New Minamata Convention to Further Regulate Mercury Use

New Minamata Convention to Further Regulate Mercury Use

On August 16, 2017, the Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into force, reflecting renewed enthusiasm among international regulatory bodies for the reduction of Mercury-related health and environmental risks.

The 74 governments which signed on to the Convention are now obligated to implement a number of measures that will limit the use of mercury and its compounds in the mining, manufacturing and processing industries, as well as in products like batteries, light bulbs, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, paints and dental implants. Other activities that can cause mercury pollution include the production of chlorine and some plastics, and the incineration of waste.

These controls follow studies showing that high levels of mercury are being released into food supply chains, unleashing negative effects upon environmental and human health — particularly in the case of unborn children and infants.

The convention signals that mercury and its compounds are becoming more restricted around the world, meaning companies and their suppliers will need to be more aware of the controls in place within the countries they trade in. Mercury is already on the original Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and China RoHS lists for electronics, in addition to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) list, so its usage is already restricted in Europe.

As international chemical regulations proliferate, it is important your due diligence program retains the flexibility to respond accordingly, and in a timely fashion. Thanks to its automated approach to supply chain surveying and reporting, the Assent Compliance Platform helps you achieve this. Read about the platform here, or contact us to book a free software demo.