WE ACT for Environmental Justice collaborates with the Zero Mercury Working Group, which released a report on the online marketing of skin lighteners that contain mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin. The report, Online Marketing of Toxic Skin Lighteners, was released at the United Nations COP5 Minamata Convention in Geneva on Oct. 30, 2023. Dr. Micaela Martinez, who was one of the editors of this report, participated in the convention, where an annual global discussion takes place on how to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of this highly toxic substance. You can download a copy of the report here (PDF).
The Zero Mercury Working Group is an international coalition of more than 110 public interest environmental and health non-governmental organizations from over 55 countries from around the world. Formed in 2005 by the European Environmental Bureau and the Mercury Policy Project, its mission is to advocate and support the adoption and implementation of a legally binding instrument which contains mandatory obligations to eliminate where feasible, and otherwise minimize, the global supply and trade of mercury, the global demand for mercury, anthropogenic releases of mercury to the environment, and human and wildlife exposure to mercury. Accordingly, the group strives for zero supply, demand, and emissions of mercury from all anthropogenic sources, with the goal of reducing mercury in the global environment to a minimum. You can learn more here.
Big News: Mercury to be Phased Out of Cosmetics by 2025
Dr. Micaela Martinez was in Geneva for the Minamata Convention on Mercury, hosted by the United Nations, where she helped successfully advocate for the adoption of a treaty that will phase-out mercury from cosmetics by 2025. As you may recall, we successfully banned mercury – a dangerous neurotoxin found in many skin lighteners – from cosmetics in New York State, but this global ban will help reduce the prevalence of cosmetics containing mercury that still find their way onto our store shelves from overseas as well as being sold online. You can read the press release here.