Mercury Policy Project

Promoting policies to eliminate mercury use and reduce mercury exposure

The Mercury Policy Project (MPP) works to promote policies to eliminate mercury uses, reduce the export and trafficking of mercury, and significantly reduce mercury exposures at the local, national, and international levels. We strive to work harmoniously with other groups and individuals who have similar goals and interests.

Obama urged to update consumer advisory on methlymercury in fish

August 18th, 2013

Following a letter from 21 US Senators, an August 15th letter from scientists, MDs and NGOs  urged President Obama to instruct  federal agencies to update the  consumer advisory on methylmercury .  Our letter echoed the earlier Senators letter:“This is the third time a wide bipartisan group of Senators has written to you requesting your help removing roadblocks to finalizing the FDA advice to pregnant women on seafood consumption.  Pregnant women, physicians and medical professionals, however, are still waiting despite numerous commitments in 2011, 2012 and 2013 to finalize the FDA advisory.” Earlier this year, we sent a  similar letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius, but the response back from FDA was not promising.

Category: Fish and Seafood, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Press Releases, US | Comments Off on Obama urged to update consumer advisory on methlymercury in fish

APHA Panel Rejects ADA-Backed Resolution ‘Preserving’ Dental Amalgam Use

June 6th, 2013

An American Public Health Association panel met last month to review policy proposals and soundly rejected one to “preserve” the use of dental amalgam.   The resolution was backed by the American Dental Association, who claimed that the proposal was a “recent policy decision” by the APHA .   The panel suggested that any revised resolution “…be reflective for support of eventual phase out of the use of dental amalgam” and presented comments from several APHA sections:
•    “The proposed policy statement presents biased and one-sided arguments” on environmental impacts,
•    “Recent studies verifying the benefits of mercury-free alternatives over amalgam (in terms of longevity, accessibility, and the environment) are neglected,”
•    “Scientific evidence, as well as updated data from the United Nations Environment Program and other reputable sources, indicates that amalgam is a significant source of mercury pollution and largely cannot be prevented except by source reduction,”
and
•    “The proposed resolution mischaracterizes its interaction with the Minamata Convention on Mercury that was recently negotiated by the United States and 139 other countries… In particular, the treaty endorsed a phase-down of the use of dental amalgam, which the resolution authors explicitly fail to endorse.”
Further, the submittal from the Environment section noted that “…the proposed resolution is plainly inconsistent with the Association’s comprehensive, precautionary approach to anthropogenic mercury use. ”

Category: Dental Mercury, Mercury Facts, Press Releases, UNEP, US | Comments Off on APHA Panel Rejects ADA-Backed Resolution ‘Preserving’ Dental Amalgam Use

CA issues precedent setting rules for collecting theromostats

May 23rd, 2013

New California regulations require manufacturers  to ensure recycling of an increasing percentage of thermostats or risk facing an enforcement order which could require costly fixes, according to news sources.   “This is a watershed moment when it comes to this particular product and collection,” said David Lennett, senior attorney at the NRDC.  Laws in Illinois and Rhode Island require similar rulemakings during 2014,  Lennett blogged.

Category: Blogroll, Mercury Products, Press Releases, US | Comments Off on CA issues precedent setting rules for collecting theromostats

Dentsply given ‘Wake-up’ Call by 23 Groups: Phase Out Mercury Fillings

May 22nd, 2013

At the annual meeting of the #2 U.S. amalgam manufacturer, a broad-based coalition of community, faith-based, and environmental groups called on Dentsply International to cease making amalgam.    The speakers unveiled a letter from 23 organizations from Pennsylvania, around the nation, and from six continents — including several religious orders — calling for Dentsply to set a timetable to phase-out mercury amalgam, according to news reports. Shareholders also similarly weighed in.

Category: Dental Mercury, Developing World, International, Press Releases | Comments Off on Dentsply given ‘Wake-up’ Call by 23 Groups: Phase Out Mercury Fillings

U.S. advisory on mercury in fish tied up at health department

May 15th, 2013

There was news coverage today of a letter sent last month by 40  scientists and NGOs, urging HHS Secretary Sebelius  to expedite release of an updated  consumer advisory.  “This policy update needs to be sent out for comment to ensure it’s in line with the latest science.” said MPP Director Bender.   Several months ago, Sebelius assured 22 US Senators that “…completing the updated advisory remains a priority for the Administration,” in response to an earlier letter from the senators to President Obama about the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.  Yet  scientists pointed out to Sebelius in 2011 how they were  flawed.  To separate the facts from the ‘fishy’ fables, see:  http://mercuryfactsandfish.org/.

Category: Fish and Seafood, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Press Releases, US | Comments Off on U.S. advisory on mercury in fish tied up at health department

Shareholders call on Danaher to Phase Out Dental Amalgam

May 7th, 2013

Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, the Investor Environmental Health Network and shareholders in the Danaher Corporation today released an open letter to the Board of Directors, which MPP supported, questioning the company’s failure to address dental mercury risks.

Category: Dental Mercury, Mercury Exposure, Press Releases, US | Comments Off on Shareholders call on Danaher to Phase Out Dental Amalgam

‘Turning up the Heat II’ Report Shows Honeywell Shirking Responsibility

April 2nd, 2013

A manufacturer-run program for collecting mercury thermostats is failing to keep the toxic heavy metal out of the the environment, according to a new report, Turning Up the HeatII , released today.  The report estimates that the industry recycling program has captured only 8% of mercury thermostats over the past decade, resulting in over 50 tons of mercury into the environment.  “Companies that profited from the sale of mercury thermostats are shirking their responsibilities,” said MPP Bender in a statement that received extensive media coverage.

Category: Academic Projects, Blogroll, Dental Mercury, Developing World, Emissions, Mercury Exposure, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP, US | Comments Off on ‘Turning up the Heat II’ Report Shows Honeywell Shirking Responsibility

Mercury treaty rises but weak emissions regime undercuts progress

January 19th, 2013

After four years of deliberation, a new global regime rises today that will govern toxic mercury worldwide.  “Adoption of a global legal agreement on mercury is a major accomplishment,” said Michael T. Bender, co-coordinator of the Zero Mercury Working Group in an overview and a press release. “Yet the instrument is hampered by weak controls on mercury emissions from major sources like coal-fired power plants.” For more details, see  a short summary of the key articles of the treaty. A more extensive summary explains more details along with some media coverage.

Category: Blogroll, Dental Mercury, Developing World, Fish and Seafood, International, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP | Comments Off on Mercury treaty rises but weak emissions regime undercuts progress

New UN treaty text on phasing down amalgam globally

January 18th, 2013

While no dental amalgam phase out date has been set,  during the negotiations that led to the new treaty on mercury, article 6 on products in Annex C  Part  II, requires countries to take steps to phase down dental mercury globally. “This is the beginning of the end of dental amalgam globally,” said Michael T. Bender, MPP director, in a press release in English and Francais, which received international coverage. “We applaud the leadership role the US played in jump-starting support for a phase down in 2011 along with the concrete phase out activities in the Nordic countries, Switzerland and Japan in phasing out amalgam.”

Category: Dental Mercury, Press Releases, UNEP, US | Comments Off on New UN treaty text on phasing down amalgam globally

Ahead of UN treaty negotiation, reports show greater mercury risks than earlier thought

December 4th, 2012

The Zero Mercury Working Group, in cooperation with scientists from the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) and with other prominent scientists, organized a global webinar to release new findings that demonstrate extensive mercury contamination and summarize studies that show health effects from methylmercury occurring below the level that was considered “safe” just a few years ago. This comes ahead of the final round of United Nations negotiations, scheduled in January 2013, for a global mercury treaty. Slides from the webinar presentations are now available  along with the reports: BRI report; Dr. Groth’s report for ZMWG and ZMWG summary/recommendations.

Category: Events, Fish and Seafood, International, Mercury Exposure, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP | Comments Off on Ahead of UN treaty negotiation, reports show greater mercury risks than earlier thought