The Environment Agency has decided to withdraw the Soil Guideline Value (SGV) for mercury and the supporting reports following discussions with Public Health England (PHE) about a revised opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The SGV Report, the TOX Report, and the Supporting Information Document for Mercury will remain available for historical reference on the Government and Environment Agency archives and on WALL.
The SGV for mercury was published in 2009. In 2012, EFSA published their scientific opinion on the public health risk from the presence of inorganic mercury and methylmercury in food. The full report is available here: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/2985.
EFSA recommended an oral TDI for both these forms of mercury that are lower than the oral HCV used in the derivation of the SGV. We are withdrawing our reports in light of this expert opinion. We will not be updating them as the Environment Agency no longer undertakes work to derive new SGV or TOX reports, but we will continue to recommend that relevant public health bodies are consulted where industry has published or is developing alternative guideline criteria for mercury which would also include elemental mercury.