The United Nations is negotiating a new treaty to cut toxic mercury emissions, and more than 140 countries, including the United States, have come to the table in participation. The Obama Administration’s willingness to embrace a binding global pact differs greatly from the previous policy of President Bush. With additional agreement from India and China, the U.N. will work toward a mandatory treaty that reduces human exposure to mercury, a toxic heavy metal released into the atmosphere by coal-burning power plants and a variety of other industrial practices. Overexposure can cause health threats, including neurological impairment, as well as kidney and lung problems.
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