Mercury poses serious health risks to children, warn experts

07:19 PM | 5 Sep, 2018
Mercury poses serious health risks to children, warn experts
ISLAMABAD - The experts here at a seminar on "mercury and its impacts on human health and the environment in Pakistan" expressed concern over the mercury use, saying that it poses risks to the environment and human health, especially the health of children.

A seminar was organized by Ministry of Climate Change in collaboration with United Nations Environmental and GEF here on Wednesday.

The experts said that environmental contamination due to mercury is caused by several industries, petrochemicals, mining, and paintings and also by agricultural sources such as fertilizers and fungicidal sprays. Mercury and its compounds are cumulative toxins and in small quantities are hazardous to human health.

The Ministry with development partners is implementing a project on “Development of Minamata Initial Assessment in Pakistan” which is aimed to strengthening the baselines on mercury management, development of national mercury release inventories, piloting of sectoral action plans as a follow up of prioritization, including indicative sampling and development of national mercury management plans.

Deputy Director Chemical/ Incharge- National Coordination Unit, Ministry of Climate Change,

Dr Zaigham Abbas was the chief guest on the occasion said that government is fully committed to replacing the mercury-based technologies and products in line with decisions being taken by opting for friendly technologies and products in Pakistan.

During the seminar, the speech contest and general quiz were also held to highlight the harmful impacts of mercury use in the country.

Pakistan is the signatory of Minamata Convention on Mercury and is responsible to implement the provisions of the international agreement and create awareness about the importance of regulating the management and disposal of this toxic chemical element.

He said that the expert’s cooperation is vital to combat mercury consumption and introduce alternate products to phase out the use of mercury.

The seminar was attended by officials of the ministry, SDPI, UN Environment, GEF, Civil Society, Industry experts, and academicians.