Cell and Tissue Banking

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 827–829 | Cite as

Tissue and blood establishments: the demise of mad hatters in a decade

  • Michael A. CoxEmail author
Short Communication


The EU Directives for human tissues and cells (Directive 2004/23/EC) and for blood and blood components (Directive 2002/98/EC, with their related Directives), promotes the principle to minimise or remove potential sources of contamination (e.g. foreign particles, microorganisms, processing agents). Under this framework, mercury thermometers are of interest; as these devices present potential hazards through their use in preparation processes (for the verification of temperature criteria) or temperature monitoring systems (for the preservation of materials and reagents). This article outlines the potential hazards of mercury thermometers, the current available alternatives and the initiatives for the decline of mercury usage.


Thermometers Mercury Contamination Growth inhibition Environment risk Medical device Internal audits Health and safety 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.


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  2. Com 2005, 20 final, Community strategy concerning mercury (2005). Accessed March 2018
  3. Directive 2002/98/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 27 January 2003 setting standards of quality and safety for the collection, testing, processing, storage and distribution of human blood and blood components and amendingGoogle Scholar
  4. Directive 2004/23/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 31st March 2004 on setting the standards of quality and safety for the donation procurement, testing, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human tissues and cells. O.J.E.C, L102/48, 07/04/2004Google Scholar
  5. Mercury - aligning EU legislation with Minamata convention. Accessed March 2018
  6. European Parliamentary Service (2017). Accessed March 2018
  7. Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974. Accessed March 2018
  8. ISO9001 & ISO19011, British Standards Institute, London, United Kingdom. Accessed March 2018
  9. Lewis Carroll (1865) Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. Accessed March 2018
  10. World Health Organisation (2011) Guidance on the replacement of mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers in health care. Accessed March 2018

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Danish Patient Safety AuthorityCopenhagenDenmark

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