UN: mercury emissions rise in Africa, Asia, South America

By on January 23, 2013

Two new studies produced by the United Nations Environment Programme say parts of Africa, Asia and South America could see increases in mercury emissions, according to a release.

According to the “Global Mercury Assessment 2013” and “Mercury: Time to Act,” most of the increase may come from using the toxic metal in small-scale gold mining and burning coal to generate electricity.

There are methods for reducing mercury emissions during gold extraction and other means of generating electricity, but the reports note socio-economic conditions and low awareness of risks associated with mercury as barriers to adopting those techniques.

Image: Global mercury transport (Credit: UNEP)

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