**** LATEST NEWS! ****

22 September 2017

View this email in your browser

PRESS RELEASE: 

New treaty effectiveness will depend on adequacy of data to be collected, say NGOs  

Geneva, Switzerland


Prior to the start of the first Conference of Parties (COP1), the Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) welcomed the entry into force of the Minamata Convention. 

“While there are alternatives to mercury, there are no alternatives to global cooperation,” said Michael Bender, international ZMWG coordinator. “We applaud the world’s governments for committing to curtail this dangerous neurotoxin.”

The First Conference of the Parties will take place from 24 to 29 September 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.  Over 1,000 delegates and around 50 ministers are expected to assemble in Geneva to celebrate and lay the groundwork for the treaty’s overall effectiveness.
 
During the prior negotiations, the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) approved many of the forms and guidance that the Convention specifies must be adopted at COP 1, which are needed for the swift and smooth launch and running of the Convention.  These include guidance documents on identifying stocks, determining best available technologies and reducing mercury use in small scale gold mining; as well as forms for trade procedures and for exemptions from certain deadlines.

“These INC approvals were achieved by consensus after considerable deliberations, and are ready for approval without further debate,” said Satish Sinha, Toxics Link India.

Among the most critical open issues to be discussed at COP1 are the reporting requirements, which will provide critical information on both the global mercury situation and the effectiveness of the Convention in achieving mercury reductions.   Particularly critical to collect will be data on mercury production and trade, which can change significantly in a short period of time.

 “Countries will not have readily available information about production and trade in bordering countries or within their region, unless there is frequent reporting under the Convention,” said David Lennett, Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council “Many borders between countries are “porous,” and where a significant portion of mercury trade is informal/illegal.   Good data on legal trade flows will enable actions to address illegal trade, all of which has a huge impact on artisanal and small scale gold mining, the largest source of mercury pollution globally.

Mercury is a global pollutant that travels long distances. Its most toxic form – methylmercury - accumulates in large predatory fish and is taken up in our bodies through eating fish, with the worst impacts on babies in utero

For more information, see:

http://www.mercuryconvention.org

www.zeromercury.org

Contacts:


Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Project Coordinator ‘Zero Mercury Campaign’, European Environmental Bureau, ZMWG International Coordinator
T: +32 2 2891301,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Michael Bender, ZMWG International Coordinator, T: +1 802 917 8222,   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For information on reporting, please contact David Lennett, Natural Resources Defense Council, T:  +1 202 460 8517   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For further information, please contact:

*The Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) is an international coalition of over 95 public interest environmental and health non-governmental organizations from more than 50 countries from around the world formed in 2005 by the European Environmental Bureau and the Mercury Policy Project.  ZMWG strives for zero supply, demand, and emissions of mercury from all anthropogenic sources, with the goal of reducing mercury in the global environment to a minimum.  Our mission is to advocate and support the adoption and implementation of a legally binding instrument which contains mandatory obligations to eliminate where feasible, and otherwise minimize, the global supply and trade of mercury, the global demand for mercury, anthropogenic releases of mercury to the environment, and human and wildlife exposure to mercury.



 

Home Press Releases EU science opinion indicates that dental mercury waste can contaminate fish
EU science opinion indicates that dental mercury waste can contaminate fish PDF Print
Thursday, 26 September 2013 19:13

EEB LOGO_FINAL_                                       WAMFDlogo minus_address

EU science opinion indicates that dental mercury waste can contaminate fish
Findings support EC consultant’s proposal to ban amalgam, say NGOs

 

[26 September 2013, Brussels]- Environmental NGOs[i] called on the European Commission to now move forward on a proposed ban on dental amalgam, highlighting one of the key findings in a new opinion from the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER).  The SCHER opinion states that under certain conditions dental mercury can methylate and that: “the acceptable level in food is exceeded…It follows that a risk for secondary poisoning due to methylation cannot be excluded.

 

“While the SCHER report underestimated and appears not able to assess environmental impacts from most pathways, particularly from cremation, it confirmed what we’ve known for the past decade:  that dental mercury waste can methylate and accumulate in the fish people eat.” said Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Project Manager ‘ Zero Mercury Campaign’ at the European Environmental Bureau . “This is clear grounds to ban amalgam, since its release cannot be cost effectively controlled and mercury free alternatives are already available, affordable and determined effective by the many Member States who have already phased out amalgam.”

 

Many countries—including Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands—have taken steps to phase out dental amalgam for environmental reasons and their dentists now use mostly mercury-free alternatives.  Amalgam is currently the second-largest source of mercury pollution in Europe, and if steps are not taken to eliminate its use, it will soon become the first.    

 

A growing percentage of EU dentists no longer use amalgam nor support its continued use.  In addition, the EU dental manufacturers and others attending a recent conference in the UK understand and expect that amalgam use will soon end.

 

 “The end of amalgam in Europe is inevitable,” said Dr Graeme Munro-Hall, a U.K. dentist and a member of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry.  “At the European Dental Materials Conference in Birmingham last month, the major topic was ‘the demise of amalgam use.’  The dental schools are not far behind.”

 

Mercury is a highly neurotoxic product which can cause brain damage or even death to children and fetuses.  Its presence in fish and hence children’s diets helped spur action by the European Union against all major uses of mercury, leading to the phasing out of mercury in several products and industrial processes.  The E.U. helped lead the negotiations of the international community on a draft treaty on mercury, to be formally adopted next month in Japan.  

 

###

 

Contacts

 

Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Project Coordinator ‘Zero Mercury Campaign’, European Environmental Bureau, T: +32 2 2891301, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 Charlie Brown, president World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  , Telephone (USA):  1 202 544 6333.   Cell 1 202 246 7642

Alison Abrahams, EEB Communications Officer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +32 (0) 2289 13 09 or +32 (0) 489 304 962

 

Background reading :

 

 



[i] The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe’s largest federation of environmental citizens’ organisations. It is the environmental voice of European citizens, standing for environmental justice, sustainable development and participatory democracy. Our aim is to ensure the EU secures a healthy environment and rich biodiversity for all.

The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry (WAMFD) is a coalition of NGOs dedicated to ending dental mercury pollution.  We work with NGOs, dentists, and dental patients on six continents and throughout the EU Member States.