McKenna Releases First National Comprehensive Evaluation Of Mercury In Canadian Environment

Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change (MECC), Catherine McKenna, released March 8, 2016, Canada’s first comprehensive national synthesis and evaluation of scientific mercury research - Canadian Mercury Science Assessment.

Mercury is a metal released into the ecosystem through both natural events, such as forest fires and volcanic eruptions, and through human activities, such as coal burning and metal smelting. Mercury exposure poses a particular risk to those who rely heavily on the consumption of predatory fish and traditional wildlife food items and vulnerable groups like developing fetuses, infants, and children.

The Report details the state of research on mercury, its potential impacts on human and environmental health and suggests policy questions and directions the government should consider. In the end the Executive Summary concludes "Efforts in the last 20 years have greatly improved our understanding of the sources, transport, fate, and effects of mercury in the Canadian environment. Environmental mercury pollution is complex, and future scientific work will require strong, coordinated, national leadership that engages multi-level partners from all aspects of human health, wildlife, and ecosystem research in an integrated approach."

Canadian Water and Wastewater Association