Mercury Policy Project

Promoting policies to eliminate mercury use and reduce mercury exposure

Archive for the 'UNEP' Category

Treaty time running out to address the global mercury crisis

July 2nd, 2012 by kris

Governments meeting at the 4th of 5 negotiations are running out of time to address key issues before finalizing a legally binding treaty on mercury. Most major issues remain unresolved and the Zero Mercury Working Group expressed concern over the lack of progress at such a late stage. “There has been no substantial progress on the biggest sources of mercury pollution nor in reconciling the different positions of governments,” said Michael Bender, ZMWG co-coordinator.  Issues as straightforward as the phase out of mercury in products and processes and supply and trade did not progress any better, according to Bender. Barely visible in the draft treaty text are core requirements for the environmentally sound management of mercury, which are contingent on future decisions, and the issue of contaminated sites has only been minimally addressed.

Category: Blogroll, Dental Mercury, Developing World, Fish and Seafood, International, Press Releases, UNEP | Comments Off on Treaty time running out to address the global mercury crisis

Global Mercury Treaty on the Horizon

June 12th, 2012 by kris

The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to prepare a global legally binding instrument on Mercury (INC4) will be held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, from 27 June to 2 July 2012.  The Zero Mercury Working Group has prepared its views on the INC 4 draft_treaty text.  Noting that mercury gets transported great distances through the air and in trade, NGOs are urging governments to cut mercury off at the source by adopting strong treaty provisions.

Category: Developing World, Environmental Justice, Exports, International, UNEP | Comments Off on Global Mercury Treaty on the Horizon

3rd Mercury Negotiation in Nairobi

October 21st, 2011 by kris

Leading up to the third Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee meeting in in Nairobi (31 Oct.- 4 Nov.), MPP director Bender will give a presentation tomorrow on ZMWG initiatives to reduce mercury globall at an international conference on environmental diplomacy and security.

Category: Dental Mercury, Developing World, Events, Exports, Fish and Seafood, Gold Mining, Green Lighting, Hg in skin cosmetics, International, Mercury and Climate Change, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Products, Press Releases, Reports, Storage, UNEP, US | Comments Off on 3rd Mercury Negotiation in Nairobi

WHO report: “phase down” amalgam

October 11th, 2011 by kris

The World Health Organization today released its long-awaited 2009 meeting report on the “Future Use of Materials for Dental Restorations” in preparation for the third of five Intergovernmental Committee deliberations that are expected to lead to the adoption of a legally binding treaty on mercury by 2013. Hailed by consumer groups as a “breakthrough,” the WHO report suggests, over time, the global “phase down” of amalgam. “When an amalgam “phase down” was proposed during the meeting, there was much support,” said MPP director Bender in a statement. “This report reflects this and represents the first step towards phasing out amalgam globally.”

Category: Dental Mercury, International, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP | Comments Off on WHO report: “phase down” amalgam

WHO/FAO “Experts” Fails to Inform Nations About Mercury Exposure

October 4th, 2011 by kris

The findings of a new WHO/FAO Report on Benefits and Risks of Seafood Consumption were challenged today by MPP as missing a key opportunity to advise governments about mercury risk from fish consumption. “Surprisingly, this expert group failed to address exposure concerns about fish with higher mercury levels, which have led to consumption advisories in the U.S. and around the world,” said MPP director Bender, in a statement “The concept of ‘net benefits’ is severely flawed, because benefits accrue to everyone who eats seafood, but risks are concentrated in the small fraction of the population who regularly choose high-mercury fish,” said Dr. Ned Groth, an MPP science consultant. “It is not acceptable to tolerate significant harm to a minority just because the large majority are better off.”

Category: Dental Mercury, Developing World, Environmental Justice, Events, Fish and Seafood, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Mercury Products, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP | Comments Off on WHO/FAO “Experts” Fails to Inform Nations About Mercury Exposure

Contrary to FDA, US Government supports mercury amalgam “phase down”

April 15th, 2011 by kris

MPP recent wrote a letter supporting U.S. Government (USG) leadership calling for mercury amalgam “…phase down, with the goal of eventual phase out” in its most submission to the UN Mercury International Negotiating Committee (INC).  The USG position is consistent with WHO’s perspective as reflected in a presentation to INC1 and is also reflective of countries in the Nordic and elsewhere that have already phased down amalgam.  In addition, the letter urges the USG to not succumb to ADA’s recommendations to have FDA assume a leading role in the INC process, given that EPA, and not FDA has the expertise to address the global threat of mercury amalgam releases.

Category: Dental Mercury, International, Mercury Exposure, UNEP, US | Comments Off on Contrary to FDA, US Government supports mercury amalgam “phase down”

Leadership needed on global mercury debate

January 28th, 2011 by michael

As delegates from 117 countries concluded  the second round of negotiations for a legally binding treaty on mercury, they welcomed Japan’s offer to host the 2013 diplomatic conference in Minamata where  the convention will be signed, due to the unprecedented mercury epidemic in the 1950’s.   However, NGOs from around the world urged them to truly honor Minimata by agreeing to adopt strong measures. “If the world’s governments really want to call this the “Minamata Treaty,”  then they should back up their words with meaningful actions,” said Takeshi Yasuma, of Citizens Against Chemicals Pollution, a Japanese NGO, who worked closely with Minamata groups in raising awareness at the meeting and through  the news media reports.

Although delegates generally agreed on a proposed basic framework for mercury reductions, they left most all substantive issues unresolved.  According to a ZMWG statement, governments now need to exert strong leadership to: monitor and reduce emissions from coal-fired power stations and other industry and industry; phase out existing mercury mining and management of stored quantities; the classification and management of mercury waste; and critical also is resolving financial aspects of the future convention.  After reviewing and summarizing comments on the draft UNEP framework document, interventions were made by ZMWG and other NGOs and recommended:  expanding the list of mercury-based products and processes to be regulated under the treaty, providing explicit time lines for phase outs, reducing mercury content in lamps,  and strengthening provisions on artisanal and small-scale gold mining, the largest mercury use in the world, among many others.

Category: Developing World, Emissions, Events, Gold Mining, Green Lighting, International, Press Releases, Storage, UNEP | Comments Off on Leadership needed on global mercury debate

MPP urges FDA to “phase down” amalgam use

December 23rd, 2010 by kris

MPP recently provided testimony to an FDA panel charged with re-examining  dental amalgam.  We pointed out  that while FDA panel re-evalutates, the World Health Organization  is expected to recommend that amalgam use be “phased down.”   “We welcome WHO’s  support for “phase down” , and urge FDA to do the same,” said MPP’s director.   The WHO is expected to soon final its meeting report in preparation for the upcoming  International Negotiations Committee deliberations  in Chiba, Japan, 24-28 January, 2011, that will ultimately lead to the adoption of a legally binding instrument on mercury by 2013.

Category: Dental Mercury, Emissions, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Mercury Products, Press Releases, UNEP | Comments Off on MPP urges FDA to “phase down” amalgam use

WHO urged to correct misleading report on “Future of Dental Restorative Materials”

December 2nd, 2010 by kris

The European Environmental Bureau and MPP recently wrote a letter urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to correct inaccuracies, misleading and incorrect statements  before finalizing its meeting report.   Unfortunately, the draft report’s bias is already being diffused on various pro-amalgam websites, including one from Australia  and the other from the USA.  Among other things, the letter encourages WHO to correct for the record that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss alternatives to amalgam, and not debate or assert the safety of amalgam,  — and instead to highlight opportunities for “phasing down” the amalgam use, as WHO discussed in Stockholm in June.

Category: Dental Mercury, Developing World, Emissions, Environmental Justice, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Mercury Products, Reports, UNEP | Comments Off on WHO urged to correct misleading report on “Future of Dental Restorative Materials”

W.H.O. Lauded for Supporting Amalgam “Phase Down,” Ban on Hg in Cosmetics at INC

June 11th, 2010 by kris

World governments today completed the first step towards a mercury treaty, issuing a meeting report and providing  the  basis for developing treaty text for INC2 in Japan in January 2011, according to ZMWG and press reports.  NGOs lauded W.H.O.  for supporting mercury reductions. “We applaud W.H.O.’s statement to stop production of skin cosmetics containing mercury, as they are an exposure risk worldwide ,” said MPP director Bender. “We welcome W.H.O’s interest in “phasing down” amalgamwhich is reflective of the WHO meeting last fall, and consistent with what  NGOs wrote  to WHO on. This may be of interest in the US as FDA decided yesterday to review amalgam risks.

Category: Dental Mercury, Emissions, Environmental Justice, Events, Hg in skin cosmetics, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Press Releases, UNEP | Comments Off on W.H.O. Lauded for Supporting Amalgam “Phase Down,” Ban on Hg in Cosmetics at INC