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f)

Promoting the awareness of the persistence of mercury and its ability to be transported, transformed and accumulated in food-chains.

Chemicals management

a)

Setting environmental quality standards for maximum acceptable mercury concentrations in different media, such as air, water, soil and foodstuffs, in order to limit exposure of human populations and the environment, and also with respect to products containing mercury, especially to products where mercury free alternatives do not yet exist and are widely consumed, e.g. compact fluorescent bulbs;

b)

Using life-cycle assessment tools, facilitating the development and implementation of codes of conduct for various industrial sectors and producers, and promoting recognized environmental management systems, such as ISO 14001;

c)

Developing best environmental practices or guidelines for best available techniques for various industrial sectors;

d)

Using economic incentives/disincentives to promote substitution of products, methods of analysis and processes that contain or use mercury or mercury compounds.  

Voluntary measures

a) Promotion of voluntary commitments among producers of mercury containing products to take responsibility for ensuring appropriate handling and waste treatment of their products (for example, through information and training of users, product take-back schemes, etc.);

b) Promotion of voluntary reduction programmes within different private sector industries or activities to reduce and/or eliminate their uses and releases of mercury, thus stimulating the sector to identify and implement appropriate and effective solutions.

Annex 2

Terms of Reference of the National Task Force in Developing a Detailed Mercury Action Plan

I. INTRODUCTION

Elemental (metallic) mercury is a volatile and highly toxic chemical which may be fatal if inhaled and harmful if absorbed through the skin.  It is lipid soluble and easily penetrates biological membranes including blood-brain barrier.  Neurological and behavioral disorders in humans have been observed following inhalation of elemental mercury vapor.  A broad range of symptoms have been reported to include tremors, insomnia, memory loss, neuromuscular changes, headaches, polyneuropathy and

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