ADVERTISEMENT
2 /3 FREE ARTICLES LEFT THIS MONTH Remaining
Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.

If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.

ENJOY UNLIMITED ACCES TO C&EN

Policy

Countries Ink Mercury Pact

by Cheryl Hogue
October 21, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 42

[+]Enlarge
Credit: Shutterstock
09142-govcon-thermometercxd.jpg
Credit: Shutterstock

More than 90 countries signed a new treaty in mid-October to reduce global mercury pollution. Named the Minamata Convention on Mercury after a Japanese city that suffered one of the world’s worst cases of industrial mercury poisoning, the pact was completed in January (C&EN, Jan. 28, page 8). Signatories of the deal include Canada, Mexico, China, and the European Union. The U.S., which was embroiled in a government shutdown, did not sign then but is likely to do so. The treaty gives wide discretion to individual countries to come up with their own approaches to cutting releases of the toxic metal, says Baskut Tuncak, staff attorney for the Center for International Environmental Law. He warns that the pact lacks targets or deadlines for curbing the two largest sources of mercury pollution: gold-mining operations and coal-fired power plants. In conjunction with signing the convention, the World Health Organization and the nonprofit Health Care Without Harm launched an initiative to remove mercury from all medical measuring equipment, including thermometers and blood pressure devices, worldwide by 2020.

X

Article:

This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment