Water Sanitation Health

Mercury in health care

Updated: 2005

Mercury is highly toxic, especially when metabolized into methyl mercury.

Health-care facilities are one of the main sources of mercury release into the atmosphere because of emissions from the incineration of medical waste.

To understand better the problem of mercury in health-care sector, it is recommended that countries conduct assessments of current mercury usage and health-care waste management programmes. WHO proposes to work in collaboration with countries through short-, medium- and long-term strategic steps presented in this document.

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Mercury in health care: policy paper

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