November 29th, 2013
Mercury is the bad-boy of the periodic table, often called ‘quicksilver’, it is both mesmerising and toxic as Professor Andrea Sella of University College London vividly explains. In the fourth of our series examining the global economics of chemical elements Justin Rowlatt speaks to Tim Kasten of the United Nations’ Environment Programme who is one of the architects of a new international treaty that aims to ban the metal from industrial uses by 2020. As we discover, that ban will affect everything from coal-fired power stations to small-scale gold miners in developing countries, to the illumination of the lowly office. We visit a fluorescent bulb recycling plant outside Norwich and speak to small scale gold miners in Ghana about how the ban might affect them. But it is all in a good cause, as Justin discovers when he visits one of the finest fishmongers in London.
Available on BBCiPlayer: Business_Daily_Elemental_Business_Mercury
November 14th, 2013
The United States has strengthened the international effort to bring down emissions and releases of a notorious heavy metal after simultaneously signing and ratifying the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
October 17th, 2013
More than 90 countries signed a treaty to limit mercury use and pollution at a United Nations conference in Kumamoto, Japan, on 10 October. The Minamata Convention on Mercury seeks to curb emissions of the metal from power plants and other industrial facilities, and to limit its use in products from batteries and light bulbs to cosmetics and medical equipment (see go.nature.com/vqch6y). The treaty will enter into force once it has been ratified by 50 countries, which is expected to take three to four years. (From Nature’s this week in Science 11-17 Oct 2013)
To see the list of countries which have signed so far visit the Minamata Convention Website
October 10th, 2013
Kumamoto, Japan, 10 October 2013 – A landmark treaty to curb the use of mercury has opened for signature in Japan, marking marking a further watershed moment towards the global phase-out of the notorious heavy metal in many products and industries where mercury is used, released or emitted.
January 31st, 2013
Geneva/Nairobi, 19 January 2013 - International effort to address mercury-a notorious heavy metal with significant health and environmental effects-was today delivered a significant boost with governments agreeing to a global, legally-binding treaty to prevent emissions and releases.
January 16th, 2013
Geneva, 09.01.2013 - The fifth and final session of negotiations on the establishment of an international mercury convention will take place from 13 to 18 January 2013 in Geneva. The session is expected to culminate in the adoption of an agreement that aims to reduce mercury emissions and releases to the air, water and land. During the negotiations, Switzerland, which has been very committed to the establishment of the new convention, will support the effective and comprehensive regulation of mercury, that is its production, use and waste management. The Federal Council approved the mandate of the Swiss negotiating delegation on 9 January 2013.
January 16th, 2013
Most Comprehensive Assessment Ever of Global Emissions Released Ahead of Final Negotiations on New Mercury Treaty – Binding Treaty Can Deliver Major Health and Environmental Benefits in Developing and Developed Countries.
October 3rd, 2012
From July 28th – August 2nd 2013 the 11th ICMGP International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP), held periodically for over 18 years, has become the pre-eminent international forum for formal presentation and discussion of scientific advances concerning environmental mercury. The meeting gathers around 700-1200 experts for a five day conference and exhibition.
The ICMGP in 2013 will be of particular public importance as this will be the year of the launch of the United Nations Environment Programme Global Legally Binding Treaty on Mercury. The ICMGP 2013 meeting is therefore perfectly timed to celebrate the official launch of the treaty and to discuss how to put the treaty into practice. This will be the perfect opportunity to match those looking to solve mercury-associated challenges with those who are qualified to give the most appropriate advice.
January 31st, 2012
IKIMP has today released a report on Mercury arising from oil and gas production in the United Kingdom and UK continental shelf which is now avialable for download.
December 23rd, 2011
Chemistry World News, 23 December 2011
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its long-awaited standards to limit mercury, lead and other toxic pollutants emitted by power plants. These are the US’s first national standards for mercury and other dangerous emissions from new and existing coal and oil-fired power plants.
The new mercury and air toxics standards (MATS) aims to cut emissions of heavy metals, including mercury, arsenic, chromium and nickel, as well as acid gases such as hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid. The EPA says these toxic air pollutants are linked to cancer and other serious illnesses.