Water Sanitation Health

Replacement of mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers in health care

Technical guidance. WHO 2011


Publication details

Editors: World Health Organization
Number of pages: 60
Publication date: May 2011
Languages: English, Russian, Spanish
ISBN: 978 92 4 154818 2


Purpose of this guide

This short guide is designed to provide step-by-step instructions for the safe substitution of non-mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers in health-care settings. It identifies available resources that support the equivalent accuracy and comparable clinical utility of the substituted products, while protecting health-care workers and the environment. It is designed for professionals responsible for institutions or ministries desiring to switch to safer non‐polluting technologies in health care.

This guide is also an output of a global mercury-free health-care initiative in which WHO is engaged. This global initiative aims to promote the substitution of mercury-based medical devices with safe, affordable, accurate alternatives around the world. The global mercury‐free health‐care initiative has documented mercury substitution in dozens of countries. It has also produced a series of additional resources for health professionals, health system managers and government officials that can be useful in developing and implementing policy and strategies for mercury substitution in the health sector.