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AM2 : " Levering Knowledge Gaps To Understand And Anticipate Risk From Methylmercury Exposure"

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The AXA Research Fund funded Lars-Eric’s research project " Levering Knowledge Gaps To Understand And Anticipate Risk From Methylmercury Exposure". A large part of this project was to investigate mercury exposure in the arctic region. The arctic region is particularly vulnerable to contamination issues and a valuable example for worldwide mercury exposure pathways, both for wildlife and humans. As part of the project he participated in 3 oceanographic cruises on the research icebreaker "Polarstern" and research vessel "Pourquoi Pas ?" to the central Arctic Ocean and Greenland. The AXA Research Fund now funded the outreach project "AM2 - Arctic Mediterranean Mercury" to share impressions from his arctic expeditions, in concert with an awareness rising campaign for societal mercury exposure with the broad public.

Powerpoint - 666.3 ko

We are organizing a photo exhibition, accompanied by a seminar in a non-scientific language accessible to everyone.

As a kickoff event of our initiative we receive school classes (5.-8. 9.) and organize evening seminars (7.&8. 9.) at the "Base Nautique Roucas Blanc" as part of the "Septembre en Mer" at Marseilles. On Sunday 10.9. will be a sailing along the French Mediterranean coastline, stopping in several port cities : Porquerolles, St. Tropez, Cannes,... to finally arrive in Villefanche-sur-Mer. In each port, we will have a stand with the photo exhibition, a lecture, and a movie display of the arctic expeditions. Our AM2 team from MIO will travel along with the exhibition and offer to the public to analyze their hair samples. The hair mercury content directly reflects our individual mercury exposure. We are mainly exposed to mercury when we consume marine fish, in simple words : the more and the bigger fish we eat the more mercury we take up. In France, in Europe and in most western countries, protection guidelines have been developed. Those guidelines are recommendations, especially for pregnant woman, for a healthy fish consumption. However, those guidelines are often too technical and people tend to either avoid fish completely, at the risk of a polyunsaturated fatty acid-deficiency (Omega 3), or simply not respecting them, at the risk of an elevated mercury exposure. We propose a simple 5-minute measurement allowing the public to make an intelligent fish food choice based on their individual mercury exposure levels (information about daily consumption). We inform concerned mothers, children, and everyone interested. Every is invited to post-mail their hair samples to MIO for analysis (contact lars-eric.heimburger@mio.osupytheas.fr). Upon arrival in Marseille, the exhibition tour will be transferred the MIO laboratory on the AMU Luminy Campus for the "open doors" event (30. 9.), and then to La Ciotat for the the "Fete de la Science" (13.-15.10.).