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Question of the Week: How do you protect children from mercury?

2009 October 5

Exposure to mercury can result from misuse or overuse of mercury-containing products.  Even something that seems as small as a broken thermometer needs to be cleaned up and disposed of properly. October is Children’s Health Month.

How do you protect children from mercury?

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28 Responses leave one →
  1. Jim Adcock permalink
    October 5, 2009

    I protect my children from mercury by lobbying against coal powered electricity — since coal powered electricity causes most of the mercury emissions into the atmosphere! Further, our family personally commits to paying the small premium necessary to purchase 100% Green Electricity, so that none of electricity use causes the emission of mercury. Further, to the extent possible our household is switching from CFLs to LED lighting — we got rid of all our incandescent lighting years ago!

  2. Don permalink
    October 5, 2009

    I do not use CFL bulbs. If they are not in the house (or landfills) then I do not need to worry so much about it.

  3. Jackenson Durand permalink
    October 5, 2009

    We must all understand that the best way to protect our children is not avoid them to expose against Mercury only.
    We have multiple others elements chemistry like: Gases and Metalloids. We have to be aware of all them for a better children heath safety interest.
    Those can never be place on where children can reach them.

  4. M. Ramakrishna Rao permalink
    October 5, 2009

    The children’s life is one of the Mercury . The mercury how to using depended upon users . catch the Mercury but not receive to taken the mercury. any body not caught the mercury . the mercury caught to divided small parts. The children to coveted best thinning side to not strong instruction but slowly and happy to given some example to one of he story type to give to children s.the children mind to broken any kind of solution not their in the world to attaching the children’s mind.

  5. Bgcoffeelover permalink
    October 5, 2009

    The popular use of CFL bulbs as a “Green” alternative is great. Everyone should utilize the CFL technology to reduce electrictiy consumption at the source.
    However, we must utilize care in the event one of the bulbs is broken. They do contain a small amount of mercury to produce the light source.

    Every vendor I have contacted on this has specific guidlines in the event of a borken bulb. You should call the 1-800 number on your source to obtain their guidance.

    Here are a few general rules:
    1. The amount of mercury in a CFL is very small, so do not panic!
    2. Move all children away for the area!
    2. Open doors and windows to allow ventelation to occur and leave the area for a short time.
    3. Be aware that the major cause of injury is the small thin broken glass pieces. Take extra care to move children away until a proper clean-up has occurred.

  6. roz young permalink
    October 5, 2009

    please stop putting thimersol in vaccines and the flu shot.

    stop mountain top removal for easy access of coal in WVA

    stop coal fired plants.

  7. Bgcoffeelover permalink
    October 5, 2009

    Another thought – Educating Kids on the dangers of mercury in our world is really a key point to long term protection and prevention. If our Kids are taught that mercury and other harmful elements should be eliminated from our daily lives. They will propagate this throughout their life. “An ounce of prevention….”

  8. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    October 6, 2009

    I would treat light bulbs and thermometers like medications. Keep them out of the reach of children in high cabinets with locks on the doors. If the bulb or thermometer breaks get children out of the room before starting cleanup and keep them out until clean up is over. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  9. Jim Lallement permalink
    October 6, 2009

    Thimerosol is no longer used in most vaccines and the amount of
    mercury in past vaccines was below threshold limit values.

  10. Johnny R. permalink
    October 6, 2009

    This is so pitiful! All these miniscule adjustments serve only to assuage the worries of parents too busy struggling to make a living to realize the coal-fired power plants go right on pumping out tons of mercury tainted smoke regardless of how many people change their lightbulbs! So the number of children born with autism keeps on rising past the 1% now apparent, onward to ecocide with business as usual! The obvious solution is to close down the coal-fired power plants and convert to solar, wind and bicycle, but that would cost billions and disrupt the daily flow of commerce, not OK (!)

  11. Leslie Scales permalink
    October 6, 2009

    What are “threshold limit values”? And were they calculated for children? (Most EPA standards were not.)

  12. Anonymous permalink
    October 6, 2009

    Even with all the warnings, there are some people who still will only throw out a broken CFL and will not take it to a safe disposal or recycle location. They just can’t see that it matters… how well are children protected when there are holes in the system?

    As far as bulbs with mercury are concerned, I’d like to see a deposit charged for household things (that can harm children), one of which is CFLs, but you get the deposit back when it is taken to a proper recycling place.

    I’m curious: how many tons of mercury CFLs does the EPA allow to be shipped to China for “recycling”? Do the Chinese melt down the smashed bulbs to reclaim the mercury too, like they do other stuff from old computers? It should be illegal to ship American trash overseas.

  13. JTM permalink
    October 7, 2009

    The best way to protect your children from mercury is to first eliminate any possible elemental mercury exposure in the home (such as a thermometer) and most importantly is to follow your state’s fish consumption advisory to protect your child from unwanted methylmercury exposure.

  14. R.Ashok kumar permalink
    October 7, 2009

    It is very simple, do not allow children below 15 years to handle Mercury Thermometers whether in good condition or broken or even useless. Educate them about it and its impact on health grounds.

  15. aardvark_mom permalink
    October 8, 2009

    I hate the idea of being required to use only CFL bulbs. If I had a dollar for every time my son on the autism spectrum has broken a lamp…I could buy a new lamp!

    If we did break one, how do I as a parent and elementary school teacher know that I cleaned it up properly? What about the little drop that I missed? I’m a pretty good teacher but I’m NOT a HAZMAT handler!

    I am planning to stockpile the “old” bulbs. I just don’t know when I need to start.

  16. Jennifer permalink
    October 9, 2009

    I protect my children from mercury by not allowing them to be injected with it.

    Most flu shots, both seasonal and H1N1, come in multi-dose vials. All flu vaccines from multi-dose vials contain 25 mcg of mercury. That’s a lot! By comparison, the amount that is considered “trace” for vaccines is 0.3 mcg.

  17. Mary permalink
    October 10, 2009

    I don’t allow CFL bulbs into my house. The thought of one breaking terrifies me. It’s also very scary that most people do not dispose of them properly.

  18. Anonymous permalink
    October 11, 2009

    What was that?///////////

  19. B. Yomama permalink
    October 11, 2009

    What was that all about? English please.

  20. Jersey Jim permalink
    October 11, 2009

    Yes, resist can I not — to my mind your thought I do not receive quite, I believe? But I disagree to think but strong instruction to KEEP children happy; not slow and happy story! Not?

  21. Emilio Malaguti permalink
    October 12, 2009

    Surely we need to look for substitutes for Mercury in thermometers, in Bulbs and what about in dental amalgams??

  22. Jeff permalink
    October 12, 2009

    “How do you protect your children from Mercury?”

    The Planet – If Mercury remains in its orbit and the earth stays in its orbit, we should be fine.

    The Car – My neighbor owns Mercury and he usually keeps it in his garage. However, when my neighbor forgets to do this and leaves it in his driveway, I make the kids wear long overcoats with asbestos sewn into the lining for protection when they play outside.

    The element – We lost our handles to our set of freezer-pops. I bought 6 mercury thermometers as replacement handles as I thought it would be easier for the kids to determine when the freezer pops were frozen, without bugging me about when they were ready. Anyway, this past summer Emily apparently bit down too hard on her handle and it broke. She cut her lip and smeared her face with the shiny silver stuff that was in the thermometer. The bad news is that now we only have five freezer pop handles.

  23. Matt permalink
    October 14, 2009

    Stop drinking kool-aid. I hear that there is mercury in it!

  24. rattshaman permalink
    October 27, 2009

    It’s quite clear what M. Ramakrishna Rao is saying… Mercury will thin your hair and make your children happy… Difficulty to understanding so why?

  25. wade harter permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I provide protection by not purchasing those new, Al Gore and US gov’t mandated, funny swirl looking light bulbs which are loaded with mercury and are manufactured overseas thereby further destroying USA manufacturing and sending our wealth to China. I suspect not all know what is common to all third world countries. Hint, little or no manufacturing. Why does China now own almost all of our national debt? Another hint, they manufacture almost everything we purchase. Come to think of it mercury may not be such a big issue after all given the gain of China in world domination.

  26. pollutionlobby permalink
    December 23, 2009

    ZOMG! I can’t believe humanity managed to survive until now! Thank [insert divine being that is not the Christian God and preferably some obscure reference to an earth based religious deity] that we now have such wise poeple to lead us away from our ancestor’s ways who were all retarded and autistic because of the evils of coal and other environmental nasties! Wheee!

  27. CFLHater permalink
    December 23, 2009

    I throw away CFLs. The more the better. Make things bad so they get rid of the darn things. Why take it to a recycling center when the trash can is so close?

  28. daniel seasholtz permalink
    December 18, 2010

    I contacted you last year about lead and turbulance in the local water supplies and of course got the runaround. To make it simple! are you telling doctors not to test for lead&other toxic chemicals? The pottstown 2008 annual water quality report failed on lead and they forgot to check for arcnic&cyinied! Young and old people are not to drink the water at all! If someone is to take chemo theropy they are supposed to consult there doctor before taking any tests! your warning in the report states that anyone using pottstown water/suppling several other citities/has to run the water for five minuetes be for drinking and also even small amounts of these toxins can result of getting/diabeties,high blood pressure,cancer and Blue baby! I have all the above. also in the “PA> STATE FISH&GAME REPORT!” The tri state area is contaminated with”PCB’S&MERCURY!” A local company was sued for acid dipping metal parts and coating with lead/crome plating/ but no one was told about the water! And when a pottstown water treatetment employee blew the whistle he was fired! Then pottstown was sued by the NAACP<FEDREAL GOVERNMENT/whistle blowers act/and the local union! There has not! been a water quality report released since! and when I when to the pottstown bouro they said mabey next year! Also a Icinerator was instaled at the limerick power plant and the state "EPA!" approved the permit! "JUST ANOTHER NAIL IN MY COFFIN!" "THANKS ALOT FOR BEEING ON THE BALL!" BY the time You recieve this message I will proably be on the wrong side of the green grass! I am sixty plus years and this grey panther is a bit upset! "HAVE A NICE DAY!"

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