UN: There is growing risk of mercury contamination

According to the report of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), many parts of Asia, Africa and South America are at high risk of mercury contamination because of the "artisanal" gold and growing industrialization.

Industrialization and the use of coal in power in countries such as China, for example, lead to the fact that the environment gets more and more dangerous to the health of the metal, the report said.

Among the areas where the danger was particularly acute, the UN calls to Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, where the area of the territory, poisoned by mercury from gold extraction in small mines and mines, has doubled over the past eight years, reports BBC.

UN calls for an international convention to reduce mercury pollution, which is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and young children.

The global volume of soil, water and air with mercury due to human activities in 2010 amounted to about 2 tons, with a pessimistic assessment increase this figure almost doubled, RIA "Novosti".

According to experts, the anthropogenic emissions of mercury in the last 20 years of relatively stable, but because of great uncertainty, and lack of data to assess their annual volume range from 1 thousand to 4.1 thousand tons.

The two main sources of mercury pollution are "artisanal" gold mining, where mercury is used to separate the metal from the rocks, and the burning of coal — these factors accounted for 35% and 24% of its total volume.

Among other sources of experts UNEP, isolated, in particular, e-waste, the production of plastics, in particular PVC and dentistry, where 340 tons of mercury used annually for the production of seals and other products, up to 100 tons can enter the sewage .

Another specific threat, according to the report, is the accumulated mercury pollution in the Arctic, which annually gets about 200 tons of metal.

The official launch is being held at the regular session of the negotiations on a new global "mercury" agreement, which will be held 13-18 January in Geneva.

Category: Ecology

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