Mercury treaty fails to offer poor gold miners a quicksilver solution | Paige McClanahan

From Global development | The Guardian Mon Jan 21 2013, 10:56:13

New measures may not go far enough to help artisanal gold miners, who face significant health risks from mercury exposure

The new mercury treaty will rewrite the rules on how the toxic element can be used around the world. But it remains unclear how the treaty will affect those facing some of the greatest health risks from the substance: small-scale gold miners in the developing world.

"The scientific evidence is so incontestable ... and the health impacts are so debilitating," says Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme (Unep). "We want to find a way in which mercury can be taken out of the small-scale gold mining sector. Unbeknown to many of the people who are engaged in this gold mining, it is a very harmful compound."

The mercury treaty, which was finalised in Geneva after a five-day negotiating marathon that finished early on Saturday morning, will regulate the supply, trade and use of the substance. Under the terms of the treaty, governments will be encouraged - but not obliged - to take measures to manage the health impacts of mercury exposure. In countries where artisanal gold mining takes place, governments will be required to draft national action plans to reduce its use.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Egypt:   Court to Try Policeman Accused of Killing Tea Vendor (news)
Aswat Masriya
30 April 2016

The Cairo appeals court has set the date to try a policeman accused of killing a tea vendor earlier in April to May 14. The low-ranking policeman, Zeinhum Abdel Razek, is facing charges of ... [read more]

Burundi:   Five Killed as Mediation Efforts Delay (news)
Radio France Internationale
29 April 2016

Five people were gunned down in a bar in Burundi's capital Bujumbura, police said on Friday, the latest in a series of attacks linked to President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial third term. ... [read more]

South Sudan:   Former Rebels, Ex-Detainees in President Salva Kiir's Cabinet (news)
The East African
30 April 2016

South Sudan's unity government is beginning to take shape, with the newly-appointed Cabinet holding its first sitting on Friday, hours after being appointed. On Thursday evening, South Sudan's ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!


Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...