Brazil bans "cottage industry" mercury blood pressure monitors:
This article was originally published in Clinica
The Brazilian healthcare surveillance agency - Agencia Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria (Anvisa) - has banned the use of "cottage industry" mercury-based blood-pressure monitors in all healthcare settings involving invasive procedures. The ban of these devices - described as "low cost mercury-filled J-shaped tubes" - was legislated under Resolution RE16 of July 6 2004. The measure follows the discovery of their use during an inspection of hospitals in the cities of Sao Paulo and Vitoria. "Their use can expose patients and health workers to liquid mercury and its gases, which are carcinogenic," said Anvisa, pointing at the availability of "electronic devices registered by Anvisa that perform the same function without the health risks".