Mercury Policy Project

Promoting policies to eliminate mercury use and reduce mercury exposure

The Mercury Policy Project (MPP) works to promote policies to eliminate mercury uses, reduce the export and trafficking of mercury, and significantly reduce mercury exposures at the local, national, and international levels. We strive to work harmoniously with other groups and individuals who have similar goals and interests.

3rd Mercury Negotiation in Nairobi

October 21st, 2011

Leading up to the third Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee meeting in in Nairobi (31 Oct.- 4 Nov.), MPP director Bender will give a presentation tomorrow on ZMWG initiatives to reduce mercury globall at an international conference on environmental diplomacy and security.

Category: Dental Mercury, Developing World, Events, Exports, Fish and Seafood, Gold Mining, Green Lighting, Hg in skin cosmetics, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Products, Mercury and Climate Change, Press Releases, Reports, Storage, UNEP, US | No Comments »

WHO report: “phase down” amalgam

October 11th, 2011

The World Health Organization today released its long-awaited 2009 meeting report on the “Future Use of Materials for Dental Restorations” in preparation for the third of five Intergovernmental Committee deliberations that are expected to lead to the adoption of a legally binding treaty on mercury by 2013. Hailed by consumer groups as a “breakthrough,” the WHO report suggests, over time, the global “phase down” of amalgam. “When an amalgam “phase down” was proposed during the meeting, there was much support,” said MPP director Bender in a statement. “This report reflects this and represents the first step towards phasing out amalgam globally.”

Category: Dental Mercury, International, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP | No Comments »

WHO/FAO “Experts” Fails to Inform Nations About Mercury Exposure

October 4th, 2011

The findings of a new WHO/FAO Report on Benefits and Risks of Seafood Consumption were challenged today by MPP as missing a key opportunity to advise governments about mercury risk from fish consumption. “Surprisingly, this expert group failed to address exposure concerns about fish with higher mercury levels, which have led to consumption advisories in the U.S. and around the world,” said MPP director Bender, in a statement “The concept of ‘net benefits’ is severely flawed, because benefits accrue to everyone who eats seafood, but risks are concentrated in the small fraction of the population who regularly choose high-mercury fish,” said Dr. Ned Groth, an MPP science consultant. “It is not acceptable to tolerate significant harm to a minority just because the large majority are better off.”

Category: Dental Mercury, Developing World, Environmental Justice, Events, Fish and Seafood, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Mercury Products, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP | No Comments »

Scientists ask USG to correct advice on tuna

June 29th, 2011

 

12 scientists recently wrote FDA and the Ag Dept. requesting that misleading or erroneos information on mercury exposure risks from fish be corrected and update in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  Unfortunately, the advice in the 2010 Guidelines includes the suggestion (on page 39 ) that pregnant women “can eat all types of tuna,” despite the fact that tuna accounts for the largest share of methylmercury in the American diet, contributing 37 percent of the total. They point out that the Guidelines contain serious scientific deficiencies and that any risk-communication errors could affect consumer perceptions of the risks associated with fish consumption and potentially result in significant harm to public health, particulary in pregnant women.

Category: Fish and Seafood, Mercury Exposure, Reports | No Comments »

Vermont legislature passes EPR lamps bill!

May 6th, 2011

On Thursday, the Vermont legislature passed a bill creating an extended producer responsibility recycling program for mercury-containing light bulbs and setting mercury content standards, modeled after the EU.     Pending the Governor’s approval, Vermont will become the third state to establish such a program, following a law first passed in Maine (supported by a report- also see fact sheet) and then a second in Washington, where a weblink explains it.  “This law will help continue an important lamp recycling program.” said Senator Virginai Lyons  (D-Chittenden), lead sponsor of the legislation.  “Protecting our waterways and other natural resources from mercury exposure is vitally important,” said Representative David Deen (D-Windham-5).   More information on the retail  lamp collection program is available  here.

Category: Fish and Seafood, Green Lighting, Press Releases, Reports, US | No Comments »

Contrary to FDA, US Government supports mercury amalgam “phase down”

April 15th, 2011

MPP recent wrote a letter supporting U.S. Government (USG) leadership calling for mercury amalgam “…phase down, with the goal of eventual phase out” in its most submission to the UN Mercury International Negotiating Committee (INC).  The USG position is consistent with WHO’s perspective as reflected in a presentation to INC1 and is also reflective of countries in the Nordic and elsewhere that have already phased down amalgam.  In addition, the letter urges the USG to not succumb to ADA’s recommendations to have FDA assume a leading role in the INC process, given that EPA, and not FDA has the expertise to address the global threat of mercury amalgam releases.

Category: Dental Mercury, International, Mercury Exposure, UNEP, US | No Comments »

Leadership needed on global mercury debate

January 28th, 2011

As delegates from 117 countries concluded  the second round of negotiations for a legally binding treaty on mercury, they welcomed Japan’s offer to host the 2013 diplomatic conference in Minamata where  the convention will be signed, due to the unprecedented mercury epidemic in the 1950’s.   However, NGOs from around the world urged them to truly honor Minimata by agreeing to adopt strong measures. “If the world’s governments really want to call this the “Minamata Treaty,”  then they should back up their words with meaningful actions,” said Takeshi Yasuma, of Citizens Against Chemicals Pollution, a Japanese NGO, who worked closely with Minamata groups in raising awareness at the meeting and through  the news media reports.

Although delegates generally agreed on a proposed basic framework for mercury reductions, they left most all substantive issues unresolved.  According to a ZMWG statement, governments now need to exert strong leadership to: monitor and reduce emissions from coal-fired power stations and other industry and industry; phase out existing mercury mining and management of stored quantities; the classification and management of mercury waste; and critical also is resolving financial aspects of the future convention.  After reviewing and summarizing comments on the draft UNEP framework document, interventions were made by ZMWG and other NGOs and recommended:  expanding the list of mercury-based products and processes to be regulated under the treaty, providing explicit time lines for phase outs, reducing mercury content in lamps,  and strengthening provisions on artisanal and small-scale gold mining, the largest mercury use in the world, among many others.

Category: Developing World, Emissions, Events, Gold Mining, Green Lighting, International, Press Releases, Storage, UNEP | No Comments »

MPP urges FDA to “phase down” amalgam use

December 23rd, 2010

MPP recently provided testimony to an FDA panel charged with re-examining  dental amalgam.  We pointed out  that while FDA panel re-evalutates, the World Health Organization  is expected to recommend that amalgam use be “phased down.”   “We welcome WHO’s  support for “phase down” , and urge FDA to do the same,” said MPP’s director.   The WHO is expected to soon final its meeting report in preparation for the upcoming  International Negotiations Committee deliberations  in Chiba, Japan, 24-28 January, 2011, that will ultimately lead to the adoption of a legally binding instrument on mercury by 2013.

Category: Dental Mercury, Emissions, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Mercury Products, Press Releases, UNEP | No Comments »

WHO urged to correct misleading report on “Future of Dental Restorative Materials”

December 2nd, 2010

The European Environmental Bureau and MPP recently wrote a letter urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to correct inaccuracies, misleading and incorrect statements  before finalizing its meeting report.   Unfortunately, the draft report’s bias is already being diffused on various pro-amalgam websites, including one from Australia  and the other from the USA.  Among other things, the letter encourages WHO to correct for the record that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss alternatives to amalgam, and not debate or assert the safety of amalgam,  — and instead to highlight opportunities for “phasing down” the amalgam use, as WHO discussed in Stockholm in June.

Category: Dental Mercury, Developing World, Emissions, Environmental Justice, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Mercury Products, Reports, UNEP | No Comments »

MPP spearheads global NGO letter to UNEP opposing Hg waste burn

November 5th, 2010

NGOs from around the world, including ZMWG,  International Pops Elimination Network and Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives ,  sent a letter UNEP  demontrating our solidarity in strong opposition to policies promoting incineration of mercury.  The letter, spearheaded by MPP, raises several concerns related to the direction the UNEP global mercury waste partnership is going, appearing to promote waste combustion as a viable end-of-life strategy for mercury and also preempt future decisions of the Interngovernmental Negotiation Committee deliberations leading to the development of a global treaty on mercury.

Category: Uncategorized | No Comments »