Health Care Without Harm, WHO partner

Health Care Without Harm (Arlington, Virginia) and the World Health Organization (WHO; Geneva, Switzerland) have launched a global partnership to substitute mercury-based medical devices with safer, accurate and affordable alternatives.

The announcement came during the opening of the South Asian Conference on Alternatives to Mercury in Health Care, an event sponsored by the two organizations and the Indian NGO Toxics Link (New Delhi).

"This initiative aims to replace no less than 70% of all mercury thermometers and blood pressure devices around the world with digital and aneroid alternatives within the decade," said Alexander von Hildebrand, regional advisor for chemical safety for WHO's South East Asia Regional Office. "It is our goal to significantly reduce the threat posed by mercury spills to patient and worker health, as well as the global environment."