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DOH Wants Import Ban On Products With Mercury

The Department of Health (DOH) may recommend to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) the banning on the importation of mercury-containing products in the country. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the kidney and the nervous, digestive, respiratory and immune systems.

In a telephone interview, Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral reiterated that mercury is highly toxic so the use of any product containing the substance should be prohibited.

According to Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral

I think products like fluorescent lamps have mercury. We will propose to the DENR that these products be banned. We will see

In 2008, the DOH issued Administrative Order (AO) No. 21 imposing the “gradual phaseout of mercury in all Philippine health care facilities and institutions.”

The AO is in line with the stand of the World Health Organization in 1991 that a “safe level of mercury exposure, below which no adverse effect,” has never been established.

Cabral reminded all hospitals, infirmary, lying-in clinics and other health facilities that they have until December this year to comply with the phaseout.

According to Sec. Cabral
“The DOH has not been registering thermometer and blood pressure apparatus with mercury (because of that AO). We want to remind health care facilities that they have until this year to switch to alternative devices,”

The two medical devices that contain mercury are thermometers and sphygmomanometers used to take the blood pressure of a person.

Read the rest of the story at Philstar

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