**** 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 scientists finally recognize dental mercury causes 'secondary poisoning'
EU scientists finally recognize dental mercury causes 'secondary poisoning' PDF Print
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 12:03

EEB LOGO FINAL .jpg     World Alliance for Dentistry Free Mercury - Logo.jpg

EU scientists finally recognize dental mercury causes 'secondary poisoning'

[18 March 2014, Brussels]  For the first time, the European Commission’s scientific committee has recognized that the use and subsequent release of mercury from dental amalgam can contaminate the fish we eat.

Environmental NGOs the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry (WAMFD) called on EU decision makers to now propose a ban on dental amalgam.  They highlighted the key finding in the opinion from the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER), released on Friday 14 March 2014, which now confirms that under certain conditions dental mercury can methylate - forming the most toxic form of mercury, methylmercury - and that: “the acceptable level in fish is exceeded… concluding that a risk for secondary poisoning due to methylation cannot be excluded.” They note that this risk occurs at much lower methylation rates than previously thought.

“The building blocks are in place for the Commission to announce a phase-out date for amalgam – the 2012 an EU commissioned report proposed a phase out by 2018; in 2013 amalgam manufacturers recognizing the ‘demise of amalgam’ and a growing percentage of EU dentists no longer use amalgam nor support its continued use.” said Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Project Manager ‘Zero Mercury Campaign’ at the European Environmental Bureau. 

“A number of EU member states have also signed a new global treaty in 2013, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, added Attorney Edith Bon of Paris, European Union Counsel for the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry also. “It is now time for the Commission to act on this.”

The main alternative to amalgam in Europe is composites. This final opinion, also confirms that in contrast to amalgam, any adverse environmental impact of composites is "very limited."

Dr. Bent Christiansen, a dentist from Denmark’s Jutland, said “Amalgam alternatives are now used in the overwhelming majority of cases.  From a dentist’s perspective, the alternatives are plainly superior to amalgam, which requires invasive removal of good tooth matter.  By contrast, alternatives are minimally invasive.  No earthly reason exists for using amalgam for any kind of cavity in a child or adult.” 

Mercury is a highly neurotoxic product which can cause brain damage or even death to children and fetuses.  Dental amalgam is about 50% mercury.  Its use has increasingly been discredited, and it is virtually forbidden in Scandinavian nations.  The Minamata Convention on Mercury, signed by 96 nations in Japan in October 2013, calls for a global phasedown in the use of dental amalgam.  

ENDS

[1] 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. 

Background reading:

 

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 "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Attorney Edith Bon, European Union Counsel, World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry,

T: +33 (0)1 45 26 32 46 or +33 (0)6 87 04 11 31, 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  

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

URL: http://www.eeb.org/EEB/?LinkServID=4E70C481-5056-B741-DB7191A18A774BB4