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Published online for environment360
This month, delegates from over 140 countries gathered in Geneva and finalized the first international treaty to reduce emissions of mercury. The treaty — four years in the works and scheduled for signing in October — aims to protect human health from this very serious neurotoxin.
But barely considered during the long deliberations, according to those involved in the treaty process, was the harm that mercury inflicts on wildlife. While mercury doesn’t kill many animals outright, it can put a deep dent in reproduction, says David Evers, chief scientist at the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), who serves on a scientific committee informing the process. “It is a bit of a silent threat, where you have to kind of add up what was lost through studies and demographic models.”
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