Lurking Menace: Mercury in the health-care sector

This study presents a very grim picture of the way mercury is handled and disposed off by the hospital staff. Mercury equipment breaks very often, but the staff is hardly trained or equipped to deal with any such event. Mercury is handled without any protective gear and is disposed off either with incinerable waste, general waste or via drains, all of which would lead to its entry into the food chain. There is an urgent need to bring in some policy for gradual shift from mercury equipment to safer alternatives. Health-care staff needs to be trained to handle this toxic metal safely and the disposal and emission issues need to be addressed.