Mercury pollution and remediation: The chemist's response to a global crisis

Aaron R. Hutchison, David A. Atwood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Environmental mercury pollution is a growing global problem. Due to its unique properties, mercury has in the past been widely used by a variety of industries. This has led to the deposition of large amounts of mercury into the environment, where it is naturally redistributed but not naturally removed. In its methylated form, this mercury tends to accumulate in marine life, eventually reaching levels that can be toxic to humans. Fortunately a variety of remediation methods, including phytoremediation, filtration, and chemical precipitation, are currently in development. One precipitation leagent called MetX appears extremely promising. It binds mercury and other soft heavy metals irreversibly and produces precipitates that do not leach. This technology and many others holds the promise of a future victory over mercury pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-645
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Chemical Crystallography
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • Mercury
  • Pollution
  • Remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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