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Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU

PROPOSITION OF THRESHOLD FOR WASTE CONTAMINATED WITH MERCURY (COMPOUNDS) IN APPLICATION OF THE MINAMATA CONVENTION ON MERCURY AND IMPACT ASSESSMENT

  • Pierre Hennebert - INERIS (French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks), France

DOI 10.31025/2611-4135/2019.13822

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2019 CISA Publisher

Editorial History

  • Received: 12 Mar 2019
  • Revised: 18 Jun 2019
  • Accepted: 20 Jun 2019
  • Available online: 28 Jun 2019

Abstract

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Environmentally sound management of waste is under discussion. This note proposes a threshold for waste of category c) Contaminated with mercury or mercury compounds to be disposed of (Article 11 of the Convention), using the Globally Harmonized System of classification and labelling of chemicals of the United Nations (GHS - UNEP 2017). Mercury and mercury compounds are classified as substances for the physical, health and environmental hazards categories. The thresholds of mercury and mercury compounds classifying a mixture as hazardous for the different hazard categories (physical, health, environmental) are “Presence”, >0.1% and >0.0025% (25 mg mercury/kg of waste) respectively. For impact assessment, this threshold is then compared with large data set of hazardous (793 data), potentially hazardous (depending on the concentration of hazardous substances) (55 data), as well as natural or non-polluted anthropized media (composts, sediments, agricultural soils) (21 784 data) from France. This demonstrates that 75% of the hazardous waste have higher total mercury concentration, that potentially hazardous waste samples have lower concentrations, and that all composts, agricultural soils and marine sediments and 99% of the fluvial sediments have lower concentrations. So, this threshold will not classify common industrial waste or natural media as requiring special treatment for safe disposal, but well a large part of industrial hazardous waste.

Keywords


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