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E-M:/ MI mercury thermometer legislation heads to floor



Title: MI mercury thermometer legislation heads to floor
Thanks to MEC, Clean Water Action, NWF, MUCC, the DEQ, and the Michigan Hospital Association for joining the Ecology Center in support this bill at the committee hearing this morning.


Michigan House of Representatives
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, Michigan 48909-7514

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          
CONTACT: Rep. Jack Minore
(517) 373-7515
January 29, 2002

Legislation Would Ban Sale of Mercury Thermometers
LANSING - The House Commerce Committee today reported out a bill sponsored by State Representative Jack Minore (D-Flint) that would ban the sale of mercury thermometers in Michigan.   

 "Our children's health and the quality of our environment is simply too important to be compromised by mercury thermometers," said Minore. "Today, the Commerce Committee took a very important step in eliminating the threat of a very toxic and very deadly substance."

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that attacks the body's central nervous system, including the brain.  Mercury also harms kidneys and lungs, and can impair development.  The typical mercury thermometer contains 1.59 grams of mercury - enough to contaminate a 20-acre lake or cause serious health problems if broken in the home. Seventeen tons of mercury is discarded annually.

Under HB 4599, the sale of mercury fever thermometers would be prohibited in Michigan, except by prescription.  Manufacturers of mercury thermometers sold by prescription would be required to supply clear instructions on handling and cleanup should a thermometer break.

"Parents may be shocked to know that they may have such a severely toxic substance in their medicine cabinets," said Minore.  "With so many safe and affordable alternatives on the market today, there is no longer a large need for mercury thermometers." 

The Michigan Environmental Council, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Clean Water Action Coalition and the Ecology Center all supported the legislation.  The bill now moves to the House floor for consideration. 

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www.housedems.com
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Mary Beth Doyle, MPH
Environmental Health Project
Ecology Center
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor MI 48104

734-663-2400 ext 108
734-663-2414 (fax)
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Mary Beth Doyle, MPH
Environmental Health Project
Ecology Center
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor MI 48104

734-663-2400 ext 108
734-663-2414 (fax)