[Editorial] Minamata Convention on mercury: a contemporary reminder
History provides us with valuable lessons. The tragic Minamata Bay disaster in Japan is a stark reminder that exposure to the element mercury and its compounds can impact human health, causing irreversible neurological damage and other issues such as psychosis. Earth’s health is also at risk. In the 2013 Global Mercury Assessment, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) reported that environmental mercury emissions can reach up to 8900 tonnes annually, of which 90% consist of anthropogenic emissions from processes such as artisanal gold mining, which is often unregulated and involves the forced labour of marginalised communities.