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Halting the child brain drain: Why we need to tackle global mercury contamination

Halting the child brain drain: Why we need to tackle global mercury contaminationThe survey findings of the HEAL campaign report entitled “Halting the child brain drain: Why we need to tackle global mercury contamination” demonstrate women’s current levels of mercury as a concrete example of low-level exposure to an environmental toxic.

Exposure to mercury in the diet and perhaps at work may significantly harm the health of her unborn child. Mercury has been scientifically shown to harm human health even at low doses. It is especially dangerous for the mental development of the child when exposure takes place in the womb.

The environmental health campaign by the Health and Environment Alliance and the global coalition Health Care Without Harm represents an example of a women-centred, local and global advocacy, research and information project on an important, emerging issue in women’s health. Results from the “bio monitoring” of women’s hair for mercury provided a key advocacy tool for raising awareness within the European Parliament and in the media worldwide.

See report below.

An article based on the report was also published in Women & Environments International Magazine a Canadian journal that examines women’s multiple relations to their environments.

Last updated on 15 June 2011

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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