The Japan Meteorological Agency has decided to stop the use of mercury-based thermometers in meteorological stations nationwide within the next three years.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), electrical thermometers are installed at nationwide weather stations and other observation points, but 277 thermometers containing mercury are also used for backup and inspection in case of breakdown of the electrical thermometers.
Observation instruments containing mercury are still in use throughout the world, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in accordance with the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which regulates trading of products using more than a certain amount of mercury internationally. In a meeting in Japan, the WMO firmly requested each country to stop the use of the thermometers containing mercury.
The JMA will take leadership to stop the use of mercury-based thermometers as part of Japan’s role as the host country of the United Nations meeting which adopted the Minamata Convention on Mercury. An official at the JMA stated these devices would be replaced over the next 3 years.
We hope the action from the Japan Meteorological Agency helps to energize the global mercury-free movement.