EU boosts research with approved project that raises question of environmental contamination by mercury

15 June, 2022

The project entitled Complex Awareness Raising and Behaviour Change for the Mercury-Free City Environment (LIFE MERCURY-FREE) is led by Lodz University of Technology, located in Poland, and raises the issue of environmental contamination by mercury contained in household consumer goods mishandled by consumers, due not only to a lack of information but also to the absence of consumer-friendly means of disposal.

Four researchers from the Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development (MED) of the UÉ are part of this project that seeks to organize a wide informative and educational campaign that promotes the change of social behaviours, applying the Behavioural Insights approach and building multi-stakeholder trust through the creation of Mercury-Free City communities to which the Multistakeholder Dialogue methodology will be applied to solve the research problem. These communities belong to four cities that have the same characteristics, among which is Évora, and whose example will serve as a replication for the course of the project.

The contamination of the environment by mercury is extremely dangerous for ecosystems and human health and the figures are indicators of great concern since the level of mercury is now up to 500% above the natural level in the atmosphere and around 200% above the natural level in the ocean.  It is in this scenario that scientific knowledge, and in particular, this research project, assume high relevance to the present time, as they contribute with new data that pave the way to overcome the constraints associated with this challenge with impact at the global level.