The Northeast States and Eastern Canadian Provinces mercury study: a framework for action: summary of the Canadian chapter

Sci Total Environ. 2000 Oct 16;261(1-3):177-84. doi: 10.1016/s0048-9697(00)00639-2.


The objective of this paper is to give an overview of the findings of the Canadian chapter of the Northeast States and Eastern Canadian Provinces Mercury Study, which was conducted between 1995 and 1998. The Canadian chapter provided information on mercury emissions, sources and levels in air, water, biota and humans. Industry, governments and universities provided information for the Canadian chapter. The study showed that the Northeast States and Eastern Canadian Provinces (NES/ECP) is a region impacted by airborne mercury. Annual mercury emissions for the NES/ECP region are estimated to be approximately 19 t (12%) of the combined Canadian and US national anthropogenic mercury emissions of 155 t/year. 210Pb-dated lake sediment cores from Atlantic Canada showed a mercury enrichment factor of 2.5 for coastal sites with mercury increases starting in 1860. Regional mercury wet deposition for the NES/ECP region was 7-11 microg/m2/year. Provincial and federal fish health advisories have been updated in the ECP for children and women of child-bearing age limiting the consumption of freshwater fish, as well as fresh or frozen shark, tuna or swordfish.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Data Collection
  • Diet
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Female
  • Fishes*
  • Food Contamination*
  • Geologic Sediments
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Mercury / analysis*
  • Pregnancy


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Mercury