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Minamata Convention

Why did UN mercury treaty exempt mascara?

Thursday, March 20, 2014 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Minamata Convention, mercury treaty, mascara

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(NaturalNews) As the United Nations presses forward with plans to limit mercury exposure and pollution worldwide as part of its Minamata Convention, controversy is erupting over certain exemptions in the treaty that many say are unjust and unfair. According to Environmental Health News (EHN), mascara and other makeup products known to contain added mercury will apparently not be bound by the convention, as officials claim these products contain only "trace contaminants."

EHN reports that cosmetics, soaps, creams and various other personal care products containing mercury will be prohibited in nations that sign onto the Minamata Convention, even though the intent of the treaty is not necessarily aimed at such products. But for some reason, eye makeup is exempt from this list, as the treaty's crafters claim there are "no effective safe substitute alternatives" for mercury in eye makeup and similar products.

According to World Health Organization scientist Joanna Tempowski, mercury is often added to eye makeup products to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, which could harm the women that regularly use them. Her agency's risk-benefit analysis has placed potential mercury poisoning as less risky than potential infection, thus the group's glowing approval for exempting eye makeup products from the convention.

But not everyone is convinced, including Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the advocacy group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. She told reporters that there is no legitimate reason whatsoever why a neurotoxin like mercury should ever be allowed in eye makeup products in the first place. She also says there are viable alternatives for preserving such products without the use of mercury, but that manufacturers have simply chosen not to use them, for whatever reason.

"Mercury is a potent neurotoxicant," Malkan is quoted as saying by EHN. "High levels can cause serious neurological effects and kidney damage, and, if a pregnant woman is exposed, lower concentrations can disrupt the brain of a developing fetus."

Vaccines, dental amalgams also exempted from Minamata Convention

Not surprisingly, various other major mercury offenders are also exempted from the Minamata Convention. As we reported just this past week, both vaccines and dental amalgams are nowhere to be found in the treaty, even though both of these consumer products are major sources of mercury exposure. The same goes for mercury-laden compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, many of which will also be exempted from the treaty.

"Vaccines where mercury is used as a preservative have been excluded from the treaty as have products used in religious or traditional activities," explains a recent United Nations Environmental Programme press release. "Delegates agree to a phase-down of the use of dental fillings using mercury amalgam."

As far as CFL light bulbs are concerned, only those designed for 30 watts or less will be banned by the treaty beginning in 2020. Those of a higher wattage, which is what the vast majority of consumers and businesses use, will continue to be allowed. Meanwhile, traditional and completely safe incandescent light bulbs are on their way out, as governments and globalist working groups push to have them banned.

According to EHN, some 140 countries signed onto the Minamata Convention at a recent diplomatic conference held in Minamata, Japan, which represents the first round of signatories. However, since the federal government was in shutdown mode at the time, the U.S. is not included among them.

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