From: Associated Press
Published February 1, 2005 12:00 AM

EU Commission Proposes Phasing out Exports to Combat Mercury Pollution

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Commission announced plans Monday to reduce mercury pollution, including phasing out all mercury exports by 2011.


"We are determined to take action to reduce emissions of this poison," Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said. "The EU is the biggest global exporter of mercury and we have a responsibility to phase out this trade."


Besides the end in exports, the European Union's head office proposals include increased international cooperation to control mercury emissions and its use in gold mining. It will also look at reducing the use of mercury by using alternatives in products like thermometers.


Dimas expressed particular concern about excessive levels found in fish. Mercury poisoning can be fatal and even small amounts can damage the nervous system.


The Commission also plans to inform people about the dangers of mercury and research the effects of dietary exposure for women of childbearing age and for children.


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Source: Associated Press


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