Seas at Risk member the European Environmental Bureau has highlighted the widespread problem of mercury pollution in the world’s oceans and has called on the UN to take immediate action.

EEB is a member of The Zero Mercury Working Group who, in cooperation with the Biodiversity Research Institute, are facilitating the release of three reports researching the global seafood mercury concentrations and their effects on human health.

The new scientific findings are to be presented at the start of the fifth and final round of United Nations negotiations to put in place a legally binding global treaty to reduce mercury use and pollution.

The reports found that people are regularly consuming seafood with concentrations of mercury above those that are considered ‘safe’ and although plenty of seafood are safe to consume there are some sea food varieties that can differ by at least 100-fold in their average mercury concentrations.

Several recent epidemiological studies show that the consumption of ordinary amounts of fish can cause an unsafe risk to the developing foetus and children, suggesting that the current health exposure tolerance levels should be revised to reflect the latest scientific findings.

In response to the study's findings, the EEB is calling on governments to put in place strict mercury reduction measures.

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