**** LATEST NEWS! ****


Part 1: Introduction

The deadline for the tender is: 12/02/2018

Part 2: About the EEB and the Zero Mercury Working Group

  • Created in 1974, the EEB is now the largest federation of environmental citizens’ organisations in Europe. It currently consists of over 140 member organisations in more than 30 countries (virtually all EU Member States plus some accession and neighbouring countries), including a growing number of European networks, and representing some 15 million individual members and supporters.
  • We work on a vast array of environmental issues and our policy officers work with experts, our members, politicians and the media to protect and further develop environmental policies.
  • The Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) is an international coalition of over 95 public interest environmental and health non-governmental organizations from more than 50 countries from around the world formed in 2005 by the European Environmental Bureau and the Mercury Policy Project.  ZMWG strives for zero supply, demand, and emissions of mercury from all anthropogenic sources, with the goal of reducing mercury in the global environment to a minimum.  Our mission is to advocate and support the adoption and implementation of a legally binding instrument which contains mandatory obligations to eliminate where feasible, and otherwise minimize, the global supply and trade of mercury, the global demand for mercury, anthropogenic releases of mercury to the environment, and human and wildlife exposure to mercury.

Our website for more information: www.eeb.org / http://www.zeromercury.org

Part 3: Tender


The Zero Mercury campaign at the EEB would like to build a new website for Zero Mercury Campaign/Zero Mercury Working Group based on the existing website available at www.zeromercury.org – while maintaining the URL.

Active since 2005 the Zero Mercury Campaign, having grown into the Zero Mercury Working Group has a long history of action. We would like to see a visual update of the website, to a more modern and user-friendly visual look. The division of sections, and their related subsections should be divided between introductory and advanced mercury issues.

-          We would like to convey through our website an approachable and educational tool for mercury related issues.

-          On the other hand, on separate tabs we would like to make available the recent activity related:

  1.  to project implementation through our members in different countries, and
  2. the developments related to policy at international and EU levels.

The distinction between the “introduction to mercury” section and the “Policy” and “Projects” sections should be clear. We would like a visualization of introducing the general public to mercury through its various topics (processes, products etc), and then at the end of the page have a link where an individual can arrive at how the Zero Mercury Working Group is working on that specific issue at project and policy level as relevant. Simultaneously however, we would like to have a tab where stakeholders familiar with mercury issues and/or our work, can get directly to the advanced information without going through the introductory informational section or tabs.

We are looking for a proposal that explains in detail how the concept note below can be implemented.

Tender: revamp a website

  • The Zero mercury Working Group is looking to revamp its website. It currently does not do justice to the work carried out by the 95+ members organisations. This means a much more advanced structure with more visuals, conveying the image of a serious, trustworthy NGO coalition.
  • The new website should be Wordpress-based, allow for easy management internally and coded in an open and accessible way to permit other third party developers to easily adjust.
  • We would like the website to be a one-stop-shop for individuals that are new to mercury issues and simultaneously provide a platform where stakeholders familiar with mercury issues can find updates on international policy developments and relevant project information. 
  • The audience of the Zero Mercury Working Group website includes our members, representatives of EU institutions and member state governments, journalists, academics, other NGOs, progressive business and members of the public.

Please include the following and their related costs (separately) in your quote:

  • Design and development of new easy to navigate website
  • Transfer of data from the current our current CMS system, Joomla.  
  • Annual costs for domain name and hosting (including backup). We may decide to handle this ourselves depending on the quotes provided.
  • Annual costs for technical support.
  • Basic Google Analytics tracking on all pages.
  • SEO on all pages
  • Responsive design, with slick page scaling for tablets and smartphones.

Indicative timeline

  • 25/01 Publication for tender
  • 12/02 Deadline for submissions
  • 23/02 EEB/ZMWG evaluates proposals and contacts suppliers / Communicate to winning service provider
  • End Feb-Beginning of March: Signature of contract with EEB/ZMWG
  • Building of the website: March – April
  • Launch: end April- beg May

Criteria to be considered during evaluation

  • combination of price and quality,
  • production / delivery time and service.
  • having/using environmental and sustainability policy/criteria
  • the EEB holds the right to exclude a supplier who may have a negative financial record, that violates criteria such as bankruptcy, not paying taxes etc.

Part  4: Functionality

  • Slider for home page
  • Horizontal menu with drop down elements (within homepage – e.g. About us, About Mercury, Policy Developments, Projects, Resources, News  )
  • About us section
  • Map that interacts with posts to deliver news on members’ projects/activities
  • News section (Press releases)
  • Newsletter sign up widget
  • Position paper section (listed chronologically)
  • Publication section  displaying in an attractive way – showing the front cover of the publication – up to 10 publications per year
  • Photos, infographics, and videos should be downloadable.
  • Events section
  • Contact form
  • Possibility of archiving the content of the existing website

Home page

The home page is meant to be a public oriented landing page for individuals wishing to learn about mercury. The first image should be a large slider which in principle will not change over time. The slider will include 4-5 pictures referring to introductory information about the challenges surrounding mercury pollution, but also to some of the priority areas we work on.

Above it, a horizontal menu, with dropdown elements can be displayed, dividing between general mercury information, the policy work that ZMWG does along with current projects and other elements (to be detailed at a later stage e.g about us etc). Below the slider there will be some space to describe ZMWG group as an organization and post our latest news. There should also be space to include a footer providing our location and contact information.

As examples please see http://www.artisanalgold.org/ or www.sradev.org


The website should provide country-specific pages/posts with contact information for our different national partners, in addition to a description and updates of relevant projects that they do appearing within our website (via posts) apart from linking back to national websites. Accessing these country specific pages should be done through a map, e.g.  found on “About us” page. The map needs to highlight somehow differently countries where EEB/ZMWG are funding (or have funded) directly projects, whilst providing a link to that campaign (page/post).

We would also need to post updates about the relevant projects/campaigns, that will simultaneously appear in the “What’s new” section of the home page.

Technical prerequisites:

The CMS should be WordPress to align with our other websites. The current site is working with Joomla.

Visual identity / look and feel:

We do want to update, but not reinvent the visual identity of the Zero Mercury Campaign/ Working Group.

The Zero Mercury logo stays unchanged and is our branding basis. We would like the look and feel of the new website to be more visually oriented, as now it feels a bit text-heavy.

Footer: Logos and disclaimers of EC will need to go somewhere at the bottom 

Mercury Fact sheet - Mercury exposure and effects PDF Print E-mail
Article Index
Mercury Fact sheet
Mercury sources, uses and emissions(2)
Mercury exposure and effects

Mercury exposure and effects

Mercury and its compounds are highly toxic to humans, ecosystems and wildlife. High doses can be fatal to humans, but even relatively low doses can have serious adverse neurodevelopmental impacts, and have recently been linked with possible harmful effects on the cardiovascular, immune and reproductive systems.(3)

The toxicity of mercury depends on its chemical form, and thus symptoms and signs are rather different in exposure to elemental mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, or organic mercury compounds (notably alkylmercury compounds such as methylmercury and ethylmercury salts, and dimethylmercury). The sources of exposure are also markedly different for the different forms of mercury. For alkylmercury compounds, among which methylmercury is by far the most important, the major source of exposure is diet, especially fish and other seafood. This is because methylmercury bioaccumulates, meaning larger predatory fish(such as tuna, sharks, marlins) have much higher levels of methylmercury in their bodies than non-predatory fish.(4) For elemental mercury vapour, the most important source for the general population is dental amalgam, but exposure at work may in some situations exceed this by many times (for example for nurses in hospitals, for dental nurses, dentists and workers in labs). For inorganic mercury compounds, diet is the most important source for the majority of people. However, for some segments of populations, use of skin-lightening creams and soaps that contain mercury, and use of mercury for cultural/ritualistic purposes or in traditional medicine, can also result in substantial exposures to inorganic or elemental mercury.(5)

Organic mercury, in the form of methylmercury, is the most toxic form humans are usually exposed to. Methylmercury is a well-documented neurotoxicant, which may in particular cause adverse effects on the developing brain. Moreover, this compound readily passes both the placental barrier and the blood-brain barrier, therefore, exposures during pregnancy are of highest concern. Also, some studies suggest that even small increases in methylmercury exposures may cause adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, thereby leading to increased mortality. Given the importance of cardiovascular diseases worldwide, these findings, although yet to be confirmed, suggest that methylmercury exposures need close attention and additional follow-up. Moreover, methylmercury compounds are considered possibly carcinogenic to humans (group 2B) according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, 1993), based on their overall evaluation.(6)

Eating contaminated fish(7) is the major source of human exposure to methylmercury. The populations most at risk are fetuses, infants, and young children(8) . Consequently, fish consumption by pregnant women, young children, and women of childbearing age is cause for concern because of the likelihood of mercury exposure. Experts estimate that almost half (44%) of young children in France(9) could have levels exceeding health standards, which would put them at risk for mercury poisoning. The EU Extended Impact Assessment states that anywhere from 3 to 15 million people in Europe alone have mercury levels around the recommended limit and a percentage have levels ten times as high, at which there are clear neurodevelopmental effects.(10)

One of the worst industrial disasters in history was caused by the dumping of mercury compounds into Minamata Bay, Japan. The Chisso Corporation, a fertilizer and later petrochemical company, was found responsible for polluting the bay from 1932-1968. It is estimated that over 3.000 people –consuming fish from the lake- suffered various deformities, sever mercury poisoning symptoms or death from what became known as Minamata disease.(11) The Supreme Court n November 2005 held the central government and Kumamoto Prefecture responsible for Minamata disease in awarding 71.5 million yen in damages to plaintiffs in the nation's worst-ever case of industrial poisoning. (12)

The main route of exposure for elemental mercury is by inhalation of the vapours. About 80 percent of inhaled vapours are absorbed by the lung tissues. This vapour also easily penetrates the blood-brain barrier and is a well-documented neurotoxicant. Intestinal absorption of elemental mercury is low. E lemental mercury can be oxidized in body ti ssues to the inorganic divalent form.

Neurological and behavioural disorders in humans have been observed following inhalation of elemental mercury vapour. Specific symptoms include tremors, emotional lability, insomnia, memory loss, neuromuscular changes, and headaches. In addition, there are effects on the kidney and thyroid. High exposures have also resulted in death. W ith regard to carcinogenicity, the overall evaluation, according to IARC (1993), is that metallic mercury and inorganic mercury compounds are not classifiable as to carcinogenicity to humans (group 3). A critical effect on which risk assessment could be based is therefore the neurotoxic effects, for example the induction of tremor. The effects on the kidneys (the renal tubule) should also be considered; they are the key endpoint in exposure to inorganic mercury compounds. The effect may well be reversible, but as the exposure to the general population tends to be continuous, the effect may still be relevant.(13)


(1) UNEP Global Mercury Assessment, December 2002, Summary of the report, paragraphs 39-46 and 48. (2)UNEP Global Mercury Assessment, December 2002, Summary of the report, paragraphs 91-92,101-103, 109-110.
(3) European Commission. SEC(2005)101 Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on Community Strategy Concerning Mercury EXTENDED IMPACT ASSESSMENT {COM(2005)20 final}28.1.2005, p. 12
(4) Physicians for Social Responsibility - Mercury in fish http://www.mercuryaction.org/uploads/PSR_Hg3_FishC.pdf
(5) UNEP Global Mercury Assessment, December 2002, Summary of the report, paragraph 53
(6) UNEP Global Mercury Assessment, December 2002, Summary of the report, paragraph 56
(7) Methylymercury bioaccumulates, meaning larger predatory fish have much higher levels of methylmercury in their bodies than non-predatory fish. For a list of fish with low and high levels of mercury see: Physicians for Social Responsibility - Mercury in fish http://www.mercuryaction.org/uploads/PSR_Hg3_FishC.pdf
(8) A recent study has estimated that 15.7% of women of childbearing age in the United States have mercury levels in their blood that would pose adverse risks to a developing fetus. Based upon the 4,058,814 U.S. births in year 2000, the number of newborns at risk exceeds 637,000 in the US alone. See Mahaffey et al, Blood Organic Mercury and Dietary Mercury Intake: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 and 2000, Environmental Health Perspectives, April 2004, pp. 562-570; Kathryn R. Mahaffey , (USEPA, Washington, DC), “Methylmercury: Epidemiology Update,” presented at the National Forum on Contaminants in Fish, San Diego, 26 January 2004. More and KR Mahaffey in “Mercury Exposure: Medical and Public Health Issues,” Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, Vol. 116, pp.127-153 (2005),
(9) European Commission. SEC(2005)101 Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on Community Strategy Concerning Mercury EXTENDED IMPACT ASSESSMENT {COM(2005)20 final}28.1.2005, p. 84
(10) European Commission. SEC(2005)101 Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on Community Strategy Concerning Mercury EXTENDED IMPACT ASSESSMENT {COM(2005)20 final}28.1.2005, p. 12-13
(11) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_(element)#Applications
(12) The Supreme Court on 11/11/2005 held the central government and Kumamoto Prefecture responsible for Minamata disease in awarding 71.5 million yen in damages to plaintiffs in the nation's worst-ever case of industrial poisoning http://www.asahi.com/english/nation/TKY200410160138.html
(13) UNEP Global Mercury Assessment, December 2002, Summary of the report, paragraphs 57-58

Last Updated on Friday, 30 July 2010 16:40