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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

biomonitoring

Erik Solheim, the UN Environment Executive Director, stopped by IPEN's "Mercury Salon" at the COP1 to get a hair sample taken to be tested for mercury. IPEN had invited all COP1 attendees to come by the IPEN booth to get their hair tested, and to date, 160 meeting participants have given a sample. The samples taken during the meeting will be sent to Biodiversity Research Institute's laboratories for mercury analysis. Results will be complied and reported on at UNEA3.

This follows testing that IPEN previously carried out at the Mercury Treaty INC1 and, more recently, as research for IPEN's Mercury in Women of Childbearing Age in 25 Countries study.

Following the hair sampling, Mr. Solheim met with Minamata Activist and fetal Minamata disease patient Ms. Shinobu Sakamoto. They had a brief discussion and Ms. Sakamoto reiterated her message of "No More Minmatas."

At IPEN's booth at the Minamata Convention's 1st Conference of the Parties, IPEN is taking hair samples from all those interested in testing for mercury levels. The samples will be sent to Biodiversity Research Institute's laboratories for mercury analysis and results will be reported on in the coming months. Some delegates who previously gave hair samples at the Convention's 1st Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee meeting in Sweden in 2010 are interested in getting their hair tested again to see if their levels have changed.

On the first day of the conference, IPEN also tested some skin creams for mercury levels, including creams purchased in Bangladesh, Benin and India. Read more about IPEN's activities at the COP1 here.

 

The 1st Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury will take place from 24 - 29 September in Geneva, Switzerland and many IPENers will be participating.

Amongst other activities, IPEN will conduct hair testing for mercury content at the COP1. All delegates are invited to come by the IPEN booth in Geneva to get their hair tested for mercury. Hair samples will be sent to Biodiversity Research Institute's laboratories for mercury analysis. Results will be complied and reported on at UNEA3.

Read the report

русский / español

(Göteborg, Sweden) Mercury, a neurotoxic metal, has been found in high levels across all global regions in women of reproductive age, according to a new study conducted by IPEN (a global public health & environment network) and Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI). Women in the Pacific Islands and in communities near gold mining sites in Indonesia, Kenya, and Myanmar were found to have average mercury levels many times higher than US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health advisory levels.

The research, Mercury in Women of Childbearing Age in 25 Countries, was undertaken to measure the prevalence of mercury body burden at levels that can cause neurological and organ damage. Mercury in a mother’s body can be transferred to her fetus during pregnancy, exposing the developing fetus to the potent neurotoxin. The study is the first of its kind to sample as many countries and regions and spotlight women of childbearing age.  

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