Guidance and awareness raising materials under new UNEP mercury programs (Indian scenario)

Mercury distribution in the environment has been a focus of scientific attention because of the potential health risks posed by mercury exposure. Never before in the history of mankind has there been such a vast multiplicity of environmental risk factors, nor there has been such an expression of concern regarding inherent danger of mercury and its likely impact on diverse aspects on human health. Further organic mercury, mostly methyl mercury (MeHg) the most toxic species is bioaccumulating in the biota and subsequently biomagnified in the aquatic food chain, especially in fish. Given the human health concern, it is critical and important that awareness programme is launched to educate the populations to the risk and impact of mercury exposure in humans especially potentially vulnerable population viz pregnant women, breast feeding women, the fetus new born and young children residing in the hot spot area’s of the country and also consequences of MeHg exposure through fish consumption.