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Good morning, this is Kasmira and today we’re covering a meeting of countries in Bali this week looking at how to make mercury poisoning history. Signed in Geneva in 2013, the Minamata Convention is still in its early years in trying to eradicate the poisoning metal from everyday uses – like the silver fillings in your teeth. Its annual meeting, which closes today, is expected to announce more progress in that direction.

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Kasmira Jefford


☠️ Weaning the world off mercury

Photo article

Mercury hazard waste disposal on an oil rig. (Credit: Shutterstock/Kengseraph)

Delegates from around the world met in Bali this week to tackle the persistent problem of mercury poisoning in another round of problem-solving. The Minamata Convention is meeting for the fourth time since its launch in 2017, in its first physical meeting outside of Geneva.

High on this session’s agenda is expanding the list of mercury containing products for phase out, tightening limits on mercury waste, and requiring national plans for the reduction – ideally the elimination – of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) Another priority is gender equality, with attention to the approximately four to five million women and children who work in ASGM.

Updated guidelines on the use of mercury in the ASGM sector are expected on Friday after a week of intensive discussion. So is an agreement on a timeline for eliminating dental amalgam and other products. Talks Agreement on improving the indicators for measuring how effectively the convention is being applied are also expected.

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