1 Tahrcountry Musings: Reducing the world's mercury- Hope in the horizon

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Reducing the world's mercury- Hope in the horizon

Reducing the world's mercury has been a contentious issue so far. Mercury pollution is a problem of global magnitude. On an average, three times more mercury now falls out of the sky than before the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago. Increasing mercury concentrations are now being found in a number of fish-eating wildlife in remote areas. Mercury exposure may lead to population declines in birds and possibly in fish and mammals.

After protracted negotiations United Nations environment ministers meeting in Nairobi has overcome seven years obstacles and have committed to reducing the world's mercury. Formal negotiations will get under way later this year. The treaty will have under its ambit procedures to reduce the supply of mercury and its use in products, such as the thermometers, and processes, like plastics production and paper making. Mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, which are responsible for about half of the world's mercury pollution will also be curtailed.

Mercury can travel thousands of kilometers from its original source,. It damages the central nervous system. It is especially dangerous to pregnant women and babies

United states is coming to the forefront of the initiatives. A welcome change under Obama administration.Bush administration had blocked international efforts to limit mercury.

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