Environment experts fear mercury pollution rising

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STAFF REPORT IBD: Widespread global mercury contamination of seafood and health effects from methyl-mercury in seafood occurring below the level that was considered “safe” just a few years ago, says a recent report.

“The level of mercury in the Pacific Ocean is projected to increase by 50 per cent by 2050 if the current pollution trends continue unabated,” said Dr. Mahmood Khwaja, Senior Advisor, Chemicals and Sustainable Industrial Development, SDPI, on the occasion of the report release here last week.

He said that this is a wake-up call for all governments to stem the rising tide of mercury pollution and finalize a strong treat,” he added.

The new scientific findings are to be presented at the start of the fifth and final round of UN negotiations to put in place a legally binding global treaty to reduce mercury use and pollution.

“The latest science points to the need for strict reduction measures to address the global mercury crisis,” said Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, co-coordinator of ZMWG at the European Environment Bureau in Brussels, Belgium, while giving his remarks on the occasion.

“We believe it is crucial to understand global baseline mercury concentrations in order to make appropriate decisions on how to evaluate the effectiveness of the treaty,” said David C. Evers, Ph.D., Executive Director of BRI and a member of the UNEP Fate and Transport Partnership Group.


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