • Mercury impacts including $ costs substantial in the NE

    • State actions have effectively reduced regional emissions

    • Preliminary data: regional deposition likely reduced

    Conclusions Reduction (1998 vs. 2003)

    • Out-of-region sources very significant

      • Cannot achieve TMDL objectives without substantial reductions in out-of-region sources (>90% for some waterbodies)

    • Mercury–added products contribute significantly to remaining releases and deposition in NE

    • P2 programs appear cost effective