China has begun the phaseout of hospital instruments that use mercury, part of a global effort to eliminate the industrial use of the toxic metal, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday. Several hospitals in Beijing and Hebei province are replacing mercury-based thermometers and blood-pressure devices after China agreed to phase out all such products by 2020. An international treaty on the industrial use of mercury will be signed next month in Japan, the report said, citing Wang Wei, an official of the Beijing Global Village Environmental Education Center. China is among 147 nations that have agreed to control the use of mercury under the UN Environmental Program’s Minamata Convention. The agreement, scheduled to start in 2016, is named after the Japanese city that suffered industrial mercury poisoning in the 1950s and 1960s.
– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]