The Mercury Policy Project (MPP) works to promote policies to eliminate mercury uses, reduce the export and trafficking of mercury, and significantly reduce mercury exposures at the local, national, and international levels. We strive to work harmoniously with other groups and individuals who have similar goals and interests.
January 18th, 2017
Pregnant women who follow the new U.S. fish advice will be exposed to far too much mercury, say scientists and advocates. A recent study by MPP and EWG shows that following the new U.S. advisory will put babies at risk. “Our research suggests that women who follow this advice will consume dangerous amounts of mercury,” said Sonya Lunder, an EWG senior scientist who joined MPP in a statement. “Women of child bearing age and pregnant women in particular need advice to reduce their exposure. This advice doesn’t do that.” Research (since updated) indicates that nearly half (47%) of American’s exposure to methylmercury comes from tuna consumption, with the following contributions: canned albacore (20%), canned light (19%) and frozen/sushi (8%). “FDA’s advice does not protect babies—nor future generations—from mercury exposure risks,” said Michael Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project. “The most important advice any agency could give to pregnant women to reduce their mercury exposure is “Don’t eat tuna.” Consumers interested in low mercury fish high in beneficial nutrients can visit EWG’s guide.
Category: Environmental Justice, Fish and Seafood, Mercury Exposure, Press Releases, US |
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December 15th, 2016
EPA issued a new rule to control dental mercury releases from entering municipal treatment plants, the nation’s waters and the fish Americans eat. EPA’s rule requires dental clinics to install amalgam separators and implement “best management practices.” The Agency expects compliance will reduce mercury discharges by over 10 tons per year. “Mercury from dental clinics is the largest source of mercury in municipal wastewater, the largest consumer use and also the largest reservoir of mercury in use today,” MPP’s director said in a statement. “Amalgam separators are easy to install and maintain. They are also a practical, affordable and available technology for capturing mercury.” According to EPA, removing mercury at dental offices—where it is concentrated and easy to manage—is both an economical and common sense solution to prevent releases. EPA estimates that the average annual cost of the rule per dental office is about 800 dollars.
Category: Blogroll, Dental Mercury, Emissions, Fish and Seafood, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Mercury Products, Press Releases, US |
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March 20th, 2016
EWG and MPP received extensive media coverage after releasing results measuring mercury hair levels in over 250 women who eat two or more seafood meals per week, the amount EPA/FDA recommend. Testing indicates 29% exceed the EPA guideline for mercury exposure during pregnancy (1 ppm) and 59% exceed a more protective upper limit of 0.58 ppm recommended by scientists. Tuna was a major source of participant’s mercury exposure (40% of estimated ingestion) which is consistent with MPP’s (now updated) analysis, using FDA’s data, which shows tuna accounts for 45% of mercury in the US seafood supply. Notably only 17% of the mercury in participants’ diets was from species identified in EPA/FDA’s draft advice, which is incomplete because it fails to provide enough detail about which mercury-laden species to limit or avoid (i.e. tuna) and which are low in mercury and higher in omega-3s.
Category: Academic Projects, Environmental Justice, Fish and Seafood, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Press Releases, Reports, US |
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November 4th, 2015
Environmental NGOs are urging the European Commission (EC) to restrict sales of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) under the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, showing how they can be feasibly replaced with lighting emitting diode (LED) lamps. “The time is ripe for an EC decision to take CFLs (<30W) off the shelves throughout the EU by 2018,” said EEB’s Elena Lymberidi-Settimo. Since the US Energy Department’s lifecycle analysis shows that LEDs far surpass CFLs in efficiency and other environmental impacts, advocates are also calling for US retailers to follow IKEA’s lead in ending CFL sales. “LEDs are environmentally preferable to CFLs from a lifecycle perspective,” said Alicia Culver, RPN’s director. “LEDs use less energy, last three times longer than CFLs. They are a practical and affordable alternative for most general purpose lighting applications.” Workers can be exposed to mercury when manufacturing, transporting, installing, recycling or disposing of CFLs and other fluorescent lamps. Pregnant women and toddlers may be exposed above safe levels when CFLs are broken in rooms without ventilation. “LEDs don’t contain mercury and are becoming more cost competitive, especially when energy use and higher CFL disposal costs are factored in,” said MPP director Bender.
Category: EU, Green Lighting, International, Mercury Products, Press Releases, Reports, US |
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September 22nd, 2015
60 NGOs recently urged US Secretary of State John Kerry to convince FDA to conform with US policy to reduce amalgam use. The groups assert that a 2009 FDA rule is impeding mercury reduction and contrary to the position taken by the U.S. during negotiations: “The United States supports further consideration of dental amalgam by the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee such that the agreement is able to achieve the phase down, with the goal of eventual phase out by all Parties, of mercury amalgam upon the development and availability of affordable, viable alternatives.” However, FDA takes the opposite view, as articulated in its 2009 rule and unaltered since that time. “As explained in our letter, FDA is fundamentally at odds with the Convention’s provisions to “phase down the use of dental amalgam, ” as well as the U.S. Government’s position,” said MPP director Bender. “The difference in approach reflects the Convention’s consideration of dental amalgam’s full life cycle and the lack of any environmental assessment by FDA.” According to the latest U.S. Geological Survey report, dental amalgam is now one of the largest consumer uses of mercury in the U.S. today.
Category: Dental Mercury, International, Mercury Facts, Mercury Products, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP, US |
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June 25th, 2014
A new federal advisory promoting seafood fails to protect sensitive populations from methylmercury exposure, according to an analysis by Environmental Working Group and MPP. “There’s something really ‘fishy’ about the agencies’ fixation on health benefit studies while ignoring the latest science on methylmercury exposure,” said MPP Director Bender in a statement.
Category: Fish and Seafood, Mercury Exposure, Press Releases, Reports, US |
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March 12th, 2014
On behalf of CSPI and MPP, Earthjustice recently filed a lawsuit in federal court against FDA for failing to respond to our 2011 petition requesting the Agency to give consumers clear, accurate and accessible information about mercury in seafood (as recent press reports explain.) The lawsuit seeks a court-ordered deadline since under its own regulations, FDA had 180 days to respond and its failure to do so violates federal law. In 2004, FDA acknowledged MeHg exposure risks when it issued an online advisory based on now outdated research. Several recent studies suggest adverse effects at exposure levels 10-fold lower than those considered acceptable a decade ago.
Category: Academic Projects, Blogroll, Dental Mercury, Developing World, Emissions, Environmental Justice, EU, Events, Exports, Fish and Seafood, Gold Mining, Green Lighting, Hg in skin cosmetics, International, Kid Stuff, Mercury & Climate, Mercury and Climate Change, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Mercury Products, Press Releases, Reports, Storage, Uncategorized, UNEP, US |
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December 10th, 2013
A seminar on methylmercury exposure issues was hosted for over 20 public interest NGOs was held Dec.3rd at Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C.,organized by Dr. Ned Groth and MPP Director Bender (reporting.) The meeting report is available here. During the morning, we were updated on recent research, including: 1) Recent Epidemiological Evidence and Evolving Perspectives on Benefits and Risks, by Ned Groth, PhD, Independent Consultant, (see also report); 2) Potential benefits and harm of fish consumption,By Emily Oken, MD, MPH, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 3) Recent Advances in Databases on Mercury in Fish, by Tim Fitzgerald, PhD, Environmental Defense Fund. The afternoon session included presentations by federal agency officials: 1) Qualitative Modeling of Benefits and Risks and Implications for Risk Management for Mercury Exposure from Commercially-Caught Fish, by Philip Spiller, Senior Advisor, FDA/CFSAN, 2) Review and Update of the Reference Doses for inorganic Hg and methylmercury, by Samantha Jones, PhD, Associate Director for Science, IRIS Program, US EPA. 3) Update of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, by Stephanie Goodwin, PhD, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, US DHHS.
Category: Academic Projects, Fish and Seafood, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Reports, US |
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October 10th, 2013
As world governments bask in the celebration prepared by the government of Japan for the newly minted Minamata Convention on Mercury, ZMWG is calling on all countries – including Japan – to help stem the rise of Asia as the world’s mercury trading hub. “Traders are increasingly circumventing the export bans imposed by the EU and US by seeking safe havens, particularly in Asia,” said Richard Gutierrez, director of Ban Toxics in the Philippines. Under the Minamata Convention, the trade in mercury will be controlled, largely through an informed consent procedure. However, 50 countries will need to ratify the treaty before it comes into legal force. “While there are alternatives to mercury and controls for major sources, there is no alternative to international cooperation,” said Michael Bender, ZMWG Coordinator. ”Let’s turn these good intentions into meaningful action on the ground so that developing countries don’t bear the brunt of toxic trade.”
Category: Blogroll, Developing World, Environmental Justice, Press Releases, UNEP |
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October 4th, 2013
A new ZMWG report highlights the importance of the new treaty being ratified as soon as possible to reduce global pollution and exposure to mercury. The treaty will be signed next week near Minamata, where a major mercury poisoning incident was first discovered. NGOs from 9 countries participated in the study in order to ascertain mercury hair levels in women. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of the samples exceeded the widely recognized U.S. EPA guideline of 1 μg/g. In 4 countries, a high percentage exceeded the threshold, specifically: 71% in Japan; 64% in Spain; 36% in Mauritius; and 23% in Côte d’Ivoire. “The results indicate that the mercury hair levels in Japanese women were significantly higher than the other countries tested,” said Dr. Takashi Yorifuji, Associate Professor at Okayama University Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science, Japan. “Risk of adverse health effects in children following in utero methylmercury exposures is well documented and rises as maternal exposure increases.”
Category: Developing World, Environmental Justice, Events, Fish and Seafood, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP |
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