[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

SG-W:/ County mercury thermometer exchange

Title: County mercury thermometer exchange
Washtenaw County residents will have the chance to exchange their mercury thermometers for non-mercury containing thermometers.  As most people on this list serve probably know, there are fish consumption advisories on every Michigan inland lake due to mercury contamination.   Mary Beth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           Media Contact:   Lesia Golden
Date: March 5, 2002                                                                    Media Relations
                                                                                 Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
                                                                                (734) 712-3025

Program to allow public to exchange mercury thermometers.

The Washtenaw County Consortium of Solid Waste Management and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital will partner to offer a mercury thermometer exchange program. The public is invited to bring their mercury thermometers and receive a free non-mercury fever thermometer - one per household.
A total of 1250 thermometers will be available on a first come first served basis. Once the 1250 thermometers are gone, the public will not be able to get a non-mercury thermometer but can still drop off any old mercury thermometers.
The exchange will begin Tuesday, March 19 and will continue daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until all free thermometers have been distributed. Thermometers can be exchanged at two locations: the outpatient pharmacy in the Reichert Health Building at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and at Saint Joseph Mercy Health Stop, the hospital's health education center located in Briarwood Mall.
The program is being funded by the Washtenaw County Consortium for Solid Waste Management, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, the Michigan Health and Hospital Association and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.  "The fact that these four organizations have come together for this program is a demonstration of our commitment to improving the health of our communities," says Jeff Krcmarik, Solid Waste Coordinator for Washtenaw County.
Mercury exposure is associated with many adverse health effects including nervous system and kidney damage and is of particular hazard to pregnant women. Exposure can occur through absorption through the skin, ingestion and inhalation of vapors.
Mercury is also a persistent pollutant in the environment and bioaccumulates in the food chain. At least thirty-nine states have issued fish consumption advisories. The issue is of particular importance in Michigan with fish consumption advisories for all the Great Lakes and virtually all inland lakes.
Mercury reduction has become an important environmental goal. The American Hospital Association and the Environmental Protection Agency have agreed to eliminate the use of mercury in health care by the year 2005. Communities across the nation have banned the sale of mercury thermometers including Boston, San Francisco and Ann Arbor.
"We hope this exchange program will increase the community's awareness regarding the environmental and public health dangers posed by mercury use," adds Pierre Gonyon, Hazardous Materials Specialist with St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.
For more information about the exchange program, please call Jeff Krcmarik at (734) 222-6865.
In addition to the thermometer exchange program, Washtenaw County also offers a Home Toxics Program, which accepts household hazardous waste from Washtenaw County residents. For complete information on the Home Toxics Program, visit
www.co.washtenaw.mi.us/depts/eis/eismercury.html or call (734) 971-7356.      


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)