HSA to work with companies to phase out certain mercury-containing health products
- POSTED: 09 Oct 2013 20:37
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Singapore's Health Sciences Authority will work with companies to phase out certain mercury-containing health products by 2020.
SINGAPORE: Singapore's Health Sciences Authority (HSA) will work with companies to phase out certain mercury-containing health products by 2020.
HSA said this is in support of the Minamata Convention on Mercury to reduce the risk of mercury exposure to human health and the environment.
HSA said that in the last few years, manufacturers have already gradually removed mercury from health products.
Only a small number of health products containing mercury are still registered with HSA.
HSA said Singapore and most manufacturers intend to proactively phase out mercury from health products where possible.
It said it will work with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to take appropriate measures to phase down the use of dental amalgam - a dental filling material.
HSA said dental amalgam is exempted from the phase out pending a review and assessment of viable and cost effective alternatives by MOH.
HSA said mercury is allowed for use in vaccines in the form of Thiomersal which contains 49.6 per cent ethylmercury by weight.
Mercury has been used as a vaccine preservative since the 1930s.
HSA said mercury is essential for vaccines, in particular for multi-dose pandemic vaccines.
Mercury can prevent microbial contamination when the vial is not single-use and the syringe needle is required to enter the vial repeatedly during administration.
HSA said the presence of mercury in small amounts will not pose safety concerns to human health.
Ethylmercury does not accumulate in the body and is actively excreted via the gut.