Guidance for Identifying Populations at
Risk from Mercury Exposure, August 2008
This “Guidance for Identifying Populations
at Risk from Mercury Exposure” is intended to assist countries concerned
about the potential impacts of mercury pollution on their population in
identifying specific populations (or subpopulations) that may be at risk.
It aims to provide guidance on estimating exposures to mercury through
biomonitoring as well as exposures to methylmercury using data on dietary
fish intake. It gives an overview of mercury toxicity, exposure pathways,
health and environmental impacts, as well as available reference levels.
It also provides an overview of assessment of mercury exposures for some
specific exposure scenarios, including “hot spot” exposures. In addition,
this document can be used as reference for conducting research or
investigations regarding mercury exposure.
All relevant reports and monographs of the
Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) were taken into
account in the development of this guidance document as part of
international recommendations on mercury and methylmercury in fish and
other food. Hence, this document is being issued jointly by UNEP and WHO
in cooperation with FAO.
UNEP and WHO made every effort possible to
incorporate, where appropriate, comments to the draft versions which were
received from governments and interested stakeholders. The document is now
available here (word