The tragedy of Minamata may be a thing of the past for many, but as the world unites to take action on mercury pollution the dangers remain all too real.
At first it was a mystery. Three young girls stricken with an unknown disease in April of 1956, slurring their words, struggling to walk and suffering unexplained convulsions. Soon there were eight patients. By October there were 40 – 14 of whom had died. And the numbers kept growing.
Quezon City. Civil society groups have reiterated their support for actions that will prevent mercury contamination of the ecosystems and the resulting human exposures to this potent neurotoxin.
At a seminar held today to commemorate the 60th anniversary since the official identification in 1956 of the Minamata disease, a neurological problem linked to the consumption of seafood contaminated with methylmercury, the EcoWaste Coalition and other public interest groups rallied all sectors to back measures aimed at curbing mercury emissions, releases and exposures.
WE, concerned organizations from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, express our support for the early ratification and effective implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. As advocates for our people’s constitutional rights to health and to a healthful environment, we urge the executive and legislative branches of the government to speed up the ratification process of the Convention,