Gothenburg, Sweden Women in three Latin American countries who rely on fish for protein and live in proximity to gold mining activity have been found to have elevated mercury levels in their bodies, according to a new study, Mercury Exposure of Women in Four Latin American Gold Mining Countries. The study was conducted by the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) together with the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) and analyzed mercury levels in women of child-bearing age who are most sensitive to the toxic effects of mercury. Women in gold mining regions in Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia volunteered to be assessed for the study. A cohort of Colombian women in a region that has switched from mercury-based gold extraction to non-mercury methods were included as a control group for comparison and were shown to have low levels of mercury in their bodies.
Hair samples were taken from women of child-bearing age in small-scale gold mining regions and analyzed for total mercury content, indicating their body burden of the highly toxic metal. Mercury is used by small-scale miners to extract gold particles from low-grade ore, and most of the mercury is lost to the environment where it contaminates fish in the local rivers.
Kathmandu, Nepal The World Wildlife Fund-WWF Nepal has awarded the ‘WWF Nepal Conservation Award 2020 to the Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) for the latter’s efforts at biodiversity and environment conservation. The award was presented at a virtual award ceremony on Wednesday afternoon for CEPHED’s initiatives for eliminating POPs and Mercury from the country’s health sector.
EcoWaste Coalition cautions consumers against mercury-containing skin whitening cosmetics in the wake of 3.3. online shopping spree
Monday, 01 March 2021
Quezon City, Philippines The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition today released a new report revealing the unethical and unlawful use of online shopping and social media sites to sell skin bleaching, lightening or whitening products containing mercury, a dangerous poison banned in cosmetic product formulations.
The group conducted the investigation to generate data that will help stem both the supply and demand for mercury-containing cosmetics and pro mote the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which phased-out in 2020 cosmetics such as skin lightening creams and soaps with mercury above one part per million (ppm).
Of the 65 samples procured from online dealers and subsequently screened for mercury using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, 40 were found to contain mercury above 1 ppm. Of these 40 samples, 38 had mercury in excess of 1,000 ppm, 25 with over 5,000 ppm, 19 with more than 15,000 ppm, and 5 were loaded with mercury above 25,000 ppm. None of the 65 samples are duly notified or registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
More Governments Must Ratify the Treaty to Protect the Health of Children and the Environment
Sunday, 16 August 2020
In a short video message on the third anniversary of the enactment of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, Minamata Disease survivors Ms Shinobu Sakamo and Mr Koichiro Matsunaga appeal to viewers to help encourage governments to ratify the treaty. Greater regulation of mercury use and trade are necessary to protect the health of people, and ensure not only that industries are held accountable, but that children are protected from the dangers of mercury poisoning now and in the future.
Customs authorities cautioned from burning confiscated cosmetics containing mercury
Thursday, 18 June 2020
Quezon City, Philippines Non-government organizations have cautioned the customs authorities from burning confiscated skin whitening products tainted with mercury to reduce the harm of mercury pollution to human health and the environment.
Last week, the Bureau of Customs NAIA sent to a pyrolysis disposal facility in Trece Martires City some 1.5 tons of seized imported goods, including 400 kilos of unregistered Goree skin lightening cosmetics that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned in 2017 due to their mercury content.
Newly-issued DOH policy banning dental amalgam draws cheers amid the coronavirus crisis
Friday, 22 May 2020
(Quezon City) A new policy promulgated by the Department of Health (DOH) phasing out dental amalgam, a tooth filling material containing approximately 50% mercury, has received roars of approval from advocacy groups within and outside the Philippines.