Published Date: Mar 6, 2013
SDPI Press Release (March 6, 2013)
first ever project to measure mercury pollution in the air was launched here on
collaborative project started by Sustainable Development Policy Institute
(SDPI), European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and Zero Mercury Working Group
(ZMWG), is an attempt to identify and monitor ‘Mercury emission and release
sites’ in various cities of Pakistan and assess their air quality to protect
environment and human health.
part of commencement activities, the teams of SDPI monitors have been trained
on Lumex Mercury Analyzer and other specialized field instruments to accurately
collect and note measurements.
project was formally launched by SDPI’s Executive Director, Dr. Abid Qayyum
Suleri and Deputy Executive Director, Dr. Vaqar Ahmad. Main feature of
the launch was a demo measurement of mercury pollution at SDPI office, which
the team selected as their first sampling site in Pakistan.
team took indoor and outdoor air samples along with other climatic parameters
such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction. The results showed
mercury level to be between 10.44 – 10.89 (n=9) nano gram per cubic meter of
the air. These levels are considered safe, and are far below than the
permissible limit (2000 ng/M3) for safe occupational health and safety.
monitoring team is now going to visit Lahore for further monitoring at
different sampling sites, including dental clinics, light products
manufacturing industry and chlor-alkali plant. Lahore visit would be followed
up by similar studies at sites in Peshawar, Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
project has garnered widespread support across the country where Ministry of
Disaster Management, Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak – EPA) and
Institute of Chemical Sciences, Peshawar University, Khyber PakhtunKhawa had
already extended their support for the study.
(Hg), known as ‘quick silver’ poses serious risks not only to environment but
also to human health. Earlier this month, 140 countries in Geneva adopted
a ground-breaking, world’s first legally binding treaty on mercury, limiting
the use and emission of health-hazardous mercury.
sources are quite diverse, ranging from thermometers, electric bulbs, and
switches to power plants, coal fired power stations, metal smelters, gold
mining and cement industry. It is also employed in some cosmetics like facial
creams and dental treatments like mercury amalgam filling. A persistent
pollutant, Mercury is not limited to its source but it travels and sometimes
found thousands of kilometers away from the source.