Managing and reducing mercury

As the dangers of mercury and its compounds are becoming increasingly understood, many scientific research studies have examined the environmental and health effects associated with mercury and its releases into the environment. The results demonstrate that there is an urgent and continuing need to reduce anthropogenic sources of mercury to protect human health and the environment. Because mercury can be transported long distances before being deposited on the Earth's surface, it is important to make nationally (and internationally) consistent efforts to reduce releases. In an effort to prevent further pollution, many countries and jurisdictions have implemented laws, regulations, policies, initiatives and agreements designed to lessen the threat of mercury. Proper disposal of mercury-containing products may also contribute to the reduction of mercury pollution into the environment.

While domestic and international initiatives have already resulted in significant reductions in mercury releases, more remains to be done. There is also a need to ensure that Environment Canada's mercury management initiatives are well-coordinated internally, as well as with the initiatives of other federal departments, other levels of government in Canada, and other governments and organizations. This section outlines current international, provincial/territorial and municipal initiatives which have been implemented to reduce mercury emissions. In addition, select What can I do? to read about steps that you can take to protect yourself and the environment .

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