Heavy Metals: Global Need for Action?

23 September 2006 | Budapest, Hungary

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  Georg Karlaganis (Switzerland) said the event aims at developing a better understanding and common approach to deal with the challenges presented by the use of mercury, lead and cadmium.   Ravi Agarwal (Toxics Link) India outlined the global demand and supply trends for lead, cadmium and mercury.  
  Kristof Kozak (Ministry of the Environment, Hungary) presented on Hungarian legislation regarding restrictions of mercury in products.   Jules de Kom (Ministry of Public Health, Suriname) highlighted artisan gold mining as the main source of mercury emissions in Suriname.  
  Ethelyn P. Nieto (Philippines) presented a case study on a community near an abandoned mercury mine in the Philippines.   Bjørn Erikson (International Confederation of Free Trade Unions) presented a number of occupational exposures and solutions for lead, mercury, cadmium and asbestos.  
  Abdouraman Bary (Burkina Faso)   Herik H. Eriksen (Norway)   Emmanuella Ngenzebuhoro (Burundi)  
  Alo Babajide (University of Lagos, Nigeria) called for a Programme of Action on Heavy Metals in the Environment in Africa.   Abiola Olanipekun (Ministry of the Environment, Nigeria) said that increases in industrial activities and urbanization in Africa have lead to large increases in the amount of heavy metals input in the environment.  
  John Atherton (International Council on Mining and Metals) said that heavy metals is a “meaningless name” and underscored ICMM’s preferred terminology of “metals of international concern.”   Maria Doa (Environmental Protection Agency, USA) outlined the Global Partnerships for Mercury Reduction.  
  Jack Weinberg (IPEN)   Lilian Corra (ISDE)  
Participants were divided in three working groups for lunch discussions. Working groups addressed lead, mercury and cadmium.
  Desiree Narvaez (UNEP DTIE/Chemicals) commented on UNEP’s Mercury Programme and lead and cadmium activities.   Jenny Pronczuk (World Health Organization) described WHO’s programmes and activities on mercury, lead and cadmium.  
  Michael Musenga (Zambia)   Angelina Medete (Tanzania)   Hans Moshammer (ISDE)  
  Brinda Wachs (UNECE) outlined the Protocol on Heavy Metals to the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP).   Pablo Arturo Huidobro (UNIDO) underscored the GEF-funded Global Mercury Project.  
  Mahmood A. Khwaja (SDPI)   Alexander von Hildebrand (WHO)  
  Henrik H. Eriksen (Ministry of the Environment, Norway – left), Christian Farrar-Hockley (EPHA Environmental Network - middle), and Jamidu H. Y. Katima (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - right) presented results of from the informal lunch working groups.  
  Marthe Delphine Rahelimalala (Madagascar)   Peter Orris (WFPHA)   Michael Bender (Mercury Policy Project)  
  Franz Xavier Perrez (Switzerland) made a summarizing presentation. He said the first step to further the process is to inform IFCS and to stimulate IFCS participants to take action.   David Brown (USA) said that no recommendations on global action can be made based on this brief side event.   Takashi Fukushima (Japan) noted that SAICM could cover the issue of life-cycle of chemicals.  
  Elena Lymberidi (EEB) BUREAU supported establishing binding commitments for sustainable continuation of action regarding mercury.   Glenn Wiser (CIEL) underscored international trade of products with cadmium.  
  Vilma Morales (Peru) stressed children’s exposure to lead.   Sayed Ali Mohammad Mousavi (Iran) suggested including nickel and arsenic to the heavy metals’ list.  
From left to right: Gabriela Löw (Switzerland), Georg Karlaganis (Switzerland) and Judy A. Stober (IFCS Secretariat).

Related Links

Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety website
Forum V: Chemical Safety for Sustainable Development
WHO | Forum V - Side Events
World Health Organization
UNEP Chemical Programme
UNEP – Strategic Approach to Internatinal Chemicals Management (SAICM)

Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)
International Programme on Chemical Safety
UNITAR Chemicals and Waste Management Programme
OECD Chemicals Programme

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Fourth Session of the IFCS
Third Session of the IFCS
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