News Article | September 26, 2017
"The emergence over the past five years of new small-scale producers of mercury in Mexico and Indonesia has made a difficult situation worse," said Satish Sinha, Associate Director at Toxics Link in India. "Between these two countries alone, around 1000 tonnes are produced annually." An analysis of publicly available UN COMTRADE data over the period 2013-2016 reveals that the majority of global mercury flows from commodity trading centres (such as Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE) to developing country regions (such as Africa and Latin America) where mercury use in ASGM is prolific in response to the largest global gold rush the world has ever seen. "In recent years there have been a number of shocks to the global market, resulting in a doubling of the price of mercury in the last 12 months alone," said Michael Bender, Co-coordinator of the Zero Mercury Working Group and director of the Mercury Policy Project. "In addition, EU and US export bans now in place have resulted in a major shift in the main trading hub to Asia." Currently, countries do not have reliable information about trade in neighboring countries and within their own region. This problem is compounded where borders between countries are "porous," and a significant portion of trade is informal or illegal. For example, mercury may enter a region through legal trade to one country, but then be traded illegally across borders to neighboring countries. "Informal trade is difficult to track, and therefore does not appear in the official trade statistics," said Elena Lymberdi-Settimo, Project Manager, Zero Mercury Campaign at the European Environmental Bureau. "With timely reporting, Parties can better understand mercury flows in order to better enforce trade restrictions in the Convention." "The main objective of the Minamata Convention is to protect human health and the environment by, in part, simultaneously reducing mercury supply and demand," said Rico Euripidou, Environmental Health Campaign Manager at GroundWorks in South Africa. "Without adequate reporting on the global movement of mercury it will be difficult to monitor the overall effectiveness of the Convention." "Annual reporting is consistent with the requirements of other environmental conventions such as Basel and the Montreal Protocol," said Leslie Adogame, Executive Director at Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development in Nigeria. "Legal trade flows must be understood before informal or illegal trade can be adequately addressed." For further information, please contact:
Kumari R.,Toxics Link
Atmospheric Pollution Research | Year: 2011
Mercury (Hg), a potential contaminant to the environment is of global concern because of its toxic nature, trans- boundary movement and its ability to bio-accumulate and bio-magnify. Previous research showed that Hg based chlor-alkali production, coal fired thermal power plants, traditional gold mining, healthcare equipments, waste incineration, and some industrial processes are the major sources of mercury release into environment. Primary non- ferrous metal smelting is considered to be an important anthropogenic Hg emission source in India, but data availability in this regard is a limiting factor. The study thus attempts a preliminary estimation of Hg emission range and creates an emission inventory from non-ferrous metal smelting operations in India. The emission estimates are for the time period 2003 to 2007. Emission in the year 2003 has declined from 5.5 - 7.6 ton where it has increased to 15.5 - 22 ton in year 2007. Zn and Cu smelting contributed maximum (80%) to the total emissions and the rest (20%) was from lead (Pb) smelting. The range of Hg-emission per unit area (g/km2) in the year 2007 was between 2.3 to 6.6 whereas the per capita emission was found between 7 and 19 mg from non-ferrous metal smelting industry in India. About 6 to 17 ton of elemental Hg (Hg0), went into the global circulation in the year 2007 whereas mercuric (Hg2+) emissions were in the range of 1.1 to 3.2 ton and the rest (3.8 to 10 tons) was in particulate-form (Hgp). Share of Hg2+ and Hgp in the total Hg-emissions is very small and has impacts on regional to local level. © Author(s) 2011.
Clark C.S.,University of Cincinnati |
Kumar A.,Toxics Link |
Kumar A.,North East Regional Institute of Education |
Mohapatra P.,Toxics Link |
And 8 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2014
Paints with high lead concentrations (ppm) continue to be sold around the world in many developing countries and those with economies in transition representing a major preventable environmental health hazard that is being increased as the economies expand and paint consumption is increasing. Prior lead paint testing had been performed in Brazil and India and these countries were selected to examine the impact of a new regulatory limit in Brazil and the impact of efforts of non-governmental organizations and others to stop the use of lead compounds in manufacturing paints. Armenia and Kazakhstan, in Central Asia, were selected because no information on lead concentration in those regions was available, no regulatory activities were evident and non-governmental organizations in the IPEN network were available to participate. Another objective of this research was to evaluate the lead loading (μg/cm2) limit determined by X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) for areas on toys that are too small to obtain a sample of sufficient size for laboratory analysis. The lead concentrations in more than three-fourths of the paints from Armenia and Kazakhstan exceeded 90ppm, the limit in the United States, and 600ppm, the limit in Brazil. The percentages were about one-half as high in Brazil and India. The average concentration in paints purchased in Armenia, 25,000ppm, is among the highest that has been previously reported, that in Kazakhstan, 15,700ppm, and India, 16,600, about median. The average concentration in Brazil, 5600ppm, is among the lowest observed. Paints in Brazil that contained an average of 36,000ppm before the regulatory limit became effective were below detection (<9ppm) in samples collected in the current study. The lack of any apparent public monitoring of paint lead content as part of regulatory enforcement makes it difficult to determine whether the regulation was a major factor contributing to the decline in lead use in these paints. Using data from the current study and those available from other studies 24 of 28 paints from major brands in India decreased from high concentrations to 90ppm or lower. Since lead concentrations in golden yellow paints from these brands were found to decrease to ≤90ppm, it is possible that all 28 of these paints now contain ≤90ppm since yellow paints usually have the highest lead concentrations. Other brands in Brazil and India that have been analyzed only one time had lead concentrations up to 59,000ppm and 134,000ppm, respectively. Less than one-third of the paints had notations on their labels with information about lead content and these were sometimes inaccurate. The label from one brand indicating "no added lead" contained paint with 134,000ppm lead, the highest found in this study. Three percent (3 of 98) of the paints with surface lead loading that did not exceed 2μg/cm2, the limit established by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act for small areas on toys, contained greater than 90ppm lead and thus were false negatives. Of the new paint samples that contained ≤600ppm, 88% contained ≤90ppm. Of the samples that contained ≤90ppm, 97% contained ≤45ppm and 92% contained ≤15ppm. Based on these data it appears to be technically feasible to manufacture paints containing ≤90ppm and in many cases to produce paints that have lead concentrations that do not exceed 15ppm. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Swar A.K.,State Pollution Control Board |
Mohapatra P.,Toxics Link
Journal of Urban and Environmental Engineering | Year: 2012
In recent years municipal solid waste (MSW) management has been one of the most environmental concerns for all urban areas of India. Most of the urban centers have neither adequate land nor any facility for MSW disposal. In view of scarcity of lands for making landfill sites, solid wastes can be used for energy recovery resulting in volume reduction, thus requires less area for its disposal. Guwahati is one such city of North-East India, having the potential to recover the energy from solid wastes and at the same time the waste management system of the city can be improved. This paper attempts to characterize the urban solid waste of the city as well as its energy potential for various uses. Results showed that the average generation rate of MSW was 0.7 kg/capita/day and the city has the potential to generate the power of 30 MW from the solid waste. © 2012 Journal of Urban and Environmental Engineering (JUEE).