“Mercury Eradication in Healthcare Services” – a Health Promotion Programme
S. Kuroczycki-Saniutycz1, A. Szpak2, M. Pawińska2, B. Poniatowski2, A. Wakuluk2
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1Poviat Sanitary Inspectorate, Pisz, Poland
2Department of Public Health, Medical University of Białystok, Kilińskiego 1, 15-089 Białystok, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2008;17(6):981-984
The programme of the State Provincial Sanitary Inspector of Białystok was aimed at gradual elimination of mercury from healthcare facilities, spread out over the years 2003-08. Participation in the programme was voluntary. The programme outlined the preliminary actions to be taken and their realization at each governing level, including technical possibilities for substitution or recycling. It included information on harmful effects of mercury and its compounds on people and the environment, instructions concerning implementation, monitoring and training, information about alternative products, costs and effects of implementing non-mercury devices, and how to collect, store and utilize this metal. The programme of mercury eradication in the Podlasie region was mainly concerned with the withdrawal of Hg-based medical thermometers and sphygmomanometers. Already in 2003, when the programme was commenced, one of the largest hospitals delivered several dozen kilograms of stored mercury for recycling, thus eliminating the risk of staff exposure to this deleterious metal.
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