Ned Brooks, Lars D. Hylander, John Gilkeson, Jakob Maag, Nicola Pirrone, and Mark Smit
Nordic Council of Ministers
Mercury is among our most serious health and environmental hazards and man-made emissions of mercury result in human exposure, directly and via fish consumption. As an input to global considerations on mercury management, we present a mercury substitution priority working list, or: An identification of the least essential mercury uses. Our assessment indicates that: Many mercury uses may today be readily eliminated, if politically desired. Global mercury demand may be reduced significantly by substitution of the least essential uses. Applying a prioritized phase-out list may help focusing on the main problems, securing a cost effective phase-out process. We therefore recommend that a prioritised phase-out work list for intentional mercury uses is discussed and developed further in international cooperation, for example in the Open-ended Working Group considering legal and other initiatives on mercury established under the auspices of UNEP. The list could serve as: A valuable tool in mutual communication and discussion of possible global mercury reductions A tool for a step-wise reduction development, if desired politically A part of forming a common vision for global mercury reduction.