Today, at the opening session of the Mercury Treaty COP3, Mr. Koichiro Matsunaga, Minamata Disease Patient, addressed the delegates in plenary. In a moving statement, Mr. Matsunaga, who was exposed to mercury in the womb, reminded delegates of the real-life implications of mercury poisoning. Born in 1963, Mr. Matsunaga could not walk until 7 years old due to Minamata Disease. Despite his disabilities, he enjoyed riding bicycles, but in 2010, it became difficult for him to walk because of increasing pain, which forced him to live in a wheelchair. He stated, "Minamata disease is not over yet. Problems have not been solved yet. I do not want to see any more children suffer like us." He implored delegates: "Please take appropriate control of mercury for future children. I need the whole world to avoid causing any more tragedy by mercury."
In September, IPEN Participating Organization Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) celebrated the 20th anniversary of its foundation. Representatives of the Ministries of the Republic of Armenia, international organizations in Armenia, NGOs and foreign guests attended the event, which was held at the Aram Khachaturian House-Museum.
Anchorage–The Alaska PFAS Action Coalition (APAC), Gustavus PFAS Action Coalition, and Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) will hold a news conference Wednesday, September 25th at the Lakefront Anchorage Hotel 4800 at Spenard Rd. at 12:00pm.
In February 2019, under growing public and political pressure, the US EPA finally announced plans to address PFOS and PFOA, two toxic chemicals widespread in drinking water that are still unregulated in the US after decades of use. Instead of praise, the EPA announcement triggered anger after the public realized that the agency will conduct years of assessment before actually regulating them. US residents may be more incensed if they know that the rest of the world has already acted globally on these substances.
The UN Special Rapporteur for toxics, Baskut Tuncak, authored an important new report concerning the human rights of workers exposed to toxic substances and will present it at the upcoming 39th session of the Human Rights Council. The report is relevant to formal and informal workers dealing with pesticides and industrial chemicals of all kinds.