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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

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Heavy Metals

Fish & Community Mercury Monitoring Project in Costa Rica

Samples of fish and human hair were collected and tested for mercury in Colorado, Costa Rica, an area located close to the Abangares Gold Mine. Residents from this area are primarily fishermen and their families, and they subsist primarily on fish from the local fishery. Previous analyses in the area have revealed high levels of mercury, a strong indicator that residents also have high levels of mercury in their bodies.

Survey and Policy Advocacy on the Management of Used Cell Phone Batteries

Responding to the lack of regulation on E-waste in Thailand, Ecological Alert and Recovery, Thailand (EARTH) researched the the amount of used cell phone batteries in Thailand and how they have been managed by surveying and interviewing cell phone sellers in selected markets (as well as mobile phone distributors, battery distributors, network service providers, and companies specializing in recycling). Following this, EARTH compiled a report outlining their findings, which was used to raise awareness about the problem among national and local authorities as well as general consumers.

Fish & Community Mercury Monitoring Project in Uruguay

RAPAL Uruguay conducted research on how a chlorine making plant (EFICE) located close to Montevideo is likely responsible for mercury contamination of the surrounding towns and ecosystem. According to their research, there is strong evidence that mercury used during the chlorine making process has been contaminating the ecosystem and poisoning local residents. Unfortunately, due to a lack of transparency and government support, residents have not been able to address this issue.

Country Level Assessment for Mercury in Uganda

PROBICOU conducted the first ever situational assessment of mercury in Uganda. The study aimed to provide information to the Ugandan government so that the government could be helped to legislate a relevant policy on mercury. The study involved many activities, including document review, and site visits at mining communities, health care institutions, government departments, and waste dumping sites. A critical part of this project involved a sensitization workshop organized for traders in Kampala with the goals of obtaining first hand community views on the effects of mercury exposure.

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