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  • The issue

     The issue Mercury pollution is a severe global environmental and human health problem. The spread – and use – of mercury undermines efforts to improve health conditions in communities. Many instruments used in hospitals, healthcare facilities and laboratories contain mercury. The substance is commonly found in thermometers, and blood pressure measuring device. Tools used in construction and the households such as thermostats, pressure gauges, and switches may also contain mercury.  Mercury may be released from these and other similar products, as no device is 100% failure-proof.   Substances such as fixatives, preservatives, lab chemicals, cleaners, and other products may have mercury added deliberately. When discarded inappropriately, mercury always contaminates the environment. Know the hazardsToxins with an especially heavy impact on the healthcare sector may be found in:Dioxin-containing byproductsMercury-containing medical devices and wastesCleaners, disinfectants, pesticides, and fragrance chemicalsElectronic equipmentFlame...
  • Global Mercury Campaign

    Global Mercury Campaign Health Care Without Harm and the World Health Organization are co-leading a global initiative to replace most mercury-based thermometers and sphygmomanometers over the next decade. The organizations are also proposing safe, accurate, and economically viable alternatives for mercury-based medical devices.  The initiative is based on a 2005 WHO policy paper calling for short, medium and long-term steps towards the gradual substitution of mercury-based medical devices. The policy paper was grounded in Health Care Without Harm's over ten years of experience working with the healthcare sector, national governments and intergovernmental organizations around the world to implement mercury substitution. Everyday fixes The campaign is also a component of the UN Environment Program's (UNEP) Mercury Products Partnership, which is led by the US Environmental Protection Agency. This broadened UNEP Products Partnership seeks actions to eliminate mercury in everyday products such as batteries, lighting fixtures, electrical...
  • Mercury-Free Alternatives

    Mercury-Free AlternativesAccuracyAffordabilityDisposalGetting over the mercury biasSome medical professionals still consider mercury-based devices such as thermometers and blood pressure measuring device to be more accurate than their digital counterparts. This is in light of peer-reviewed studies that show the mercury bias to have no real scientific bearing.  The mercury-filled glass thermometer, though easily and frequently broken, is one of the simplest and most widely used diagnostic tools. Because of this, it was the first clinical mercury device to be evaluated for accuracy in comparison to a growing number of available alternatives.After some debate in the 90s, Leick-Rude and Bloom, during routine accuracy testing in a study, reported that 25% of the glass/mercury thermometers tested differed from the reference thermometer by more than 0.2 degrees Centigrade. This finding was consistent with the authors' review of prior work. In addition to this, another recent study rejected...
  • ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS: Environment-friendly strategies for patients urged

    By Tessa R. Salazar, published by business.inquirer.net, November 15, 2013:HCWH has been calling for…

  • ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS: Hospitals must be disaster-proof—expert

    Slideshow photo courtest of NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterArticle by Tessa R. Salazar, published…

  • Philippine Typhoon | A Devastating Wake Up Call

    Philippines — Will climate change adversely impact human health? Ask the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan…

  • Mandela: In Memoriam (Guest post by HCWH partner groundWork)

    Guest blog entry from Bobby Peek, Director of groundWork, Friends of the Earth South Africa. Photo…

  • The Philippines

    The Philippines  Anti-mercury awareness has taken root in the Philippines. It wasn’t always like that, though. Before our anti-mercury campaign started in 2005, the dangers ofmercury in healthcare wasn’t that well-known.  All that changed after the first Southeast Asia Conference on Mercury was held in Manila in 2006. The conference brought the issue to light. The gathering was the tipping-point HCWH-AP needed. Due to the convincing facts discussed, Philippine Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III pledged to author policies that mandate the phasing-out of mercury. The next year, Philippine Heart Center, together with St. Paul Hospital in Tuguegarao, the Manila Adventist Hospital, and San Juan De Dios Hospital started their own mercury phase-out programs.  In August 11, 2008, Administrative Order 21 of the Department of Health was signed. It ordered the gradual phase-out of all mercury-containing devices in all Philippine hospitals by 2010. By...
  • PGMA Unfit For Climate Talks

    Manila — As countries prepare for the Conference of Parties (COP) 15 under the United Nations…

  • Philippine Nurses in the Forefront of Mercury Elimination

    Manila — The Occupational Health Nurses Association of the Philippines (OHNAP) recently signed the…

  • International Organizations Demand PGMA to Release Impounded Health Budget

    Manila — International organizations and individuals from ten countries joined local health budget…