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Last updated::2017-06-16    



Taiwan and the U.S. in Collaboration Strengthen the Mercury Monitoring Network in the Asia Pacific Region

Delegates and professionals from different countries participated in t.. Delegates and professionals from different countries participated in the Sixth Annual Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Partners Meeting. PHOTO: Chen Ju-chih

Entrusted by the Environmental Protection Administration Taiwan (EPAT), NCU hosted the Sixth Annual Asia Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Partners Meeting and the 2017 Atmospheric Mercury Monitoring Training Workshop and held the opening ceremony on May 15, 2017. Delegates from various countries in the Asia-Pacific region attended these meetings to discuss mercury monitoring relevant issues.

Minister of EPAT, Dr. Ying-Yuan Lee, Chief of Staff for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Mr. Martin Dieu, and the NCU President, Dr. Jing-Yang Jou, attended the opening ceremony and gave opening remarks. In the ceremony, EPAT provided one set of mercury wet deposition sampler to Vietnam and the Philippines, respectively, strengthening the cooperation between Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries on mercury monitoring.

“Mercury’s threat to human beings had become well-known since the outbreak of Minamata disease in Japan six decades ago. Thanks to the advancement in technology, people discovered that in addition to industrial wastewater discharge, mercury could be distributed worldwide via atmospheric long-range transport. With the atmospheric wet and dry deposition, mercury returns to the earth surface, bioaccumulates through the food chain, and thus posts threats to human health. About 50% of the global anthropogenic mercury emission is from East and South Asia. Therefore, regional collaboration on mercury monitoring and information sharing are important,” said Dr. Guey-Rong Sheu, Associate Professor of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at NCU.

The Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network (APMMN) was a collaborative project launched by EPAT, NCU, USEPA, and the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) in 2014, beginning with a pilot network with monitoring stations established in partner countries, such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. Partner countries collect rain water samples and ship them to NCU. NCU is responsible for sample total mercury analysis and data QA/QC. With the support of EPAT, the Center of Environmental Monitoring and Technology was established on NCU campus in 2016 to support the operation of the APMMN by providing analytical services and technical training and to strengthen the international collaboration on mercury monitoring.