Pollution / Health / Science / environmental science / Mercury / oceans / pollution

Mercury is accumulating in deep ocean trenches

Posted On: 23 Jul 2021   |   Posted By: Ars Technica

Mercury is accumulating in deep ocean trenches

Enlarge / Aboard the German research vessel Sonne off the coast of Chile, ready to take samples from eight kilometers deep in the Atacama Trench system.
Although pollution controls have significantly reduced the mercury content of coal-fired plant emissions, the latest Global Mercury Assessment still estimates that there's been a 20 percent increase in anthropogenic mercury emissions between 2010 and 2015. A new study provides some insight into where all that mercury might end up: there are unprecedented levels of mercury in up-to-now unmeasured deep-ocean trenches.
The WHO categorizes mercury as one of the top 10 chemicals of major health concern, and as of 2020, over 120 countries have been working together to reduce environmental mercury through the 2017 Minamata Convention on Mercury. In its elemental and mono-methylated form , mercury is a potent neurotoxin. Methylmercury in particular biomagnifies, which means it increases in concentration as it goes up the...

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