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Adapted from UNEP, Mercury Awareness Raising Package, accessed on line in September 2012 (http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances); US Food and Drug Administration website on Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish (1990-2010) (http://www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/product-specificinformation/seafood/foodbornepathogenscontaminants/methylmercury/ucm115644.htm) Designed by Zoï Environment Network / GRID-Arendal, December 2012
Uploaded on Tuesday 01 Oct 2013
Mercury in food and products
Even now, mercury is commonplace in daily life. Electrical and electronic devices, switches (including thermostats) and relays, measuring and control equipment, energy- efficient fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, mascara, skin- lightening creams and other cosmetics which contain mercury, dental fillings and a host of other consumables are used across the globe. Food products obtained from fish, terrestrial mammals and other products such as rice can contain mercury. It is still widely used in health care equipment, where much of it is used for measuring, and in blood pressure devices and thermometers, although their use is declining. There are safe and cost-effective replacements for mercury for many health care applications and for pharmaceuticals, and goals have been set to phase out some mercury-containing devices altogether. For instance, the UNEP Mercury Products Partnership, a mechanism for delivery of immediate actions, has set the goal of reducing demand for mercury-containing fever thermometers and blood pressure devices by at least 70 per cent by 2017.