From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
140 countries adopt mercury treaty
Sunday 20 January 2013
by Our Foreign Desk
A legally binding treaty to reduce harmful mercury emissions was adopted by more than 140 nations on Saturday.
It caps four years of talks but doesn’t include tougher measures some had hoped for.
The treaty aims to cut mercury pollution through enforceable limits and by pushing safer alternatives.
Mercury is a natural element that cannot be created or destroyed.
Mercury compound goes into batteries, paints and skin-lightening creams.
The World Health Organisation has said there are no safe limits for mercury consumption, which can cause brain and kidney damage, memory loss and language impairment.
Switzerland and Norway began pushing a decade ago for such a mercury treaty.
But governments approved exceptions for uses such as measuring devices for which there are no mercury-free alternatives, vaccines where mercury is used as a preservative and products used in religious or traditional activities.
The amount of mercury found in the top 300 feet of the world’s oceans has doubled in the past 100 years, while rivers and lakes hold an estimated 260 tons of mercury previously held in soils.
- Mercury treaty will help protect right to health – HRW (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- Mercury treaty rises but weak emissions regime undercuts progress (prnewswire.com)
- World’s first binding mercury treaty adopted (abc.net.au)
- WHO welcomes mercury treaty (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- Japan, 140 countries adopt groundbreaking treaty to cut mercury emissions (japantimes.co.jp)
- Mercury treaty adopted in Geneva by 140 countries (dailystar.com.lb)