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A Toxics-Free Future

Mercury Treaty

http://www.ecogreennews.com/cote-divoire-moves-to-ratify-minamata-convention-ban-lead-in-paints/

Strong indication that Côte d’Ivoire will soon join the committee of nations that had ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the global Convention that seeks to prevent human and physical environment from mercury pollution has emerged as the country is already finalising its papers towards submission to the Convention secretariat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8&v=Y55OPHSEdWE

For tens of thousands of people in Western Kenya, gold mining is a way of making a living.

On informal mines across the region, women use mercury to bring out the gold. But a recent study conducted by a network of international charities has found that the chemical could be slowly killing them - and affecting the wider community.

NYATIKE, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Scorching sun beats down on half a dozen women as they carry large sacks of crushed ore on their backs at the Osiri-Matanda gold mine near Kenya’s border with Tanzania.

On wooden tables, they sieve the powdered ore into metal pans, add mercury, and heat the mixture over a charcoal fire. The air fills with fumes as the liquid metal evaporates - leaving behind a lump of gold. 

http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/mercury-poisoning-widespread-as-even-un-delegates-test-positive/

A new study has revealed that mercury pollution is more widespread across the world than previously thought, even among high-level ministers and delegates, as a new UN treaty struggles to get to grips with what experts call “an immediate threat to everyone.”

 

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New Study Reveals Dangerous Mercury Levels among Delegates at Minamata Mercury Convention COP1, with the Highest Levels in Delegates from Small Island Developing States.

Read the Press Release here 

Evidence that the neurotoxic metal mercury poses a global health threat to all was underscored today in a new study analyzing the mercury body burdens among delegates of a global conference of the world’s first mercury treaty. The study detected mercury levels above health alert thresholds in over half of the global policy decision-makers tested at the first Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention.

Researchers concluded that even global policy-makers who are educated about mercury risks are not protected from mercury contamination. The findings revealed mercury in all participants and elevated mercury levels exceeding the US EPA health advisory level of 1 ppm. Levels many times higher were identified in delegates from a number of regions. Mercury, while harmful to adults, causes the greatest damage to the developing nervous systems of fetuses in utero.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/kenya-gold-miners-risk-lives-mercury-171204071445366.html

Millions of people are risking their lives using mercury to separate gold from ore in the gold mining industry.

United Nations launched a campaign to stop the use of mercury in unofficial gold mining, but alternative machines are still too expensive for miners to obtain.

This is one of the issues to be discussed at the UN Environment Assembly being held in Kenya.

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