Why you need to know about the Minamata Convention on Mercury
Did you know the UK recently became the 91st country to endorse the Minamata Convention on Mercury? Probably not. Because the dangers associated with mercury are not widely known and the issue of plastic is much more of a hot topic at the moment. Established in 2013, The Minamata Convention’s aim is to eliminate all electrical devices which contain mercury by 2020. It’s named after the city in Japan, which was affected by mercury poisoning in the 50s, where 900 people were killed and a further 2,265 experienced lifelong injuries.
Casio has long been an advocate of the treaty, as a Japanese technology company, it’s an issue which is close to home. Although mercury emissions from manufacturing of consumer products are low in comparison to activities such as mining and burning of fossil fuels, it’s still a factor and creating as much awareness about the issue as possible is crucial. This is currently a real issue – a huge 90% of electronic goods are illegally dumped, which include lead compounds, cadmium, chromium and mercury. That’s up to 50m tonnes a year!
Not only is Casio helping the environment by reducing power consumption with its Laser and LED hybrid light source, it supports the Convention by denouncing the use of lamp based projectors containing mercury and encouraging the education market, in which they have a sizeable presence, to protect students and staff alike by opting for lamp-free projection technology.
The Minamata Convention is a chance for the world to work towards safe handling, storage, treatment and disposal of mercury products and waste. It will also make it easier to hold people accountable when laws are broken prohibiting mercury production and illegal disposal and dumping. Studies have shown that children as far afield as Brazil, Canada, China and Columbia have all suffered from eating fish containing mercury. The sad reality is too few countries are equipped to deal with the fallout from that use.
Waste management is really the fundamental issue. Many schools and homes are simply throwing away lamps or electric switches, without realising where it ends up or what the alternatives are for responsible disposal. Casio has a recycling scheme for schools and colleges keen to make the switch to lamp-free projection: it handles the safe removal of their defunct lamp based projectors, replacing them with its mercury free range. What a fantastic way of encouraging projection users in education to embrace lamp-free technology and improve their green credentials for the good of the school and the environment!
Read more about the Convention on Casio’s blog: http://projectors.casio.co.uk/blog/minamataconvention