Exposure to high levels of mercury can permanently damage the brain and kidneys and has been shown to affect a developing fetus, even months after the mother's exposure. In the aquatic environment, mercury can be transformed into methylmercury, a compound that is more toxic at low doses than pure mercury, absorbed by sea life, and then ingested by humans and other animals that eat seafood.
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Though some pesticides toxic to humans, other animals and the environment have been banned from use, implementation of the bans is inconsistent, and illegal use still occurs. In addition, other highly hazardous pesticides are also in current use around the world.
This activity established a permanent intersectoral group on pesticide storage and utilization to develop a survey plan for three districts of Chelybinsk Oblast. The group surveyed 11 rural settlements using extensive communication with local residents. The results were compared with official data at joint discussions with stakeholders, including local authorities, NGOs, residents (including high school students) and experts.