Since the Minamata conference, the scientific and professional worlds (gold industry, metal extraction, health) have come together to conduct research and raise awareness of the effects of mercury (Hg) in the environment, particularly on public health. Africa has not remained on the sidelines of these events, which have a planetary scope due to the long-range transport of various anthropogenic and natural sources of mercury. Since then, scientific data has been produced both in Africa and other continents in the world on the knowledge of the properties of mercury (Hg) as a poison that can migrate through all the links in the food chain. This scientific article is an analysis of mercury (Hg), its sources, its distribution, its health and environmental impacts (terrestrial, aquatic, atmospheric ecosystems, etc.) in Africa. It also aims to present the recent development in this field in the form of a general analysis and to present the measures taken at the political level to control mercury flows in developing countries while highlighting the shortcomings of these policies at the national level in some African countries.
Keys words: Mercury, pollution, anthropogenic sources, health effects, Africa.
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