News

Measurement of mercury in the atmosphere is improved by results of EMPIR project

View through a porthole

UNEP recognises EMPIR project’s significant steps towards improving the measurement comparability of mercury levels in the environment

EMPIR project ‘Metrology for oxidised mercury’ (16ENV01, MercOx) is developing traceable methods that will improve the measurement comparability of mercury levels present in the atmosphere and in industrial gases. Mercury is a highly toxic metal that can severely impact human and animal health. Importantly, it exists not only in the elemental state, but also in oxidised and other more reactive, bio-accumulative forms. The project has developed the metrology required for accurately monitoring mercury levels in the environment, fundamentally helping with the implementation of important EU environmental directives.

This project is working to bridge the gap from results obtained in two previous EMRP projects, to develop traceable measurement protocols for monitoring all species of mercury with improved uncertainties. The two previous EMRP projects are ‘Emerging requirements for measuring pollutants from automotive exhaust emissions’ (ENV02, PartEmission) and ‘Traceability for mercury measurements’ (ENV51, MeTra).

The measurement of mercury in the atmosphere is recognised as a key indicator for evaluating the effectiveness of the Minamata Convention, a global treaty of the UNEP to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. In November 2018, at the 2nd Conference of Parties (COP) held by the UNEP at their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the organisation emphasised the significant contributions of EMPIR project MercOx to improving the measurement comparability of mercury on a global scale.

The results of this project will undoubtedly improve the measurement capabilities of environmental agencies, creating a reliable and consistent basis for reporting mercury emissions, and allowing the legislative levels of control required by the Minamata Convention to be safely met.

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.
 


Want to hear more about EURAMET?

Sign up for EURAMET newsletters and other information

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

Select your area of interest
EMRP report: Industrial innovation for economic growth
2019-11-14

Report on the second industry theme within the European Metrology Research Programme is available online more

Optical clock comparison shows new high accuracy, resulting in a Nature paper
2019-11-05

A recently completed EMPIR project confirms unprecedented ultra-low deviation between two independent single-ion optical clocks more

EMPIR optical project consortium to present at major international conference
2019-10-31

ASPEN 2019: 8th International Conference of Asian Society for precision Engineering and Technology, Japan, 12 – 15 November more

EMPIR environment project collects and evaluates data on radioactive waste
2019-10-30

Activities to support the development of a good practice guide on measurements for radioactive waste has begun in CIEMAT Spain more

Page 1 of 141.