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EU launches consultation on limited use of mercury (08/19/2014)
BRUSSELS, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission has launched an online consultation on issues related to the usage of mercury, it was announced Tuesday. The consultation will mainly focus on areas such as the import restrictions for metallic mercury from non-parties, an export ban for certain products containing mercury and mercury use in products and processes not yet placed on the market. The consultation provides interested citizens, public authorities, businesses and NGOs with a concise and clear understanding of the elements above and asks them for their views.

Humans have tripled mercury levels in upper ocean (08/07/2014)
Mercury levels in the upper ocean have tripled since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and human activities are to blame, researchers report today in Nature1. Although several computer models have estimated the amount of marine mercury, the new analysis provides the first global measurements. It fills in a critical piece of the global environmental picture, tracking not just the amount of mercury in the world's oceans, but where it came from and at what depths it is found.

Rising mercury levels leave their mark on yellow-billed loons, study says (08/06/2014)
Yellow-billed loons that migrate to nesting sites on Alaska's Arctic coastal plain are bearing an undesirable burden that comes from thousands of miles away -- mercury unleashed by industrial pollution, according to a new study. The study, published in a special issue of the journal Waterbirds that is devoted to loon research, describes mercury levels found in feathers, blood and eggs of yellow-billed loons, birds that spend their summers nesting on the Arctic coastline. While only a few individuals had levels of mercury that were considered to be at or above the threshold that would cause ill effects to the birds, the overall trend is worrisome, the study concluded. Mercury levels in the tested samples were, in general, twice those found in birds collected prior to 1920, the study said. Birds that migrate from Alaska to Asia -- the wintering grounds for most of the Alaska-nesting yellow-billed loons -- are more likely to encounter mercury, the study said.

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