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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Strengthening Mercury Free Health Care Campaign in Nepal through National Level Public Awareness

This project by Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) investigates the extent of mercury pollution in the health care sector of Nepal (including dental institutions and other health care settings) and suggests recommendations to transition to a mercury-free healthcare system. In addition, the project provides data on the status of mercury pollution in Nepal across a range of sectors, including health care products, lighting products and cosmetics. CEPHED also provides research outcomes on mercury pollution from industrial sources as well as the results of biomonitoring from fish and humans (including a subsection on the mercury body burden of health care professionals). The combined outcomes of this research was presented in a series of awareness-raising meetings throughout Nepal that resulted in strong engagement with high level policy officials, health care professionals and NGOs. Highlights of the project include significant awareness-raising success with policy makers and considerable public interest through broad media coverage. The project also influenced some tertiary institutions to change dental curricula toward mercury-free dentistry and government to consider adding dental amalgam to the 2013 ban on mercury-based medical equipment (a policy position which CEPHED had campaigned for strongly). This project contributes to the Minamata Convention enabling activities by addressing a range of mercury issues as noted in Articles 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 16, 18 and 19 of the Treaty.

CEPHED team participating in a rally program (Photo by Shahriar Hossain)

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