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.

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.

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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.”

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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

Tuna surprise: Hidden risk in school lunches

September 19th, 2012

Over the past decade, awareness about the risks of mercury in certain fish has increased and pregnant women in particular have been alerted to shop carefully and a recent study indicates that over one-third of American’s mercury exposure is from tuna.  But what about the risks from fish children consume at school?  In it’s 2011 Annual Report to the Governor, Legislature and Citizens of the State of Vermont, the state mercury advisory committee recommended:  “….collaboration between the Vermont Department of Health and the Department of Education to communicate with Vermont schools and raise awareness among faculty, staff, and parents about the methyl mercury exposure risk to young children of consuming excessive amounts of tuna fish in school lunch programs,” see:  page 2 and 5 of the 2011 report. To further investigate this, MPP announced today in a statement that it is co-releasing with other groups a first ever report on testing for mercury in tuna sold to schools,  “Tuna Surprise,” which received extensive  media coverage.

Category: Fish and Seafood, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Press Releases, Reports, US | Comments Off on Tuna surprise: Hidden risk in school lunches

New EU study recommends dental amalgam phase out in five years

July 23rd, 2012

The EEB and MPP welcomed a new study for the European Commission, which recommends phasing out dental amalgam use in five years.  The BIOS report noted that mercury-free fillings appear more expensive than amalgam because the negative external costs associated with management of amalgam are not factored in.   MPP director Bender discussed the EU study in a recent youtube interview, and also said that “When factoring in external costs to society, the average price of an amalgam would be 15% higher than that of a composite,” referencing a recent study on the The Real Cost of Dental Mercury.

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