The HWO demands to quit the use of mercury in medical instruments production

At the Minamata Convention, organized by UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme), the “mercury-free healthcare in 2020” initiative was finally sign. Blood pressure monitors and thermometers containing mercury will be banned: the import and the production of these medical devices will come to an end by 2020. The same will happen to switches or batteries whose production employs mercury.

Mercury is one of the most dangerous components to public health, according to the UNEP Director Manager, Margaret Chan. It scatters and remains in organisms for a very long time, causing dramatic diseases which are harmful to different parts of the body.

After many years of negotiation 140 states agreed on a binding initiative, which has been sign into force on 11 October 2013. The agreement wants to promote the research and the employment of new technologies in order to get to a mercury-free production of medical and also not medical instruments.

At the Minamata Convention it has been decided that the use of mercury pieces of equipment is allowed up to 2030 only in particular circumstances. However, the HWO and the Healthcare Without Harm coalition insist that the 2020 year limit should be respected, due to the gravity of the situation.

The HWO will work together with the governments involved to achieve this goal.