The animal welfare organization WWF has published a report on this at the Second Conference on the Minamata Convention. According to this, one and a half million people in the Amazon region are now endangered by mercury. There, mercury is used in the mining of gold.
The poisonous metal endangers especially the natives of Amazonia and the people who live on the riverbanks. The report summarizes recent studies on the topic: Brazilian researchers have found, among other things, that more than 80 percent of fish have elevated levels of mercury – sometimes four times as high as WHO’s limits.
Minamata is the name given to chronic poisoning by mercury. The heavy metal attacks the brain and nervous system and can kill those affected. In the United Nations Minamata Convention, more than 50 states have agreed on the global reduction of mercury.