Replace Mercury Blood Pressure Monitors: Sphygmomanometers.
The ongoing campaign to eliminate mercury from medical devices continues to expand and now the challenge has become global. A new campaign hopes to encourage greater use of digital thermometers to lower the toxic risks associated with mercury models.
A combination of automatic blood pressure monitors that have been validated by impartial third parties and a growing concern for the manual inaccuracies of listening for a pulse with a stethoscope when measuring blood pressure with mercury blood pressure monitors has promoted increased production of accurate, affordable, mercury-free medical devices especially monitors for home users.
The British Hypertension Society produces a list of validated machine suitable for both clinical and home use. Soon all the monitors on this list will be automatic digital blood pressure monitors – available from medical supply specialist such as Medisave who already only offer digital and aneroid monitors on their web site.
Switch to Digital Thermometers for Clinical and Home Use
Mercury in other medical instruments.
A global partnership coordinated by the World Health Authority has announced that it plans to eradicate mercury from health care organisations with an initial target of replacing over seventy % of all mercury blood pressure monitors in the next decade.
In the US and Europe, regulations and efforts by concerned pressure groups have resulted many hospitals to stop using medical devices that contain mercury.
The WHO/Health Care Without Harm partnership focuses solely on thermometers and sphygmomanometers, which are widely used and have viable alternatives.
One of the most common medical instruments that contains mercury is the thermometer.
Mercury thermometers are still widely used throughout the world. 1000’s of thermometers break over the course of a year in hospitals, releasing mercury, a potent toxin that spreads quickly.
Digital thermometers are both accurate and easy to use so the resistance to changing from mercury thermometers should be small. New digital thermometers are however more expensive.
It is forecast that as the quantities produced increases, the costs will fall. and it is hoped that once hospitals calculate the cost of mercury thermometer breakage including the proper cleaning up after the breaks, the switch becomes a minor cost issue.
Encouraging people to invest in digital thermometers for home use is still a challenge in the developing world, but as with the old style blood pressure monitors mercury thermometers are being phased out so they are harder to find.
How to tell if a thermometer contains mercury
If a thermometer has a silver bulb, it contains mercury; if the bulb is any other color, it is mercury-free.
For a full explanation of the impact of mercury please see this article – http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/push-to-replace-mercury-thermometers-is-going-global