main banner
You are here: Home page » News » Members’ news

WECF: Five women ministers and WHO call for immediate action to stop mercury pollution and protect health

At high level event on “Women and Mercury in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) – health impacts on women and future generations” on 10 October 2013, five women ministers of environment from the African region (South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya) called for immediate action to stop mercury pollution in ASGM. Their goal is to protect women and children’s health in particular in so far they constitute 30-50% of the workforce in ASGM in Africa. The event was organised by WECF, IPEN and co-hosted by the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa, co-chair of the Network of Women Minister and Leaders for the Environment.

The memory of the tragedy of the mercury poisoning women in Minamata along with terrible birth defects in several generations was the reason to sign the Minamata Convention on ending the use of mercury said deputy Minister of Environment and Water Ms. Mabudafhasi of South Africa.

The Ambassador for Sustainable Development from Sweden, Ms. Markovic, recalled that the precautionary principle is crucial and she also called on countries to include sound chemicals management in their proposals for Sustainable Development Goals (post2015).

The Minister of Environment of Mozambique, Ms. Antonio de Abreu, underlined the lack of knowledge of the population of the linkage between unhealthy newborns and mercury.

This issue is of great concern like the Minister of Environment of Tanzania, Ms. Huvisa said: “For Africa, mercury diseases problem may be bigger than climate change issues”.

Originally posted on 27 November 2013

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

Members

HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
E-mail: info@env-health.org
Press: Diana Smith

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

HEAL website privacy policy