NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
General Information   Mercury home

This page is designed to offer general information on mercury to the citizens of North Carolina. Included are links to documentsand Web sites containing general mercury information, information on mercury in industry, how to clean up a mercury spill in your home and mercury reduction options. Some of the categories may overlap, so you may want to check more than one if you are searching for specific information.

Web Sites, Fact Sheets and Best Management Practices

Full Title: Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste
Full Work Author: American Dental Association
Abstract: Dental amalgam waste handling and disposal practices for reduction of mercury released into the environment.

Full Title: Mercury Best Management Practices
Abstract: BMPs to reduce the use and release of mercury, including substitution of alternative products, recycling/disposal and spill response planning and clean up.

Full Title: Pollution Prevention Fact Sheet #21: Managing Mercury-Bearing Electrical Products
Full Work Author: Canadian Environmental Protection Branch
Abstract: This pollution prevention fact sheet is one in a continuing series prepared under the Pollution Prevention Program of the Federal Programs Division of Environment Canada, Ontario Region. The program is intended to help federal departments in Ontario become model environmental citizens by managing beyond compliance. This fact sheet includes: an overview of mercury, recycling and alternatives to mercury-containing products, regulations, success stories and sources of information.


Full Title: Specifying and Sourcing Mercury-Free HVAC and Building Equipment
Full Work Author: INFORM Inc.
Abstract: While manufacturers of building equipment have made substantial progress in reducing or eliminating mercury in building system control devices, some HVAC and building equipment on the market today still contains mercury components. By asking manufacturers a few simple questions, specifiers can avoid including mercury in new building systems.

Full Title: U.S. EPA Mercury Web site: General Information
Full Work Author: U.S. EPA
Abstract: This fact sheet has a listing of other information sheets that range from mercury emissions and utility emissions to mercury in health care.

Full Title: Mercury Information
Full Work Author: Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Abstract: This page offers a collection of links to various information about mercury pollution in Maine and elsewhere, and ongoing reduction efforts.

Full Title: Draft Report Mercury Sources and Regulations
Full Work Author: U.S. EPA
Abstract: This paper updates an original report written by Ross & Associates in 1993, entitled Virtual Elimination Pilot Project: Mercury Sources and Regulations. Included in the paper are topics such as emissions, mobile sources, how mercury is regulated, types of mercury regulations, uses of mercury, waste disposal and recycling, etc.

Full Title: Wisconsin Mercury Sourcebook
Full Work Author: U.S. EPA/Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: The Wisconsin Mercury Sourcebook was written to help The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources implement a new “Mercury Strategy.” This document is a compilation of mercury reduction work to date. It was designed as a working document to help guide communities through the process of writing comprehensive community mercury reduction plans. The document provides a seven-step outline for drafting a reduction plan, and contains source identification materials for 19 sectors of a community, including case studies, product alternatives and action ideas for each sector.

Full Title: Merc Concern: Mercury Awareness for Michigan Citizens
Full Work Author: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Abstract: Michigan’s brochure covers many different mercury-related areas. Topics covered include concerns over mercury, what mercury is, how it gets into the environment, how to control and reduce mercury, and offers alternatives to mercury-containing items.

Full Title: Mercury Information Page
Full Work Author: Kansas Department of Health and Environment 
Abstract: This information page shares information on what mercury is, what its health effects are, what to do if there is a small spill, and what to do if a person is exposed to mercury.

Full Title: Special Pollutants: Mercury
Full Work Author: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency 
Abstract: This page gives a brief description of mercury and its effects, and also offers a huge list of links to various subject areas on mercury.

Full Title: Naval Institute for Dental and Biomedical Research
Abstract: This dental mercury environmental issues Web site was developed to provide a resource for the management of mercury in the dental-unit wastewater stream.

Full Title: P2Rx Topic Hub
Full Work Author: Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance - Waste Reduction Resource Center
Abstract: The topic hub provides a topic-specific guide to collected resources available and accessible via the Internet. A mercury topic hub is included in this list and covers everything from what mercury is to mercury waste reduction.

Full Title: U.S. Geological Society
Full Work Author:
U.S. Geological Society - Mercury Team
The U.S. Geological Society’s page has several links to mercury in Florida’s Everglades, aquatic ecosystems and a variety of maps that show national atmospheric mercury deposition, U.S. fish consumption advisories, and a graph of trends in number of advisories issued by various pollutants.

Mercury Reduction Options

Full Title: Mercury Reduction Options
Full Work Author: U.S. EPA
Abstract: This paper has information ranging from mercury reduction in energy production to reduction in schools and laboratories. It covers seven sections, and for each the paper goes over where the mercury sources are and what options are available for reduction.

Full Title: Toward The Virtual Elimination Of Mercury From The Solid Waste Stream
Full Work Author: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
Abstract: This paper has information covering the fundamental facts on mercury, mercury-containing products, consumer products, manufacturer take-back programs, and legislation on mercury-containing products. Each category covers the feasibility of eliminating the mercury-containing products and offers reduction options.

Full Title: Developing a Comprehensive Mercury Reduction Strategy
Full Work Author: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Abstract: This fact sheet gives advice on how to start a reduction program in reducing mercury. The brochure discusses the consequences of not having this type of program and also discusses what has been done to reduce mercury contamination or mercury sources.

Full Title: National Mercury Reduction Programs Database
Full Work Author: Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association
Abstract: The National Mercury Reduction Programs Database is a collection of information on federal, state and local programs focused on reducing mercury releases to the environment.

Mercury Emissions

Full Title: Mercury Study Report to Congress
Full Work Author: U.S. EPA Office of Air and Radiation
Abstract: This report was addressed to Congress to discuss the effects that auto and factory emissions of mercury have on human health and the environment. This site links to the eight different volumes of the report.

Full Title: Mercury Emissions and Utility Emissions
Full Work Author: U.S. EPA-Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
Abstract: This fact sheet discusses EPA’s identification of hazardous pollutants, such as mercury from power plant emissions, and also discusses EPA’s strategic approach to decrease the amount of mercury that is emitted by these sources.

Full Title: Background Information on Mercury Sources and Regulations-Mercury Air Emissions
Full Work Author: U.S. EPA
Abstract: The EPA has created a fact sheet on all aspects of mercury pollution. This part of the fact sheet covers MACT standards, what states can and cannot do, specific sources covered, mercury study, utility study and other relevant statutes.

Full Title: Sources of Mercury
Full Work Author: Division of Safety: Office of Research Services
Abstract: This Web site covers areas of mercury pollution such as industry, utility plants, biomedical sources and natural sources. The Web site talks about NIH’s mercury-free campaign, the Hatter’s pledge, and other useful information pertaining to several different areas of concerns.

Mercury Information in North Carolina

Mercury: The North Carolina Connection
Edition of the N.C. Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance newsletter, FOCUS: Waste Minimization, from December 2003. Issue focuses on aspects of mercury pollution in North Carolina and ways to help reduce sources.

Mercury: Emission Sources and Atmospheric Behavior
The N.C. Division of Air Quality’s Mercury Updates page; includes information on the top mercury sources in North Carolina., the Scientific Advisory Board on Toxic Air Pollutant’s review of mercury in North Carolina, and a report on Atmospheric Mercury Trends in North Carolina.

2002-2003 N.C. Eastern Region Mercury Study
This study was designed to answer some basic questions about mercury in the eastern area of the North Carolina, particularly those waters on the 303(d) list of impaired waters and to provide information that may be used by state agencies in water quality standard and TMDL development.

The N.C. Division of Water Quality’s Basinwide Planning Program
Basinwide water quality planning is a nonregulatory, watershed-based approach to restoring and protecting the quality of North Carolina’s surface waters. Basinwide water quality plans are prepared by the N.C. Division of Water Quality for each of the 17 major river basins in the state, and updated every five years. Each plan will:

  • identify water quality problems and restore full use to impaired waters;
  • identify and protect high value resource waters;
  • protect unimpaired waters while allowing for reasonable economic growth;
  • develop appropriate management strategies to protect and restore water quality;
  • assure equitable distribution of waste assimilative capacity for dischargers; and
  • improve public awareness and involvement in the management of the state’s surface waters.

N.C. 303(d) Impaired Waters List and Mercury TMDL
The 303(d) list is a list of Category 5 impaired waters that require a TMDL. All waters in N.C. are listed in Category 5 for Mercury due to a statewide fish consumption advisory for several fish species (Current Fish Consumption Advice and Advisories in North Carolina). A statewide mercury TMDL is being developed, more detailed information can be found by clicking here.

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