EPA discovers new mercury isotope?

The federal government is taking steps to remove mercury thermometers from use, reports the Baltimore Sun.

The EPA is quoted as follows:

“Due to elemental mercury’s high toxicity, EPA seeks to reduce potential mercury exposures to humans and the environment by reducing the overall use of mercury-containing products, including mercury-containing thermometers.”

This policy, however, apparently doesn’t apply to mercury-containing compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), to which the EPA has given its ENERGY STAR rating.

Although the mercury in CFLs requires a 3-page set of EPA-issued safety instructions for CFL clean-up, it is apparently a new and distinct form of mercury — i.e., a politically correct isotope. Call it HgPC.

8 thoughts on “EPA discovers new mercury isotope?”

  1. I used to work in the chemical industry. When I talk of the toxins I have dealt with in my life, to my wife, I always mention that my mercury exposure was always with elemental, liquid, mercury… pitot gauges, thermometers, switchs and weight measures. Not mercuric compounds… Thank God.
    “(liquid metallic mercury) is poorly absorbed by ingestion and skin contact… Cases of systemic toxicity from accidental swallowing are rare, and attempted suicide via intravenous injection does not appear to result in systemic toxicity” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_poisoning#Elemental_mercury

    We just had a party where some kids broke a CFL bulb in the basement where they were all playing…

    Think about it… for 47 watts… think about it…

    Sincerely…. Jeff

  2. So who wrote the safety instructions, who approved them, and what scientific study(s), documenting air concentrations of mercury, did they use to come up with the instructions?

  3. Let me get this straight… it is quite ok for homeowners to have to use all those new style ‘green’ electric light bulbs containing mercury, God forbid… but harmless mercury thermometers are no longer ok?

    Wow… which ‘green’ public servant came up with that one?

  4. Yeah, it’s not that bad, bad GASEOUS Mercury that’s the problem – it’s that relatively benign and pretty harmless LIQUID Mercury that is so awful – because…uhm…because….oh wait, where was I going with this?

  5. So, EPA believes that elemental mercury is so toxic you don’t want to be even separated by glass? If it is so toxic why aren’t a great number of us who played with quicksilver, used it to “silver” pennies and other deadly things 50 years ago dead? And here I thought methyl mercury and Hg(CN)2 were much more deadly than Hg. Wonder if I can get a refund on my chemistry degrees.

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