Mercury and Mercury Thermometer Information







Mercury Facts


Mercury Fever Thermometers (PDF)



Non - Mercury Thermometers



Mercury Automobile Switch Removal Program



Dental Mercury Programs



Mercury Thermometer Collections Calendar



Planning a Mercury Thermometer Collection Event



Elemental Mercury Removal Assistance



Cleaning Up Small Mercury Spills



Recycling Mercury Thermostats



Mercury Recovery Facilities



Fluorescent Lamp Recyclers






Other Mercury Related Web Sites



Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF



  Mercury Facts

 The element and the environmental concerns.

 Mercury is a naturally occurring element in nature that is toxic to humans and wildlife. It is particularly harmful when products containing mercury are spilled, discarded down drains or incinerated as waste. Once mercury is released into the air it will fall back to the ground in rain and snow, contaminating soils and water bodies. Bacteria in aquatic ecosystems can convert mercury to organic methylmercury – a potent neurotoxin – that bioaccumulates (builds up) in organisms and becomes more concentrated as it travels up the food chain, where it can accumulate in the tissues of fish and shellfish. Consumption of contaminated fish is a significant health concern leading to fish consumption advisories in most states, including Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have advised pregnant women, women of childbearing age who may become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children to check local advisories about the safety of fish caught in local lakes, rivers and coastal areas. According to a February 2004 EPA analysis, 630,000 of the 4 million American babies born each year are at risk of impaired motor function, learning disabilities, memory and vision due to the high levels of mercury in their bloodstream.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection participates in different programs and strategies to monitor, reduce and prevent mercury from entering the environment. To learn more about the effects of mercury, programs Pennsylvania is involved with, or what you can do for the safe handling and disposal of mercury containing products use the links provided.

Top of the page

If you have any additional questions after reading the information given, please call the Division of Hazardous Waste Management at 717-787-6239.

Energy and Technology Development