J. Phys. IV France
Volume 107, May 2003
Page(s) 163 - 168

J. Phys. IV France
107 (2003) 163
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030268

Assessing risks associated with the presence of mercury in the environment: The COMERN approach

D. Bérubé, M. Lucotte and R. Canuel

COMERN, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP. 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3P8, Canada

The presence of mercury (Hg) in the environment has become a source of great concern in the scientific community throughout the World. However, existing models describing Hg behavior in the environment and risks to communities health attributable to Hg exposure fail to cope with the complexity of this issue. We propose here a new modeling approach named the Mercury Environmental Vulnerability Index (MEVI) that takes into account notions such as ecosystems sensitivity and resilience, threshold levels of environmental effects, dynamic changes to the environment induced by human activities, and communities exposure and vulnerability to contaminants. The development of MEVI will be accomplished through the activities of a wide Canadian-based research network, the Collaborative Mercury Research Network, during the course of its five-years research plan.

© EDP Sciences 2003