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Mercury Management



    FROM: R. Illig
    RE: Management of Mercury
    E-MAIL: illig.richard@a1.dep.state.pa.us
    
    One and All,
    
    Over the past few months, in Pa., problems have arose involving 
    the handling of mercury.  It seems that a small spill of mercury 
    in a high school resulted in the evacuation of the school until a 
    clean-up was performed.  Students at another school, finding this 
    an interesting way to get some time off, spilled mercury down 
    stairwells, again resulting in evacuation, etc.  This was followed 
    by an accident inwhich a dropped thermometer containing mercury 
    created another problem in a school lab.  To make a long story 
    shorter, the state has offered to perform FREE mercury pick-ups 
    (for residents) to allow non-industrial types to get the stuff off 
    their hands without a disposal problem.
    
    1)  I would like to caution anyone, anywhere, that they may see 
    fit to head-off such problems in advance.  Offer collection points 
    for the stuff, old mercury thermometers, barometers, or other such 
    devices.  Warn people about the liabilities.
    
    2)  Now, the state has to deal with the management of the mercury.  
    Disposal should NOT be an option.  Scrap dealers want paid to 
    manage the mercury.  We figure the material may have more value 
    than that (although we are not looking to make money off this 
    deal).
    
    Can anyone suggest a good way to deal with collected mercury or 
    mercury-containing devices??  (We are looking at mercury lamp 
    recyclers as one possible outlet.)
    
    YOUR help will be greatly appreciated (provided your answer does 
    not involve the use of dead chickens...is anyone feeling 
    hen-pecked?).
    
    Ric