An NGO led forum, “Finding Solutions to the Global Mercury Crisis” will be held, August 7th – 10th in Madison, Wisconsin to highlight actions necessary to reduce mercury pollution and its impacts. Advocates from 18 international environment and health policy organizations will focus on available, effective, common sense solutions that will reduce mercury releases and environmental and public health benefits. This conference will be held simultaneously with a global mercury science meeting. Early drafts of a “synthesis manuscript” which the science meeting conferees will release on the final day of the meeting suggest that the conference outcome may emphasize uncertainties about mercury rather than recommendations for action or specific solutions to known mercury problems.
“The fact that mercury presents adverse local and global effects warranting immediate action has already been acknowledged by the United Nations and a host of countries,” said MPP Director Michael Bender (see press release). “By hosting our meeting alongside the science conference, we hope that participants will come away with more concrete solutions to reduce mercury pollution and its impacts.” At their meeting, the NGOs will demonstrate that the mercury crisis is a solvable problem and that use and pollution reduction alternatives are cost effective and available. Co-sponsors of the NGO meeting will relay new evidence on the prevalence of mercury in fish, an American and global diet staple, and the risks of exposure from consumption of those fish.