Hundreds of politicians, officials, and experts from the world will gather at the Stockholm conference, which will begin on Monday. While the time frame for the negotiations has already been decided, the conference aims to set out guidelines for exactly how a ban can be achieved.
Mercury is a global environmental problem, as winds can spread the toxic metal thousands of kilometers across international borders. Every year, 2,000 tons of mercury are extracted from the earth, even though the metal cannot degrade. Instead, mercury remains in nature, threatening the health of people and animals. Even small amounts of the metal can damage the body, especially the central nervous system.
Most countries have halted production of mercury, but China still produces significant amounts.