WHO urges to eliminate the use of mercury medical devices 2020

Mercury is one of the 10 most harmful chemicals to human health and ecosystems remains for generations

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Care Without Harm an international coalition of organizations and health professionals have joined forces and launched a new initiative to make mercury should be removed from all measuring devices used in medicine until 2020.

The initiative Health Without Mercury 2020 was launched with the signing of the Convention of Minamata, Japan, and calls for an end gradually the use of mercury in thermometers and blood pressure devices.

According to the WHO, this goal can only be achieved by the end of the manufacturing, import and export of such devices, and by supporting the implementation of alternative safe and affordable product.

With the signing of the Convention of Minamata come a long way to protect the world from devastating consequences of mercury, said WHO Director-General of WHO, Margaret Chan.

Mercury is one of the 10 most harmful chemicals to public health and is a substance that is dispersed and remains in ecosystems for generations, causing serious health problems and intellectual disabilities to people exposed to it.

The WHO Director for Public Health and Environment, Maria Neira, said the agency will address the critical areas of mercury exposure and work with governments to ensure they can meet their obligations under the Convention, particularly in the area of health care.

WHO and its partners in the health sector will work to gradually eliminate topical antiseptics and cosmetics for skin whitening using mercury; develop public health strategies to deal with the impacts of mercury use in artisanal and small scale, developing measures to reduce the use of dental amalgam, and encourage the exchange of health information, awareness and public health research.

Source: OMS