Model policies

Global policies

  • The World Health Organization issued a policy paper in 2005 calling for short, medium and long term measures to substitute mercury-based medical devices with safer alternatives.
  • The World Medical Association passed a resolution in 2008 calling for the substitution of mercury-based medical devices with safer alternatives.

Regional policies

  • European Union - In 2012, the European Commission issued Regulation 847/2012 that will take mercury sphygmomanometers and other measuring devices used for industrial and professional purposes off the market starting April 2014. In 2007, the EU banned mercury thermometers for home and health care use.

National policies

  • Argentina - In May 2017, the Argentinian Congress approved the ratification of the Minamata Convention to eliminate the use of mercury by 2020. In doing so, Argentina became the 43rd country to ratify the agreement. 128 countries in total signed the Minamata Convention. Read the bill (in Spanish)
  • Brazil - In March 2017, Brazil took an integral and important step towards mercury free health care. A new resolution, published by the National Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil, effectively bans the fabrication, importation, and sale of mercury based thermometers and blood pressure measurement devices in the country as of 1 January 2019.
  • Chile - In April 2011, the Ministry of Health Issued a National Guidance (in Spanish) for Mercury-free Health Care. The policy requires that all institutions conduct mercury inventories, develop mercury spill management polices, and begin a progressive switch-over to digital thermometers and sphygmomanometers by the end of 2011.
  • Philippines – In December 2010, the Philippine Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued Memorandum Circular 2010-140 enjoining all provincial governors, city mayors, municipal mayors, DILG regional directors and others concerned to ensure compliance to the Department of Health AO 21 mandating gradual phase-out of mercury-containing devices in all Philippine health care facilities and institutions.
  • India – In May 2010, India’s Central Government issued guidelines to phase-out mercury containing equipment from all Government-run Hospitals.
  • Argentina – In February 2010, the Ministry of Health of Argentina published an Administrative Order banning mercury sphygmomanometers. It gives 90 days to end production and 180 to end any commercialization of these products.
  • Argentina – In February 2009, the Argentine Ministry of Health issued a resolution 139/2009 ending purchase of mercury medical devices in all Argentine hospitals.
  • Philippines – In 2008, the Philippines issued an Administrative Order calling for the phase-out of mercury based medical devices across the country by 2010.
  • Taiwan – In March 2008, the Environmental Protection Administration announced a national policy to phase-out of mercury thermometers.
  • United States – Over the past decade the United States health care sector has virtually phased out mercury-based medical devices. It is nearly impossible to purchase a mercury thermometer in the United States today. See The Global Movement Report
  • Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark – These countries have successfully phased out all mercury based medical devices, including sphygmomanometers. Read the KEMI Report
  • Cuba – Since the 1980s, Cuba has replaced most of its mercury sphygmomanometers with aneroid devices purchased from China. Read the Report (in Spanish)

State and provincial policies

  • São Paulo, Brazil – On January 2014, Sâo Paulo State banned the use, storage and repair of mercury-based instruments, such as sphygmomanometers and thermometers. The Law 15.313/2014 (in Portuguese) established a two-year period to phase-out and replace all mercury-containing devices and applies to all kinds of hospitals, health services or any kind of organizations, public or private.
    In 2010, the Health Secretariat of São Paulo State has banned the purchase of any equipment containing mercury in public hospitals and other health services. The resolution (in Portuguese), issued in December 2010, applies to 50 public hospitals run by the state system, as well as hundreds of smaller health units. It prohibits the use of all mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers by 2012. It also restricts the use of dental amalgam to pre-dosed capsules.
  • Santa Catarina State, Brazil – The Santa Catarina State government has banned mercury thermometers in hospital systems and pharmacies. The law will go into full effect by August 2011.
  • La Pampa, Argentina – In December 2009, the Provincial Government of La Pampa, Argentina, banned (in Spanish) the sale and use of thermometers, blood pressure devices and other mercury-based medical devices. This law should be completely applied two years from Dec. 2009.
  • Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa – The Province of Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa has issued and is implementing directives banning the purchase of mercury thermometers and spygmomanometers. See the Administrative Order regarding the phasing-out of mercury sphygmomanometers and the Administrative Order regarding the phasing-out of products that contain mercury in healthcare institutions.
  • United States – 30 states have banned mercury thermometers and more than 1/3 of the US population is covered by state laws restricting or banning mercury blood pressure devices. Read End of an Era Report
  • Chaco, Argentina – In August 2007, the Provincial Government of Chaco, in northern Argentina, committed (in Spanish) to making all of the 8 hospitals and 296 clinics and health centers under its jurisdiction mercury-free.

Large city policies 

  • Mexico city, Mexico – In 2009, the Health Secretariat of Mexico city — which oversees a health care system of more than 28 major hospitals and hundreds of health centers — has joined (in spanish) the HCWH-WHO Global Initiative to substitute mercury-based medical devices with safer, economically viable alternatives.
  • Buenos Aires city, Argentina – The Buenos Aires city Government which runs the largest health care system in Argentina, is implementing a policy to phase out mercury-based medical devices in 33 major hospitals and 38 smaller health care centers. Read the report (in spanish) done by the Buenos Aires City Government.
  • Delhi, India – As a result of a policy issued by the Delhi Department of Health and Family Welfare in 2007, all government-run hospitals have stopped purchasing new mercury-based medical devices and a total of 2,229, mostly small healthcare establishments which are in the National Capital Territory of Delhi are in the process of replacing mercury devices. Several private systems and philanthropic hospitals in Delhi have also replaced mercury. Read he declaration
  • São Paulo, Brazil - The City of São Paulo is the first in Brazil to eliminate the use of devices containing mercury in its public hospitals. To date thirty four public hospitals/emergency rooms and eighty five primary health care centers have been recognized for their elimination of mercury devices. This adds to the more than 100 private hospitals in Sao Paulo that have already made the switch. While there is no formal policy, the Municipality of São Paulo and its related health institutions have relied on the tireless work of one individual in the Ministry of Labor there, Dr. Cecilia Zavariz, who has spearheaded this achievement.