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Re: mercury disposition




I agree. As much as possible we need to push for lower mercury levels and
the use of products that don't contain any mercury.

As for the argument that recycling is counter-productive, I believe it is a
matter of scale. Recycling mercury might not come to a zero-sum equation,
as we would hope, because people are still using mercury. However, it does
reduce the amount of mercury "mined" which, in turn, limits the amount of
mercury "making the rounds." That is, no (or little) new mercury is
entering the system (or the cycle, if you will). In addition, mercury that
is discarded enters the environment and pollutes the air. Mercury that is
recycled does not. Therefore, while not a zero-sum equation it is the
closest we can come to it for now. Nonetheless, we must constantly push
toward the no tolerance for mercury stance.

I see a bigger obstacle than resistance to recycling. I see members of the
medical community who insist that mercury thermometers give better readings
than digital as the largest barrier to moving the publics we serve toward a
sensitivity to mercury issues. Some will say that if the medical community
isn't worried about the issue, I shouldn't be either.

I will not debate the merits of mercury thermometers vs. digital--I am not
a doctor and I do not play one on TV. However, the resistance of a large
segment of the population to accept the non-mercury alternative hurts our
cause. Of course, some of those professionals are also standing on the
hospital roof smoking away. Go figure.

Phil Rooney
Public Health Educator II
LLCHD
3140 N Street
Lincoln, NE 68510

(402) 441-8644




                                                                                                                                        
                      Kelly Moran                                                                                                       
                      <kmoran@tdcenviron        To:       p2tech@great-lakes.net                                                        
                      mental.com>               cc:                                                                                     
                      Sent by:                  Subject:  Re: mercury disposition                                                       
                      owner-p2tech@great                                                                                                
                      -lakes.net                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                        
                      03/09/2004 04:00                                                                                                  
                      PM                                                                                                                
                      Please respond to                                                                                                 
                      Kelly Moran                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                        




The fundamental question inherent in this discussion is whether it is
appropriate for agencies seeking to reduce or eliminate use of mercury
products to tell people disposing of unwanted mercury that the most
environmentally sound disposal method involves recycling of mercury into
new mercury-containing products.  When I've had to tell residents and
businesses that the fate of the mercury they are removing is that it
will be recycled into new mercury-containing products, they have laughed
and then become discouraged as to whether their personal efforts will
have a meaningful environmental benefit.  These reactions don't help the
effort to reduce human and environmental exposures to mercury.

If the goal is to avoid use of mercury containing products, it doesn't
seem logical to encourage recycling for reuse.  It would be great to be
able to point to another environmentally sound alternative.

Kelly Moran
TDC Environmental

Sue Schauls wrote:

>Check out the Wisconsin DNR's mercury information website - it is the best
>resources on the web in my opinion:
>http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/cea/assistance/mercury/thermostat/contractor.htm

>
>Then look at the Thermostat Recycling Corporation's free service at
>http://www.nema.org/index_nema.cfm/664
>The Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC), a not-for-profit corporation
>owned by three NEMA member companies, facilitates the collection by HVAC
>wholesalers from contractors of all brands of used, wall-mounted
>mercury-switch thermostats so that the mercury can be purified for re-use.
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Kathy Barwick" <KBarwick@dtsc.ca.gov>
>To: <p2tech@great-lakes.net>
>Cc: "Mary Pride" <mkpride@dtsc.ca.gov>
>Sent: Tuesday, March 09, 2004 11:39 AM
>Subject: mercury disposition
>
>
>
>
>>Hi everyone. I'm working on a SEP where we expect the facility to change
>>out mercury switches containing a total of 30 to 50 pounds of mercury.
>>I'm wondering if we should be specifying anything in the settlement
>>requiring the facility to ensure the mercury that is removed is
>>sequestered or otherwise taken out of commerce.
>>
>>What are we (p2 community) telling people to do with the mercury we're
>>removing from the environment?
>>
>>Thanks much for any assistance. . .
>>
>>Kathy Barwick
>>Sacramento Region Pollution
>>    Prevention Coordinator
>>Dept. of Toxic Substances Control
>>(916) 255-6421
>>fax (916) 255-3595
>>
>>
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>>
>
>
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