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article imageWHO supports international treaty on mercury management

By Michael Krebs     Jan 20, 2013 in Health
The World Health Organization agrees to support a new international coordination to reduce the impact of mercury pollution and exposure.
In the United States, mercury exposure and distribution is most commonly expressed in the consumption of fish and shellfish that contain methylmercury. The exposure is particularly troubling for pregnant mothers.
"For fetuses, infants, and children, the primary health effect of methylmercury is impaired neurological development," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states on its web site. "Methylmercury exposure in the womb, which can result from a mother's consumption of fish and shellfish that contain methylmercury, can adversely affect a baby's growing brain and nervous system. Impacts on cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial skills have been seen in children exposed to methylmercury in the womb."
Mercury exposure on human populations worldwide is found in distributions from dental fillings, coal-fired power plants, vaccines, industrial boilers, household coal burning, and gold mining, according to a press release cited by the Kuwait News Agency.
The issue of mercury pollution has become profound enough to attract the attention of the World Health Organization. The negative impact of mercury on human health has motivated WHO to support the establishment of an international treaty to reduce human exposure to mercury.
“Agreement on the treaty followed extensive analysis of evidence and a series of high level intergovernmental negotiations involving more than 140 countries,” WHO said in a statement, as Ghana Business News reported.
The establishment of the international treaty is intended to promote the use of alternatives to mercury-based products worldwide and will require public and private coordination across nations and across industries.
More about Mercury, World health organization, Pollution, Metals, Health
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