Us Supporting Call To Ban Mercury Use

02.17.09 | FL News Team

The U.S. has switched sides in an international debate on banning mercury. The European Union has long sought an international treaty to ban the highly toxic stuff. now with a new administration in place, Washington is now supporting a legally binding ban.

The ban would cut mercury emissions, particularly in coal plants. It also calls for cleaning up toxic sites and reducing industrial demand. Some six-thousand tons of the heavy metal leaches into the environment every year. Mercury wreaks havoc with the human brain and nervous system.

The new policy was unveiled by the state department at a UN-sponsored forum for environment ministers earlier today in Kenya. In the past, Washington sided with countries who wanted to make any limits voluntary.