4. Research on environment science of mercury
This project aims to clarify kinetics of mercury movement in environment utilizing the location of NIMD in vicinity of Minamata Bay that once was the field of serious mercury pollution. Concretely, investigations of mercury movement in each environmental elements such as water, sediment and benthos, studies on effects of mercury intake into food web or laboratory animals, genetic study of bacteria which modifies mercury chemical forms. In addition, as an applied field, mercury recovery from sludge or waste using low temperature treatment or bacteria, as well as de-methylation of mercury using irradiation are now progressing.

1. Genetic study on mercury-resistant bacteria living in the Minamata Bay
2. Dynamics of mercury movement in the marine ecosystem
3. Purification of mercury polluted soil, sediment and wastes by using the low temperature thermal treatment as a remediation technology and development of scrubbing technology of vaporized mercury which was removed by purification
4. Hydrosphere influences of mercury pollution which are from sediments which are polluted less than 25 ppm by mercury in Minamata Bay and Minamata River
5. Development of mercury removal method from mercurycontaminated samples using a mercury-volatilizing bacteria
6. Development of a new analytical method for determination on low level methylmercury concentration and investigation of methylation and demethylation processes on atmospheric mercury

Methylmercury-volatilizing bacteria isolated from the sediment of Minamata Bay
Survey of mercury dynamics in marine ecosystem