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No more mercury-based equipment, hospitals told

SEREMBAN: Government hospitals and facilities have been told to stop acquiring medical equipment which contains mercury.

According to Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, this is to protect humans and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury.

Dr Noor Hisham said the initiative was also in line with Malaysia becoming a signatory to the Minamata Convention which, among others, prohibits member countries from manufacturing, exporting or importing products which use mercury.

Medical equipment which contains mercury includes thermometers and sphygmomanometers (used to measure blood pressure).

“All hospitals, including universities and armed forces hospitals, should only buy medical equipment which is free of mercury.

“They are also to take steps to ensure any equipment which contains mercury is disposed off properly,” he said in a directive.

The Minamata Convention on mercury also calls on member nations to ban new mercury mines, to phase out existing ones, and reduce and eventually cut mercury use in a number of products and processes.

It also wants them to introduce more control measures on emissions to the air and on releases to land and water to prevent contamination.

Source: The Star Online (http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/04/20/no-more-mercurybased-eq...)
Date: 20 April 2016, Wednesday

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