Although mercury (Hg) is a poisonous substance that has harmful effects on the environment and in humans, it is widely used in industrial facilities and in goods for daily use. Given the recent recognition of the risk posed by Hg exposure, the international society is trying to reduce the use of and demand for Hg by implementing more stringent regulations. Relevant policies and laws recommend alternatives to Hg or prohibit the use of Hg in certain applications. In addition, it is recommended that the amount of Hg used in Hg-containing products be reduced or that manufacturers discontinue such products. Disposal methods for elemental Hg include landfill, incineration, stabilization/solidification, and permanent storage. In this review, the major sources of Hg and expected amount of surplus Hg are described after summarizing international policies and plans for Hg management. In addition, a study on the establishment of proper storage facilities was performed by comparing existing Hg storage technologies with newly designed technologies for facilities where surplus Hg may be stored permanently.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (No. 2009-0079977 ).
US Department of Energy (US DOE), Interim Guidance on Packaging, Transportation, Receipt, Management, and Long-term Storage of Elemental Mercury, Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725, Washington, DC, USA, 2009.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis