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Webinar on mercury and health in the Balkans

As part of HEAL’s work on mercury and health, a webinar took place in November on the emerging public health threat from increasing mercury exposure in the Western Balkans.

The webinar built on recent exchanges in Serbia with the Minstry of Health, where a round table event took place with public health experts to discuss the magniture of the mercury problem in the country. Discussions focused on the how public health is threatened by emissions from this heavy metal and what steps should be taken to reduce mercury exposure to protect health.

During the meeting, Dr Vesna Knjeginjić, the Assistant Minister for Public Health said that ’’reducing the levels of mercury and other heavy metals in the environment would also reduce health risks for people, especially for children who are the most vulnerable due to the effects of this metal on the nervous system and IQ. It is therefore important to develop and implement policies that would better control and reduce mercury emissions in the environment and thus, protect and preserve our health.’’

The webinar was moderated by HEAL’s Vlatka Matković Puljić. Speakers included experts from the Balkan region:

  • Džejna Milaković-Ramadani, Ministry of Health, Republic of Srpska who spoke about mercury as a public health problem;
  • Mihail Kocubovski, Member of the Minamata Convention expert group on Mercury, and Public Health Institute Macedonia who focused on the impact of mercury on humans, exposure and routes of exposure in the Balkans, and;
  • Bjanka Čuturilo, NGO CEKOR, Srbija who presented an innovative project of sampling human hair, fish, eggs , soil and sediments in locations in the Balkan region in the vicinity of coal power plants.

The webinar is available in Serbian on Youtube:

Further information:

Last updated on 16 December 2015

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


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