Top Legislature Ratifies Int’l Treaty to Cut Mercury

BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) — China’s top legislature on Thursday ratified an international treaty on reducing mercury emissions, which are harmful to humans and the environment. The National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee approved the Minamata Convention on Mercury at a bi-monthly session, which concluded the same day. The legally binding global treaty was signed by the then chief engineer of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Wan Bentai, on behalf of China, on Oct. 10, 2013, in Kumamoto, Japan. The treaty takes its name from the Japanese city of Minamata, where methyl mercury from the city’s industrial wastewater killed hundreds and left many more disabled in the 1950s.

As of Nov. 2, 2015, 128 countries and regional organizations had signed the convention and 18 of them, including the United States, had ratified it.

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