Great Lakes Consortium Mercury Protocol

A Protocol for Mercury-based Fish Consumption Advice
(PDF:185KB/30 pages)


In 2007, the Consortium published an addendum to the PCB Protocol, “A Protocol for Mercury-based Fish Consumption Advice (Mercury Addendum).” Mercury is another ubiquitous contaminant in fish from the Great Lakes and globally. A uniform protocol for mercury was developed to address fish from the Great Lakes and others waters in the region.

The mercury addendum has the same framework as the PCB protocol. Like the PCB Protocol, this addendum recommends a Health Protection Value (HPV) and provides guidelines for deriving consumption advice for mercury-based advisories for children and women of child-bearing age. The HPV recommended in the Consortium’s Mercury Protocol is, in this case, identical to the RfD (reference dose) published in IRIS by U.S. EPA for methylmercury in 2001.

Since mercury is ubiquitous and can be found in most fish from inland lakes and rivers beyond the Great Lakes and in the world’s ocean fish, the Mercury Addendum recommended approaches for addressing advice for purchased fish – the source of most mercury exposure for a large segment of the population. While both the PCB Protocol and the Mercury Addendum provide methods for determining consumption advice, resulting advice may differ, reflecting regional differences in species occurrence, mercury concentrations and other factors. Some of these differences can be found in Appendix D of the Mercury Protocol, A Survey of Great Lakes States Mercury Fish Advisory Methods.

Updated Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 03:36PM