the battle for the abatement and clean upon mercury, like that for lead, will take another generation. Though daunting — and the road slow change is happening even while the environment remains under ecological, economic and political attack. But this too shall will if not pass diminish.
So here is a little tutorial on the element which gave rise to novel Chasing Mercury. I am grateful to all who have supported the book and who have supported the Minamata Treaty on Mercury.
Human activity contributes to the largest portion of mercury release. Every year, as much as 9,000 tons of mercury are released into the atmosphere, in water and on land. The largest source of mercury emissions is artisanal and small-scale gold mining, followed closely by coal combustion, non-ferrous metal production and cement production.
Everyday items, such as cosmetics, some fluorescent bulbs, some batteries and dental fillings also contain mercury and mercury compounds. Poisoning occurs most often by ingestion of contaminated fish and inhalation – liquid mercury, once commonly used in thermometers, evaporates at room temperature.