The conference is expected to draw more than 1,000 scientists, academics and policymakers from more than 44 countries, as well as representatives of industries and nongovernmental organizations involved in mercury issues.
A primary goal of the gathering is to distill current scientific knowledge about mercury in the environment into succinct, straightforward statements that will be directly relevant to government policy-makers, resource managers and others concerned about the sources and consequences of mercury pollution. Conference hosts include the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
A press conference will be held on Friday, Aug. 11, when a declaration will be released on the present scientific understanding of global mercury pollution. Throughout the week, each registered conferee will be allowed to vote to approve or reject individual statements regarding different aspects of mercury pollution. The resulting final declaration, a concise statement of scientific consensus, is expected to figure prominently in future discussions and debates around the world as governments, industries and citizens address the widespread problem of mercury in the environment.
The declaration, like the conference itself, will focus on four critical issues: health risks and toxicological effects of methylmercury; recovery of mercury-contaminated fisheries; societal consequences of mercury pollution; and source attribution of atmospheric mercury deposition.
Leading up to the release of the declaration will be more than 240 presentations and 800 poster sessions.
Reporters should visit http://www.mercury2006.org for information about media registration (click the "media" tab in the left column).
All registered reporters will receive advance information several weeks before the conference, including abstracts and a complete program. E-mail email@example.com for help arranging interviews ahead of time or during the conference. Please note that specific content related to the abstracts and presentations at the Eighth International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant will remain strictly embargoed until the day of the scientific session.
The conference schedule includes:
Afternoon sessions of special interest: risks and benefits of eating seafood: mercury and omega-3 fatty acid status in geographically diverse populations; methylmercury exposure on reproduction and development: past, present and future; global mercury trade; role of mercury-containing products in reducing mercury in the environment; and successes and challenges in managing mercury within the Great Lakes region.
Afternoon sessions of special interest: mercury in dental amalgam: health, environmental and management aspects; mercury contamination and native peoples: cultural, social, ecological and human health; and modeling mercury methylation and mercury cycling in the environment.
Afternoon sessions of special interest: mercury in artisanal (i.e., small-scale) gold mining: environment, health, policy and solutions; bioaccumulation and trophic transfer; and global-scale transport and deposition patterns of atmospheric mercury.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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