Request for Information on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Mercury and Mercury Compounds (excluding methyl mercury)

The California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is the lead agency for the implementation of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).

OEHHA has received a petition to reconsider the July 1, 1990 listing, pursuant to the authoritative body listing process, of Mercury and Mercury Compounds as chemicals known to the State to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. The petition in question, copies of which are available on request, alleges that the authoritative body documents cited by OEHHA do not support such an identification. To respond to that petition and the significant issues raised, OEHHA is identifying and retrieving relevant information concerning the potential for Mercury and Mercury Compounds to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm and the public health protection actions taken by other entities regarding these substances. (Since Methyl Mercury was listed as a developmental toxicant based on a finding by the state's qualified experts, separately from and prior to the listing of Mercury and Mercury Compounds, "Methyl Mercury" is not included in the petition under consideration. As a result, OEHHA is not requesting information that is specific only to Methyl Mercury.) The data call-in does encompass other organic compounds of mercury including aryl mercury and other alkyl mercury compounds, metallic (elemental) mercury and inorganic and organic salts of mercury. Recognizing that the toxicities of these different forms of mercury may vary, it may be necessary to evaluate or reconsider each form separately with respect to causation of birth defects or other reproductive harm.

The public is invited to provide OEHHA with any information they possess or are aware of pertaining to Mercury and Mercury Compounds causing birth defects or other reproductive harm. OEHHA is gathering and requesting information pertaining to authoritative body actions or findings and general scientific data or studies that were available prior to or contemporaneous with the 1990 listing, as well as specific information and authoritative body actions or findings developed since 1990. Citations to or copies of the information are acceptable. In addition to direct scientific data, OEHHA is interested in any information concerning actions taken by any state or federal entities regarding warnings concerning Mercury or Mercury Compounds as well as any information reflecting the consideration and/or identification of Mercury or Mercury Compounds by any of the following specific entities as causing birth defects or other reproductive harm: International Agency for Research on Cancer, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Toxicology Program, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and United States Food and Drug Administration. Any such information should, if possible, identify the action taken and the date on which it was taken, the entity which took the action, and a citation to any published reference to the action.

This information should be sent to the address given below. The publication of this notice marks the start of a 60-day data call-in period. This period ends on May 27, 1997.

Relevant information on these chemicals should be sent by mail or fax to:

The Proposition 65 Office
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
Our mailing address:
Post Office Box 4010
Sacramento, CA 95812-4010
Fax (916) 327-1097