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Abstract Title: Life Cycle Impact Assessment of Anthropogenic Mercury Release in China
Presenter Name: XXX Habuer
Company/Institution: Okayama University
Session: Progress in understanding Hg and human health impacts
Day and Session: Tuesday 26th July - Session Two
Start Time: 10:00 UTC
Co-Authors: XXX Habuer

Abstract Information :

Mercury is not only present in the environment naturally but is also released, emitted and discharged as a result of anthropogenic activities. The combination of anthropogenic activities and long-term atmospheric transport has resulted in a sustained increase in global mercury concentrations in natural environment. Knowledge of the mercury impact, and determination of the main factors that ameliorate the environmental impact from anthropogenic activities will contribute to environmentally sound mercury management. At present, a lack of surveys to evaluate the environmental impact of mercury releases resulted in anthropogenic sources has been observed. This study used a life cycle impact assessment to identify the major factors contributing to the overall environmental burden imposed by elemental mercury releases in China. Moreover, a time-series impact analysis of anthropogenic mercury releases under several scenarios in 2016-2020 were conducted. As the results, the total mercury input decreased year by year in 2016-2020. The environmental impact of the business-as-usual scenario (total impacts = 5.13 GPt) was greater than that of the accelerated technology transformation scenario (total impacts = 4.51 GPt), especially in terms of the impact on human health. Compared to its effects on human health, mercury release to the environment has less impact on ecosystem diversity. Mercury release to land had the largest impact on ecosystem diversity, followed by mercury emissions to air and discharge to water. Waste treatment and disposal processes, including for both mercury containing general and sector-specific waste, are the major contributors to mercury release to land. The best currently available technologies can reduce the initial distribution of atmospheric emissions, rather than emissions in the redistribution stage. This study provides quantitative information on the environmental impact of mercury release, facilitating strategic management of mercury emissions. Clarifying the impacts of mercury pollution is crucial to efforts to reduce those impacts.

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