President Traian Basescu on Monday signed a decree on the Minamata Convention on Mercury to have it submitted to Parliament for ratification, informed the Presidential Administration. The Minamata Convention on Mercury became open for signature on October 10, 2013, in Kumamoto, Japan, and Romania signed it that very day. The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. The major highlights of the Minamata Convention on Mercury include a ban on new mercury mines, the phase-out of existing ones, control measures on air emissions, and the international regulation of the informal sector for artisanal and small-scale gold mining. The Convention draws attention to a global and ubiquitous metal that, while naturally occurring, has broad uses in everyday objects and is released to the atmosphere, soil and water from a variety of sources. The mercury can cause serious health problems, like permanent brain-damage, kidney failure or major digestive problems.