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News Releases issued by the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention


EPA Awards $4 Million in Mercury Research Grants

Release Date: 03/06/2003
Contact Information:

Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819/

(03/06/03) As part of EPA’s work to protect the American public from exposure to hazardous pollutants, the Agency today announced $4 million in grants for research on local and global causes of mercury accumulation in the atmosphere. “This research demonstrates EPA’s firm commitment to protecting our nation’s health,” said Paul Gilman, Director of the Office of Research and Development. “These projects will help us understand why and how atmospheric mercury has become part of the food chain.” The six projects were funded through EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant program. Grant recipients at the University of Connecticut at Groton will assess the scale and historical record of mercury deposits over the past 150 years. Researchers at the University of Miami will study how chemical reactions in the Arctic and upper atmosphere may change mercury composition. Florida State University at Tallahassee researchers will use mercury isotopes as a new way to investigate atmospheric processes that affect the transport and deposit of mercury. Investigators at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor will develop a model to determine the impact of local emissions, transport, soil emissions and sunlight on mercury deposits. Scientists at the University of Nevada at Reno will develop a database of mercury emissions from natural sources. University of Washington at Seattle scientists will perform the first project to determine whether mercury from other countries, particularly those in Asia, is being deposited in the United States. University of Wisconsin at Madison scientists will investigate the physical and chemical changes that occur to mercury in the atmosphere to better predict mercury movement, deposition, the impact of control methods. More information on these research projects is available at: For more information on EPA’s STAR program, see: .