UN Special Rapporteur urges closing a loophole in Minamata Convention on Mercury to stop human rights abuses linked to mercury in gold mining
Tuesday, 13 September 2022
Geneva, Switzerland - As many as 15 million men, women and children around the world suffer significant and potentially life-threatening human rights abuses from mercury used in small-scale gold mining, according to a groundbreaking report presented today by Marcos A. Orellana, the UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights.
Despite years of toxicity warnings, skin whitening creams remain on store shelves around the world. These cosmetics often contain mercury, a dangerous neurotoxic metal that can damage the kidneys and heart and cause permanent brain damage. Marketing of skin whitening creams has been called a legacy of colonialism, following racism and social discrimination based on skin color, and is perpetuated by racist media and popular culture, which shows light colored skin as the beauty ideal.
Quezon City, Philippines In spite of a public health warning issued by the Philippine government almost five years ago, local dealers of mercury-containing "beauty creams" from South Asia continue to ply their poison cosmetics.
A brief summary of the happenings and outcomes of the Mercury Treaty COP 4.2 meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in Spring 2022, as well as notes about side meetings and future events.
The fourth Conference of the Parties of the Minamata Convention on Mercury was scheduled 21 – 25 March 2022 but actually finished at around 5am on the morning of 26 March with the final decision on Budget and Programme of Work.
Significant advances were made in decisions on dental amalgam and addition of several product groups to Annex A.
More funding is needed for contaminated sites from gold mining
Monday, 28 March 2022
Nusa Dua, Indonesia After difficult and tense negotiations, the Fourth Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Minamata Convention on Mercury agreed that parties shall not allow or shall recommend against the use of mercury based dental amalgam in deciduous teeth, children under 15 and pregnant and breast-feeding women.
This ground-breaking decision, proposed by the African region, is an acknowledgement by global governments that mercury based dental amalgam can impact human health despite decades of industry claims that it is safe.
IPEN representative Gilbert Kuepouo said, “This breakthrough decision, is the beginning of the end of dental amalgam use around the world. There is finally official acknowledgement that mercury fillings can have adverse health effects on women and children. Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin, and it cannot be justified any longer to place it in the mouth of women and children. While we don’t have a global phase out date yet, this decision means that a full phase out is just a matter of time.”
In other decisions there was agreement that the last category of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL) would be phased out by 2025 as LED alternatives are now widely available.
EcoWaste Coalition calls on shopping giants to end use of mercury in their products
Monday, 07 March 2022
Quezon City, Philippines On the occasion of the International Women's Day and the National Women's Month, a toxics watchdog group took online shopping giants to task for their failure to rid their platforms of poison cosmetics, particularly mercury-containing skin whitening facial creams that are marketed for women's use.
Quezon City, Philippines Mercury in cosmetics remains a serious threat to human health and the environment 14 years after the ASEAN regional bloc decided to ban it in cosmetic product formulations.
The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition made this observation after analyzing 15 imported skin lightening products that are sold in the country without authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).