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IMA MERCURY PHASE OUT POLICY


In accordance with the Minamata Convention on Mercury, IMA has decided to request all its members to phase out Mercury containing BP Instruments and Thermometer by 27th December 2016.

Mercury is one of the most toxic natural elements. It is a global contaminant and neuro-toxic and has an adverse effect on the human nervous system and other body parts. Mercury is significantly associated with the Health Care Industry and it is used in Thermometers, Blood Pressure measuring instruments (sphygmomanometers), esophageal dilators and dental amalgams.

In this background, IMA has decided to phase out the mercury containing equipments i.e. B.P. apparatus and thermometers in all clinics and health care establishments. It is further decided to purchase only the Mercury free digital thermometer and Aneroid B.P. apparatus.

All IMA Hospitals and health centers are advised to phase out mercury containing equipments (thermometer, BP instruments etc.) and replace them with good quality non mercury equipments.

Until the mercury based equipments are fully phased out, following guidelines should be used for management of Mercury waste.

a)      As mercury waste is a hazardous waste, the storage, handling, treatment and disposal practices should be in line with the requirements of Government of India’s Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Trans-boundary Movement) Rules 2008, which may be seen at website www.cpcb.nic.in

b)      Mercury-contaminated waste should not be mixed with other biomedical waste or with general waste.

c)      Precautions should be taken not to handle mercury with bare hands and as far as possible; jewellery should be removed at the time of handling mercury. After handling mercury, hands must be carefully washed before eating or drinking. Appropriate personal protective equipment (rubber gloves, goggles / free shields and clothing) should be used while handling mercury.

d)     Mercury-containing thermometers should be kept in a container that does not have a hard bottom. Prefer a plastic container to a glass container, as the possibility of breakage will be less.

e)      In case of breakage, cardboard sheets should be used to push the spilled beads of mercury together. A syringe should be used to suck the beads of mercury. Mercury should be placed carefully in a container with some water. Any remaining beads of mercury will be picked up with a sticky tape and placed in a plastic bag, properly labeled.

f) Reporting formats must be used to report and register any mercury spills / leakages.

 

Health Care Establishments in Delhi may contact the following two agencies for the disposal of the Mercury Waste (generated from broken / discarded Mercury based Thermometers / B.P. Apparatus etc.) stored in the Hospitals / health Care Establishment:

1)      Shri Rohit Talwar

      M/s Supreme Surgico, 262 / 425, Lane No.8

      Friends colony Industrial Area,

      Shadara, Delhi (Mobile No: 9958527527)

 

2)      Shri Sandeep Kalra,

      M/s Anita Industries, 29, Bhagat Singh Market

      New Delhi (Mobile No: 9810240250)


IMA Mercury Free Medical Establishments

All State Branches are required to inform members similar agencies in the respective States in consultation with the local authorities.

We declare that we are now a mercury free medical establishment

We are aware that mercury is an elemental substance, that once released into the environment, easily and rapidly changes form to several organic and inorganic states that transfer from soil to air to water and back again;

We are aware that  the organic form of mercury, methyl mercury, bio-accumulates in aquatic ecosystems to magnify concentrations in animal tissue in increasing degrees up to 250,000 times;

We are aware that  methyl mercury, the most toxic form of mercury, can affect the reproductive efforts of top predators in aquatic environments;

We are aware that  the neuro toxic effects of high levels of methyl mercury poisoning in humans has been established, and low-level doses of methyl mercury  consumption can  potentially effect human health, especially that of a fetus;

We are aware that  elemental mercury is a highly toxic substance which can vaporize easily and cause both acute and chronic health effects including severe respiratory irritation and damage to the central nervous system;

We are aware that mercury has been identified internationally as a toxic substance of concern, and mercury contamination has led to fish consumption advisories in many countries;

We are aware that the majority of mercury entering water bodies comes from anthropogenic sources, and one quarter of these emissions are the result of the purposeful use of mercury;

We are aware that mercury is used widely in consumer and industrial products, where, in most cases, alternative, mercury-free products are available;

We are aware that pollution prevention by product substitution is a progressive approach to protecting the environment that eliminates or minimizes the generation of mercury-bearing waste, making it one of the most favorable strategies for maintaining a clean environment;

We are aware that pollution prevention for mercury can help environmental conditions, as well as protect the health and safety of workers;

We are aware that till mercury is totally phased out we need to adopt safe mercury handling Standard International Procedure so as to collect, store the mercury spilled in a suitable container without affecting the occupational health, or environment;

We declare that we are in phase of making our medical establishment mercury free

                                                                                                      (Medical Superintendent/Director)


IMA DECLARATION ON MERCURY FREE HEALTH CARE

(by IMA State Branches & Local Branches)

We are aware that Mercury is a global toxicant that poses an immediate threat to health care workers and patients, and a long-term threat to community health and the global environment;

We understand that healthcare contributes to this threat through broken and discarded mercury containing medical devices and health care products, as well as through their production;

We appreciate efforts by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme to promote mercury–use reduction including the elimination of mercury in the health care sector;

We note that mercury-based medical devices have been or are being phased out in many countries in all regions of the world; We are comforted by the fact that affordable, effective and accurate mercury-free alternatives are available.

We will raise awareness about the impacts of mercury and the need to replace it.

We will work for the phase out of mercury-based medical devices and health care products in health care institutions and at the local, state and national level through voluntary measures and, eventually, through regulation, legislation and enforcement.

We will help develop plans and procedures for cleaning up mercury contaminated areas in health care institutions and then moving up to develop local, state and  national plans.

 We will create networks and working groups for mercury-free initiatives.

We will advocate for the protection of ‘patients and workers’ environmental and occupational health, as well as for the incorporation of environmental health into health-related education curricula at all levels, including education and training on mercury-related issues.

We will promote the establishment of the necessary infrastructure and standards by governments to adequately manage and dispose of mercury waste, including procedures for  handling segregation, collection, storage and disposal.

We will promote the development of an industry that produces affordable, accurate and reliable mercury-free medical devices, and the establishment of national standards and certification for such devices.

We the members of IMA will work together toward achieving the aspirations of this declaration.

National President
Honorary Secretary General
State / Branch President
State/ Branch Honorary Secretary