A national survey of mercury levels in South Africa's water management areas
Williams, Chavon R.
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This study forms part of a broader project co-funded by the Water Research Commission (WRC), and CSIR Parliamentary Grant (PG) and Strategic Research Panel (SRP) research grants, aimed at surveying selected water resources within the 19 Water Management Areas in South Africa. Furthermore, it aims at determining the concentrations of Hg and MeHg in various environmental compartments collected from priority water resources, to identify the potential Hg hotspots, and to assess the degree of compliance with national and international guidelines. Mercury concentrations in the environment have increased globally and this has caused much anxiety in terms of the adverse effects it has on aquatic ecosystems, their organisms, and the communities they sustain. Human health risks associated with the consumption of fish elevated containing Hg concentrations have received minimal attention particularly in South Africa. It is imperative that any potential adverse impacts of Hg on aquatic ecosystems, and the subsequent impacts on human health, be investigated.