You have heard about the dangers of mercury. You know to get rid of your thermometers that contain mercury. There are other household items that contain mercury. You may want to limit your exposure to them. What should you do if you have items that are dangerous?
“A mercury spill at the Grafton Street Elementary School in Worcester prompted a huge cleanup, and students were forced out of their classrooms for about a week. Now officials in Worcester are hoping to prevent any future problems, by educating the public about how to properly dispose of mercury.
The city is now participating in the mercury recovery program allowing residents to safely dispose of mercury products.
Items such as fluorescent bulbs, thermometers and button cell batteries can be brought to either the Department of Public Health or the Department of Public Works.” This was reported today, October 19, 2010 at NECN.
Mercury is used in some electrical switches and perhaps in some of your dental work! It is used in lighting. Electricity passes through mercury vapor in a phosphor tube producing short-wave ultraviolet light. Are you sitting under it right now?
Mercury gets released into the atmosphere from such things as volcanoes, cement production and it is probably in your soda! Mercury also enters into the environment through the improper disposal of items such as batteries and fluorescent bulbs.
Mercury, in the form of thiomersal, is used to make mascara. In 2008, Minnesota became the first state in the U.S. to ban intentionally added mercury in cosmetics, giving it a tougher standard than the federal government.
Fish and shellfish concentrate mercury in their bodies, often in the form of methylmercury, a very toxic compound of mercury. Some fish that are worse than others include shark, swordfish, king mackerel and albacore tune.
Mercury and most of its compounds are extremely toxic. Mercury can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes. So what to do? One suggestion is to get rid of your toxic waste the right way. Another suggestion is to eat chunk light tuna.
Resources to help you dispose of mercury:
- United States Government: General Information
- – www.epa.gov
- 1 Congress Street, Boston, Massachusetts – (888) 372-7341
- Veolia Environmental Services
- – www.veoliaes.com
- 218 Canton St, Stoughton – (781) 341-6080
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Environmental Health Assessment
- – www.mass.gov
- 100 Morrissey, Boston – (617) 624-5757