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E-M:/ Ban on Mercury Thermometers Passed

Enviro-Mich message from James Clift <jamesmec@voyager.net>

Law Banning Sale of Mercury Thermometers Goes to the Governor’s Desk

(September 18, 2002, Ann Arbor, MI)----A law to ban the sale of mercury
thermometers is now heading to the Governor’s desk (HB 4599).  Governor
Engler is expected to sign the bill. Environmentalists consider the bill
an important step in reducing the amount of mercury released into
Michigan’s environment from consumer products.

In the year 2000, mercury from fever thermometers alone accounted for 17
tons or 10% of mercury in the municipal solid waste stream.  With the
passage of this bill Michigan joins several other states across the
nation, including California and Maryland, in restricting the sale and
use of mercury thermometers.

Jeff Gearhart of the Ecology Center stated, "It is great that Michigan
has finally taken leadership to phase out of the use of
mercury-containing products like thermometers. However, much works still
needs to be done to phase out other uses and recover mercury already in
products like autos and appliances.”

James Clift, Policy Director of the Michigan Environmental Council is
also very pleased with the passage of the bill but stressed the
importance of continued efforts.  “We need to build on this
accomplishment.  Future generations should not have to worry about
mercury contamination-fish consumption advisories for all 11,000 inland
lakes in Michigan.

Mercury attacks the central nervous system and can cause tremors,
impaired vision, and hearing, developmental deficits during fetal
development, attention deficit, and developmental delays during
childhood. Fetuses and children under six are especially vulnerable to
the deleterious effects of mercury.

The Ecology Center, based in Ann Arbor, is a regional environmental
organization working for clean air, safe water and environmental
justice. The Michigan Environmental Council, based in Lansing, is a
statewide coalition of over 50 environmental, public health, and
faith-based organizations working together to protect the environment.

The Ecology Center
117 N. Division Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Contact: Jeff Gearhart  734.761.3186 x 117,
or   James Clift 517.487.9539

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