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  Risk Communication in Action, Case Studies in Fish Advisories (102 pp, 8.64 MB) (EPA/625/R-06/013) August 2007

Mercury is a toxic metal. It is a liquid at room temperature, but volatilizes readily under ambient conditions. It is found in three forms: elemental mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds (such as methyl-mercury). The global mercury cycle occurs in four stages: emission to the atmosphere, transformation and transport in the atmosphere, deposition to the earth, and re-emission to the atmosphere. Mercury is emitted to the environment from natural sources and human-made sources.

This handbook provides general and detailed information on how to enhance mercury risk communication activities and other outreach efforts. It also offers ways to facilitate communication in areas where information is not available.

This handbook includes:

  • An introduction to communicating mercury risk and the subsequent impacts of exposure
  • Background information on mercury and its health effects (e.g., informational sources, emissions and resulting deposition, and bioaccumulation in fish)
  • Mercury risk communication program activities (EPA and non-EPA research efforts)
  • Case study presentations of four fish consumption advisory programs that have successfully used data visualization and interpretation tools
  • Frequently asked questions


Dan Petersen

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