• Mercury pollution regulations 'could be introduced' in US

Environmental Laboratory

Mercury pollution regulations 'could be introduced' in US

Feb 20 2009

The new Obama administration in the US has reversed a previous decision made under ex-president George Bush not to participate in a global mercury-regulating agreement.

It has been announced that the government will now lend its support to a mercury pollution-capping measure at the forthcoming UN Environment Programme meeting in Kenya.

The previous Republican cabinet refrained from introducing legislation regarding mercury pollution - a decision that attracted criticism from environmental groups and international organisations.

Announcing the news, a statement from the government stated: "Mercury is a persistent, bio-accumulative, transboundary pollutant that contaminates air, soil, water and fish."

It added that 2,000 of the 6,000 tonnes of mercury emitted into the environment every year comes from "coal-powered fire stations and coal fires in homes".

In December of last year, a school in San Bernardino County, California, was closed and quarantined due to suspicions of mercury contamination.

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