Lansing, MI, July 8th, 2019 -- Mercury (Hg) is a naturally occurring chemical element that can be found in air, water and soil. It has been used by mankind for thousands of years and was even found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 1500 BC. Mercury and its compounds have been used in everything from medicines and dental amalgams to thermometers and cosmetics.
There are several forms of mercury, including elemental mercury, methylmercury and other organic compounds, and inorganic mercury compounds. Mercury is found in many rocks and can be found in coal. When coal is burned, mercury is released into the environment, making coal-burning power plants a significant source of mercury emissions to the air in the United States. There are areas where past human activities, such as mining, have resulted in the release of significant levels of mercury into the environment where it remains a potential threat. In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a study that found widespread mercury contamination across Western North America in air, soil, sediment, plants, fish, and wildlife.
“Mercury is a known neurotoxin and depending on the form of mercury, dose, exposure pathway, and other factors can lead to a number of serious health issues,” said Dirk Yamamoto, PhD, CIH® and Chair of the Board for Global EHS Credentialing®. “Exposures can be a threat to humans, animals, and the environment. Working to identify and prevent these hazards are Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs). Those who have earned the QEP® credential are part of an elite group of experts that have demonstrated a broad understanding of environmental science, specialized knowledge in a specific environmental discipline, along with a commitment to high standards of practice and ethics. QEPs are available to investigate, manage, and mitigate issues associated with the various forms of mercury and many other known environmental hazards.”
To learn more about the Qualified Environmental Professional® credential or Environmental Professional In-Training® (EPI®) designation, or to locate a professional to perform mercury or other environmental services, visit www.IPEP.org, email ipep@IPEP.org, or call (517) 853-5766.
About the Board for Global EHS Credentialing®
Since 1960, the American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®), a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world's largest organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. In 2019, ABIH® created a new, high-level organizational umbrella called the Board for Global EHS Credentialing® (BGC®) to more accurately reflect its enhanced credential offerings, which include the Certified Industrial Hygienist® (CIH®), Qualified Environmental Professional® (QEP®), Environmental Professional In-Training® (EPI®), and a Product Stewardship credential, which is currently in development. Currently, more than 7,600 people around the world hold the CIH® credential, QEP® credential, or EPI® designation.