Monday, January 21, 2013
Over the weekend, over 140 nations met in Geneva to conclude four years of work on a new treaty to reduce exposure to mercury, which is known to have negative health and environmental effects. Their work has resulted in a new international convention called the Minamata Convention on Mercury, named after a city in Japan that has suffered negative health consequences as a result of mercury pollution. The treaty imposes controls and restrictions on industries and products that use, emit or release mercury. Some affected products include certain kinds of batteries and medical devices.
The treaty will be opened for signature at a special ceremony in Japan in October. It will enter into force once 50 nationas ratify it.