A new study, supported by the Minamata Convention’s Interim Secretariat hosted by UN Environment, reveals that women of childbearing age living in four Pacific Island countries have elevated levels of mercury in their bodies. Mercury monitoring in women of childbearing age in the Asia and the Pacific Region, jointly conducted by the interim secretariat of the Minamata Convention, Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), and the global NGO network IPEN, examined hair samples from women aged 18 - 44 from Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, and Kiribati, and two landlocked Asian countries, Tajikistan and Nepal.
Quezon City. Civil society groups have reiterated their support for actions that will prevent mercury contamination of the ecosystems and the resulting human exposures to this potent neurotoxin.
At a seminar held today to commemorate the 60th anniversary since the official identification in 1956 of the Minamata disease, a neurological problem linked to the consumption of seafood contaminated with methylmercury, the EcoWaste Coalition and other public interest groups rallied all sectors to back measures aimed at curbing mercury emissions, releases and exposures.
Press Release, Quezon City. Civil society groups exhorted Asian governments to ratify the Minamata Convention on Mercury as environmental and health officials from several countries converge in Pasay City for a three-day regional forum.
In a joint statement, the EcoWaste Coalition, the Collaboration Center for Minamata Disease Victims and IPEN (a global NGO network for a toxics-free future) called upon the participants of the “Regional Forum on Environment and Health in A Southeast and East Asian Countries” to endorse the rapid ratification of the mercury treaty and promote the early implementation of activities, with full participation of public interest groups, to prevent and reduce mercury pollution.
IPEN Participating Organization Ecological Alert and Recovery-Thailand (EARTH), along with Chulalongkorn University, National Health Commission Office of Thailand, Kumamoto Gakuen University, and Collaboration Center for Minamata Disease Victims, organized a program and public conference from 9th-12th September, 2016 in Thailand. The program aimed to discuss lessons learned from the Minamata industrial disaster and how to apply those lessons for a sustainable society and environment.
Imogen Ingram, rear, with the assistance of Women United Together Marshall Islands staff member Miram Debrum, takes a hair sample during her visit to Majuro as part of a region-wide study of mercury levels in women. (Photo: Women United Together Marshall Islands)