facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

U.N. agrees on mercury pollution measures

Jan. 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM   |   Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- More than 140 countries have agreed on a set of legally binding measures to curb mercury pollution worldwide, the United Nations says.

Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, delegates approved a convention to regulate the use of the highly toxic metal in order to reduce its release into the environment.

The Minamata Convention, named for the Japanese town that experienced one of the world's worst cases of mercury poisoning in the 1950s, will be presented to be signed by nations at a diplomatic conference later this year, the BBC reported Monday.

Negotiations on the new measures often lasted through the night, officials said.

"After complex and often all-night sessions here in Geneva, nations have today laid the foundations for a global response to a pollutant whose notoriety has been recognized for well over a century," U.N. Environment Program executive director Achim Steiner said.

Mercury is highly toxic to humans and can have severe neurological effects.

The Minimata Convention will regulate the supply of and trade in mercury, the use of mercury in products and industrial processes, and will put in place measure to reduce emissions of mercury into the environment, U.N. officials said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Tropical storm Karina looks like the number 9 from space
2
Study explains why ER nurses do what they do
3
Fish can smell a bad coral reef
4
Tech industry All Stars developing 'Star Trek'-style communication badges
5
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback