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A Toxics-Free Future

Mercury

Two-page guide to Minamata issues and the Minamata Convention related to the film "Minamata," which profiles the work of photojournalists Eugene Smith and Aileen Mioko Smith to document the tragedy of Minamata disease in Japan.

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A new film starring Johnny Depp, "Minamata", directed by Andrew Levitas, tells the story the legendary photo-journalist Eugene Smith and his wife Aileen Mioko Smith whose LIFE Magazine photos and book Minamata, brought global attention to the devastating impacts of mercury pollution and exposed the corporate malfeasance of the Chisso Corporation that knowingly poured mercury-contaminated wastewater into Minamata Bay for decades. The film is an important opportunity to hold polluters accountable and to move global policy to more effectively curb mercury pollution.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/30/world/asia/indonesia-gold-environment-mercury.html

One large mining company is trying to shut illegal operations, which use mercury. The small-scale miners say there’s no other way to earn a living.

By Richard C. Paddock

Photographs by Adam Dean

IPEN Press Release

(Geneva, Switzerland): In a world first, the environmental treaty named after the devastating mercury pollution tragedy in Minamata, Japan, has just announced its decision to release global guidance on the clean up of mercury polluted sites.

After 4 years of hard negotiations and campaigning by IPEN, overcoming resistance from global powers such as the EU and the US, and with the steadfast support of the African region and many other countries, the Minamata Convention on Mercury has finally adopted official Contaminated Sites Guidance.

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