S'pore committed to pact on curbing mercury pollution and use: Balakrishnan
- POSTED: 11 Oct 2013 19:03
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Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan has said that Singapore is committed to ensuring that all mercury that is shipped through its ports will strictly comply with the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
SINGAPORE: Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan has said that Singapore is committed to ensuring that all mercury that is shipped through its ports will strictly comply with the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which is aimed at curbing mercury pollution and mercury use in products worldwide.
Speaking at a diplomatic conference on the Minamata Convention in Kumamoto, Japan on Friday, he said that is a commitment that Singapore is making as a major transhipment hub.
Dr Balakrishnan also said Singapore has put in place multiple controls to restrict the use of mercury in Singapore.
For instance, industries in Singapore do not use mercury.
Batteries and clinical thermometers containing mercury are also no longer allowed for import into Singapore.
Dr Balakrishnan said as a dense city state with no natural hinterland but having one of the most compact living conditions in the world, Singapore is acutely sensitive to environmental threats.
Referring to some of the worst cases of mercury poisoning in Minamata in the 1950s, he said the disaster served as a stark reminder that governments need to be vigilant and transparent.
They need to work with non-government organisations and the media to ensure vigilance.
They also need to ensure that companies conduct their businesses responsibly.
In addition, an effective international collaboration is necessary.
Dr Balakrishnan said it is in that spirit that the Minamata Convention has been formulated and signed by so many countries.