Anthropogenic processes have increased the exposure of humans and wildlife to toxic methyl mercury (MeHg). Mercury emissions will increase by about 25% between 2005 and 2020, if the present trajectory is maintained. A global assessment of societal damages caused by the ingestion of methyl mercury, based merely on loss of IQ (Intelligence Quotient), suggests that the annual cost will be approximately US$3.7 billion (2005 dollars) in 2020. The corresponding cost of damages resulting from the inhalation of methyl mercury is estimated at US$2.9 million (2005 dollars). Under a higher degree of emission control such as in the case of the Extended Emission Control (EXEC) and the Maximum Feasible Technological Reduction (MFTR) scenarios, total emissions could decrease in the period 2005-2020 by about 50-60%. The corresponding annual benefits in 2020 are estimated to be about US$1.8-2.2 billion (2005 dollars). Large economic benefits can be achieved by reducing global mercury emissions.
Nyckelord: Mercury, Costs, Benefits, Global emissions, Future scenarios
Författare: Kyrre Sundseth, Jozef M Pacyna, Elisabeth G Pacyna, John Munthe, Mohammed Belhaj, Stefan Åström
Publicerad i: Journal of Cleaner Production, 2010 Volume 18 Pages 386-394