ArmInfo. Production of mercury-containing products will be stopped in Armenia. This was reported by the press service of the RA Ministry of Environment. According to the source, this program will be implemented in stages in order to gradually phase out mercury additives in lamps and thermometers. etc. As part of the planned activities, the necessary legal framework will be developed, measures to increase public awareness of the harmful effects of mercury.
In the context of the work begun at the Ministry of the Environment, the first meeting of the steering committee of the project "Building Capacity in Armenia to Support the Phase-out of Mercury Additive Products" was held. The project is being implemented jointly with the United Nations Environment Program.
Recall that on October 6, 2017, Armenia ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The Minamata Convention, developed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), was adopted on October 9, 2013 at a conference in Minamata (Japan). It aims to reduce the scale of production and use of mercury and to remove from use household appliances and substances containing this toxic metal. In particular, we are talking about medical thermometers, pressure measuring instruments, barometers and other measuring devices, fluorescent lamps, batteries, mercury-containing amalgams in dentistry, as well as some types of soap and cosmetics. According to the new agreement, by 2020 the production, export and import of a whole range of mercury-containing products will be banned. These include batteries, with the exception of "button cells" used in implantable medical devices, switches and relays, some types of compact fluorescent lamps, mercury in cold cathode fluorescent lamps, and fluorescent lamps with an external electrode. Among the items that should be taken out of use by 2020, such types of non-electronic medical devices as thermometers and pressure measuring instruments, some types of soaps and cosmetics are also included. Approximately 8,900 tons of mercury are released into the atmosphere each year. Mercury can erode from mercury-containing rocks during forest fires and volcanic eruptions. However, significant amounts of emissions occur during coal burning, artisanal and small-scale gold mining. In mining alone, up to 15 million workers in 70 different countries of the world are poisoned with mercury vapor, including children.