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UN environment chief see mercury use phase-out under new treaty within 3 decades

17 Oct

Read the full story from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

A new global treaty could eliminate within three decades the commercial use of mercury in everything from batteries, paints and skin-lightening creams to utility plants and small-scale gold mining, the head of the U.N.’s environment agency said Thursday.

Achim Steiner, the executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, describes the Minamata Convention on Mercury as a major game-changer for a naturally occurring element that — once released into the environment through an industrial process — tends to accumulate in fish and work up the food chain.

The agreement still needs ratification by dozens of countries, and includes a concession to nations with small-scale gold mining — one of the biggest sources of pollution.

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Posted by on October 17, 2013 in Mercury, Regulation

 

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