15 July 2016
Brazil Proposes Ban on Mercury-Containing Thermometers
The Brazilian Health Agency (ANVISA) is seeking comments by 20 August on a proposal to prohibit the manufacture, importation and distribution, as well as the use in health-related services, of thermometers and sphygmomanometers containing mercury. Mercury-containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers are products that include a transparent mercury-containing bar that provides different value measures for body temperature (in the case of thermometers) and blood pressure (in the case of sphygmomanometers). According to ANVISA, there are non-mercury alternatives in the market that can replace the current mercury-containing products.
The eventual removal of these products from the market is part of the Brazilian government’s commitment under the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which includes 139 other countries. The Convention includes a commitment to control and reduce the emission and release of mercury into the earth and ban mercury-containing products by 2020.