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A Toxics-Free Future

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Contaminated Sites

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A new film starring Johnny Depp, "Minamata", directed by Andrew Levitas, tells the story of 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’s Toxic Plastics video provides a quick and accessible overview about how toxic chemicals in plastics threaten human and environmental health throughout the plastic life-cycle, from petrochemical production through disposal. Most plastics are not recyclable, but new plastic products made from recycled plastics can contain a toxic soup of dangerous chemicals. Landfills leech toxic chemicals into soils and groundwater. Incineration creates toxic pollution, including dioxins. Exporting plastic waste is poisoning poor communities around the world. View and share the video in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, and then find IPEN research and reports for a deeper dive.

On the 35th anniversary of the poisoning disaster in Bhopal, India, where thousands of people were immediately killed and hundreds of thousands of people injured from exposure to a leak of methyl isocyanate and other gases, the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB), Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and other organizations are demanding action:

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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