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Mercury A Dilemma for the Caribbean Region

Volume 4 - Issue 4

Terry I Mohammed*1 and Azad Mohammed2

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    • 1Department of Chemistry, the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Trinidad and Tobago
    • 2Department of life science, the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Trinidad and Tobago

    *Corresponding author: Terry I Mohammed, Department of Chemistry, the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Trinidad and Tobago

Received: May 05, 2018;   Published: May 21, 2018

DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2018.04.001093

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Abstract

The islands of the Caribbean have long been susceptible to the impact of Mercury pollution. Factors such as consumption of contaminated fish, usage of mercury based cosmetic products, artisanal gold mining activities and poor disposal and handling of mercury containing equipment and products are significant sources of Mercury with entry into the human body via ingestion, inhalation and absorption through the skin and membranes. Geographically, the region is located where a number of oceanic currents converge, bringing with it pollution from Western Europe, West Africa and South America. The region is therefore strongly influenced by external sources of Mercury. Although these island states cannot influence the externally generated mercury pollutants, they can at least take charge of the internally generated pollutants. As these islands attempt to implement the guidelines of the Minamata Convention, some of the sources of Mercury in the region are explored along with the challenges they face developing and implementing these new policies.

Keywords: Mercury; Caribbean; Uses of Mercury; Minamata Convention; Mercury Pollution

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