Monitoring Indoor Mercury Vapour in Hospitals in Indonesia

Krishna Zaki from the Nexus3 Foundation shared his experience with monitoring indoor mercury vapour in hospitals in his community in Indonesia. They used the citizen science approach in this campaign because the citizens, especially healthcare workers, are the people most at risk of being exposed to the harms of mercury-containing devices. He said that these devices are still widely used in healthcare facilities, especially in Denpasar, Bali. This is alarming because it could release mercury into the environment due to the breakage and leakage of the devices. When used in dental care, mercury evaporates when it is being formed or cast as dental fillings.

As a result of their campaign, citizens, especially healthcare facilities’ workers and visitors have become aware of the harms of mercury exposure from broken or leaking mercury-containing medical devices. Their partner hospitals’ managements were also encouraged to develop an action plan to reduce and eliminate the use and purchase of mercury-containing medical devices in each hospital. Further, the Ministry of Health issued a policy to withdraw mercury-containing medical devices in healthcare facilities, including mercury dental amalgam fillings.