mercury

A Global Approach to Managing the Holidays’ Hottest Gadgets

Discarded televisions being weighed before recycling in Taiwan

By Panah Bhalla

As we begin our holiday shopping this year, it is hard not to notice how important electric and electronic devices have become in our everyday lives. But with their welcomed constant upgrades, we have to figure out what to do with these products when they stop working or become outdated “e-waste”. As was mentioned by a previous blogger, electronic devices can contain valuable resources such as copper, gold, and silver. But they can also contain harmful materials such as lead and mercury that can pollute the environment and affect human health. A study I read recently estimated that e-waste could increase by 700% over the next 15 years. This growth presents a particular risk for developing countries, where impoverished communities dismantle old appliances and electronics by hand and without adequate safety precautions in order to make money from the scrap metal inside. In addition to the supply of old devices from their own countries, the growing stream of e-waste that ends up in developing nations around the world includes items that were purchased, used, and disposed of in countries like the United States.

Last month I participated in a workshop in Taiwan on how to manage e-waste in an environmentally sound manner. I joined representatives from 13 countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Nigeria, Ghana, El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago. The bulk of the workshop focused on the recycling system in Taiwan, where fees from producers and importers of new electronics are used to subsidize the safe recycling of e-waste. From the outset, participants asked detailed questions, wanting to know all the intricacies of the fee-based system.

As I watched the discussions unfold, I realized that this workshop was a perfect example of why the President’s National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship charged EPA to work with developing countries on safe e-waste management. At this workshop, we were all working towards the common goal of reducing threats to health and the environment while maintaining economic opportunities for individuals involved in recycling. Nobody had all of the answers, but everybody was learning from each other and identifying new strategies they could implement back home. At the end of the week, we decided to create a formal network to help us share our experiences on an ongoing basis. It is clear that the pollution and health threats associated with e-waste recycling are significant, but by taking a collaborative international approach like this, we all stand to benefit. As we shop for family and friends this holiday season, we can feel confident that the global community is working together to address the challenge of recycling these gadgets safely.

To learn more about my work visit

About the author: Panah Bhalla works in the Office of International and Tribal Affairs as the lead on e-waste issues for the Asia-Pacific and Latin American/Caribbean regions. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management and lives in Washington, D.C.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Cutting Mercury and Protecting America's Children

by Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

From historic efforts to cut pollution from American automobiles to strong measures to prevent power plant pollution from crossing state lines, 2011 was already a banner year for clean air and the health of the American people. And the EPA is closing out the year with our biggest clean air protection yet.

Last week, we finalized the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, a rule that will protect millions of families and, especially, children from air pollution. Before this rule, there were no national standards that limited the amount of mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel and acid gases power plants across the country could release into the air we breathe. Mercury is a neurotoxin that is particularly harmful to children, and emissions of mercury and other air toxics have been linked to damage to developing nervous systems, respiratory illnesses and other diseases. MATS will require power plants to install emissions controls that will also reduce particle pollution, which has been linked to premature death and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

As a result, MATS will provide between $37 billion and $90 billion in health benefits for the American people. Once the rule is fully implemented in 2016, it will prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 cases of aggravated asthma among children between six and 18 years old.

That last point is especially significant to me as a mother. I understand the importance of MATS in very profound ways, because both of my sons have struggled with asthma. Fifteen years ago, my youngest son spent his first Christmas in the hospital fighting to breathe. Like any parent of a child with asthma, I can tell you that the benefits of clean air protections like MATS are not just statistics and abstract concepts.

What we’re really talking about with all those numbers above are pregnant mothers who can rest a little easier knowing their children won’t be exposed to harmful levels of mercury in critical development stages. We are talking about reducing the levels of mercury in the fish that we and our kids eat every day. We are talking about future generations growing up healthier because there is less toxic pollution in the air they breathe.

Find out how MATS will protect health in your state.

What we’re also talking about with MATS are thousands of new opportunities for American workers. Not only will MATS provide health benefits that far outweigh the costs of compliance, it will also support jobs and innovation for our economy.

To meet the MATS standards over the next several years, many power plants will have to upgrade their operations with modern and widely available pollution control technology. There are about 1,100 coal-fired units that are covered by MATS, and about 40 percent do not use advanced pollution controls to limit emissions. Increased demand for scrubbers and other advanced pollution controls will mean increased business for American companies that lead the way in producing pollution control technology.

But that’s just the start. Power plants making upgrades will need workers to build, install, operate and maintain the pollution controls. As the CEO of one of the largest coal-burning utilities in the country recently said about cutting emissions by installing pollution control technology, “Jobs are created in the process – no question about that.” The EPA estimates that the demands for workers will support 46,000 short-term construction jobs and 8,000 long-term jobs.

The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will protect millions of families and children from harmful and costly air pollution, provide the American people with health benefits that far outweigh the costs of compliance, and support job creation and innovation that are good for our economy. Families across the country – including my own – will benefit from the simple fact of being able to breathe cleaner air. That is what environmental protection and the work of the EPA is all about.

In this holiday season as we gather with our friends and families, Americans can take pride in the gift of clean air. Our children and future generations will have healthier air to breathe because of MATS and this historic year for clean air protection.

About the author: Lisa P. Jackson is the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Find out more about how MATS works:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx0vvn_Wn8o&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Telling the Truth About the Environment and Our Economy

This is cross-posted from The Huffington Post

By Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

It’s a certainty in Washington that lobbyist talking points and inside-the-beltway speeches are going to be overblown and exaggerated. But lately, misleading claims about the EPA’s work have been making their way into the mainstream debate.

The most notable is an industry report that the EPA is responsible for an unprecedented “train wreck” of clean air standards that will lead to the mass closure of power plants. The “train wreck” claim has been repeated by everyone from congressional leaders to major newspapers. It sounds pretty scary, but the trouble with these reports — there is no “train wreck.”

Earlier this month a Congressional Research Service report concluded that industry’s claims were made “before EPA proposed most of the rules whose impacts they analyze,” and are based on “more stringent requirements than EPA proposed in many cases.”

On the issue of plant closures, I take the word of industry leaders like the Chairman and CEO of Exelon Corporation, who said “These regulations will not kill coal… up to 50% of retirements are due to the current economics of the plant due to natural gas and coal prices.” The Congressional Research Service report also found that EPA’s standards will primarily affect “coal-fired plants more than 40 years old that have not, until now, installed state-of-the-art pollution controls.” That echoed the remarks of the CEO of American Electric Power from April of this year: “We’ve been quite clear that we fully intend to retire the 5,480 megawatts of our overall coal fleet because they are less efficient and have not been retrofitted in any particular way.”

This is just one example from the larger debate over the EPA’s effect on the economy. That’s an important debate when job creation is our nation’s top priority, and that makes it all the more troubling to see the EPA attacked for measures we haven’t actually proposed, and to hear our fundamental responsibility of protecting the health and environment for all Americans targeted as an enemy of job creation.

Some in Washington are working to weaken safeguards and undermine laws that protect our families from pollution that causes asthma, cancer and other illnesses, especially in children. Big polluters are lobbying congress for loopholes to use our air and water as dumping grounds. The result won’t be more jobs; it will be more mercury in our air and water and more health threats to our kids. As a senior official from the Bush EPA recently wrote, “Abolishing the EPA will not cause a revival of America’s economy, but it will certainly result in a major decline in public health and our quality of life.”

It’s time for a real conversation about protecting our health and the environment while growing our economy. EPA’s 40 years of environmental and health protection demonstrate our nation’s ability to create jobs while we clean our air, water and land.

When big polluters distort EPA’s proposals as a drag on our economy, they ignore the fact that clean air, clear water and healthy workers are all essential to American businesses.

They also overlook the innovations in clean technology that are creating new jobs right now. The CEO of Michigan’s Clean Light Green Light recently said, “EPA has opened the doors to innovation and new economic opportunities. By spurring entrepreneurs who have good ideas and the drive to work hard, the EPA has helped give rise to countless small businesses in clean energy, advanced lighting, pollution control and more, which in turn are creating jobs.”

It’s time to recognize that delays of long-expected health standards leave companies uncertain about investing in clean infrastructure, environmental retrofits, and the new workers needed to do those jobs. These are potential opportunities for engineers and scientists, as well as pipefitters, welders and steelworkers. Pledges to weaken or slow proposed standards, many of which have been developed over years and with industry input, prevent businesses from investing in those jobs.

Some leaders in congress have already stated their intent to roll back critical environmental protections when they return to session. Misleading claims are translating into actions that could dismantle clean air standards that protect our families from mercury, arsenic, smog and carbon dioxide. All of this is happening despite the evidence of history, despite the evidence of Congress’ own objective Research Service, and despite the need for job creation strategies that go well beyond simply undermining protections for our health, our families and our communities.

Telling the truth about our economy and our environment is about respecting the priorities of the American people. More than 70 percent of Americans want EPA to continue to do its job effectively. Those same Americans want to see a robust economic recovery. We have the capacity to do both things if we don’t let distractions keep us from the real work of creating jobs.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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An Eye-Opening Fish Story

Lake near Bald Mountain, Adirondacks. Photo by Danny Hart

Lake near Bald Mountain, Adirondacks. Photo by Danny Hart

By Danny Hart

For the past few weeks I’ve been planning my vacation to the Adirondack Mountains in Northern New York. I’ve decided to recapture some of the childhood pleasure of trout fishing. As kids, my siblings and I learned “spin casting” as opposed to the more artistic “fly casting” method of fishing; though my grandfather tied his own flies and could fly cast, we didn’t inherit that skill.

As the time to depart for vacation nears, the excitement grows and I share my anticipation with coworkers. Last week, one asked from across our cubicle which lake I was visiting. I mentioned the name of the lake and she replied, “You know you can’t eat trout from that lake”. I couldn’t believe it! She showed me a website for New York waters and the health risks associated with eating fish from various lakes. I couldn’t fathom why I wouldn’t be able to eat fish from a pristine, crystal clear lake! “DDT” she said, and lakes around the area were limited to one fish per month, one! Why? “Mercury” she said.

In that moment, the vision I had in my head of untouched natural wonder transformed to polluted, man-effected potential hazard. How could this be? How could these waters so far from industry have been changed? I realized then, that we are all connected in some way…that the smoke stacks in the Midwest directly affect the water and air quality of once-untouched waterways hundreds of miles away. The winds carry heavy metals and drop them in the form of rain. The DDT came from some other source, which is a mystery on that particular lake to this day.

Once I realized the connection I wanted to know more about this issue. I found out EPA recently finalized what is called the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which will prevent smoke stack pollution like mercury and other toxics from traveling long-distances and polluting what should be pristine lakes. The agency is also developing mercury and air toxics standards that will go a long way to cut mercury — and other harmful pollution — from our environment, so that maybe one day my kids (and their kids) will have an opportunity to fish in these lakes.

So, next week we’ll boat and swim in the lake. But we won’t fish. To safely fish, we’ll have to drive to another lake. We’re lucky, because there are other lakes in the area where eating the fish is still safe. For now.

About the author: Danny Hart has been with EPA since 2006. He’s the Associate Director of Web Communications.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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In Celebration of World Environment Day

By Michelle DePass

June 5 marks World Environment Day, reminding us that pollution knows no national boundaries; mercury is found in fish from the Gulf Coast to the Arctic, airborne particulates travel thousands of miles, and environmental impacts are felt by people across the globe, from Alaskan Native Villages to urban centers in Kenya and Indonesia. On World Environment Day, I am glad to be the messenger for EPA as we recognize efforts around the world to provide people with access to clean, safe, healthy places to live, work, learn and play.

EPA’s six international priorities aim to expand our partnerships in key areas so we can share the techniques we’re using here at home, and learn from our partners around the world. To commemorate World Environment Day, I am glad to highlight our partnerships and priorities in action:

To combat climate change, EPA is leading an initiative to help mitigate black carbon from diesel emissions in the Arctic; and is working with UNEP to help support community adaptation to strained water resources in South Asia.

Michelle DePass visiting with a local community in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Michelle DePass visiting with a local community in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Last year I visited communities in Jakarta, Indonesia where I saw children struggling to breathe in heavy smog conditions. To help, we’ve launched a program, Breathe Easy, Jakarta, which will serve as a model for how cities around the world can improve urban air quality.

To expand access to clean water, we are teaming up with the International Water Association to improve water and sanitation programs in urban areas across Africa.

We are working with Argonne Labs in order to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals by supporting the installation of EPA developed Mercury Capture Systems inside gold shops, which reduce exposure to mercury by up to 80 percent!

Administrator Jackson and Michelle DePass with their counterparts from Mexico and Canada at the 2010 CEC Council session in Guanajuato, Mexico

Administrator Jackson and Michelle DePass with their counterparts from Mexico and Canada at the 2010 CEC Council Session in Guanajuato, Mexico

We collaborated with Canada and Mexico to launch a new North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action through the Commission on Environmental Cooperation to support on-the-ground projects and our joint efforts help build strong environmental institutions and legal structures.

As part of a U.S. Government strategy to promote electronics stewardship, we are cleaning up e-waste with the United Nations University’s StEP Initiative by expanding our cooperation with China and nations in West Africa and improving data on e-waste flows from the US.

Linking our domestic and international efforts is essential to meet our goals for healthier communities and greener

Workers Administrator Jackson and Michelle DePass met at an electronic waste processing facility in Guiyu, China

Workers Administrator Jackson and Michelle DePass met at an electronic waste processing facility in Guiyu, China

economies in today’s globalized world. At EPA, we are proud to join our international partners on World Environment Day, to promote positive

About the author: Michelle DePass, Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs, US EPA.  Michelle DePass has spent her career working to support environmental progress here at home and around the world, at EPA she remains committed to expanding the conversation on environmentalism and ensuring access to clean, safe and healthy communities.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.


Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Protecting the Public from Power Plant Air Toxics

By Ellen Kurlansky

I will admit that there were times in the past decade and one-half that I feared we would never reduce toxic emissions from power plants . Last month, EPA proposed a regulation to reduce emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. These plants are a very large source of these pollutants, which along with mercury include other metals such as arsenic and cadmium, and acid gases such as hydrogen chloride and hydrogen cyanide. The regulation, called the Power Plant Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will have tremendous benefits for public health. It is expected to prevent between 6,800 and 17,000 premature deaths, 11,000 heart attacks, 120,000 asthma attacks, and 850,000 lost work days every year beginning in 2016.

The regulations had been long delayed, first because the studies that were required by the Clean Air Act took us longer than Congress had envisioned and then because the EPA took a tack during the last administration that was resoundingly rejected by the Court. But finally, in 2009 we set out to develop the regulation. One of our managers’ guiding principles was that the regulations adhere closely to the requirements of the Clean Air Act so that if it is challenged in the courts we will prevail and the benefits to public health will not be further delayed.

Many power plants in the US operate today with modern pollution controls. But many do not. Cost effective technology to control air pollution is available and proven. The Mercury and Air Toxics standard will mean that all coal- and oil-fired plants will need to limit their air emissions.

Developing this proposal was a massive undertaking involving staff from many offices at EPA. It required teams of engineers, economists, lawyers, and scientists. We had a hard deadline of March 16 ordered by the Court and so toward the end everyone was working evenings, weekends, pretty much all the time. I was struck, however, by the good humor and even excitement exhibited by most of the staff throughout those last busy days. I think people felt really good knowing that the regulation would be so important to improving public health. I personally felt very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of that.

About the author: Ms. Kurlansky is a policy analyst in the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.  She has broad experience in environmental and energy policy gained from work at other EPA offices and at other government agencies, non-profit organizations, and as a consultant.  Ms. Kurlansky, who was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, has a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Economics.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Science Wednesday: Learning to Keep Children Healthy

As parents, we all want what’s best for our children and like to see them grow healthy. I have taught my daughters to wash their hands, eat nutritious meals, wear protective equipment when practicing sports, and to wear sun block. Now that they are teenagers, I talk to them about the dangers of smoking, drinking and drugs, and of course…boys. However, working for the EPA has given me an increased awareness about another set of dangers—environmental exposures.

In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on protecting children from environmental contaminants and learning how the differences in behavior and physiology affect their exposures. I remember as a child playing with mercury, pouring it on the floor and pushing the silver blobs around with my fingers to form a bigger blob. We didn’t know it was bad for us, and neither did our parents.

Since then, the potential health effects from exposure to mercury and other toxic chemicals such as lead, arsenic, and pesticides have become the focus of environmental policies. We have also learned that diet is an important route of exposure to pesticides and other substances in the environment.

But, why are children a concern and how are their exposures different from those of adults?

Children’s organ systems are still developing and they may be more susceptible to environmental exposures. Their behavior and habits can also put children at higher risks. We have learned that contaminants can be deposited in toys and objects that children put in their mouth. Contaminants can also find their way into the milk of lactating mothers. Another example: on average, children younger than one year old inhale approximately six times the amount of air by body weight than an adult.

I love that my job helps me learn about keeping my kids healthy. But, even if you don’t work here, EPA has developed lots of useful information to share. Our Children’s Health Protection web site is a great place to start if you are looking for generalized information. One source I’ve been involved with, the Highlights for the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook, provides risk assessors, economists, and others a wealth of data and EPA recommendations on exposure factors needed to estimate childhood exposure to toxic contaminants.

image of author sitting at deskAbout the author: Jacqueline Moya is a chemical engineer with EPA’s Office of Research and Development. She has been with EPA for 25 years. Her work focuses on increasing our understanding about exposure to susceptible populations.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Science Wednesday: Aprendiendo a Mantener a los Niños Saludables

Como padres, todos queremos lo que es mejor para nuestros hijos y nos gusta verlos crecer sanos. Le he enseñado a mis hijas a lavarse las manos, comer comidas nutritivas, usar equipo protector cuando practican deportes y a usar protector solar. Ahora que son adolescentes, les hablo sobre los peligros del fumar, beber y usar drogas y claro… de los varones. Sin embargo, trabajando para la EPA me ha dado una mayor conciencia acerca de otros peligros — exposiciones a contaminantes ambientales.

En los últimos años, ha habido un mayor énfasis en la protección de los niños contra los riesgos a la exposición a contaminantes ambientales y aprender cómo las diferencias de comportamiento y la fisiología afectan a esos riesgos. Recuerdo cuando era niña jugaba con mercurio, lo vertía sobre el suelo y con mis dedos empujaba las pequeñas bolitas plateadas hasta formar bolitas más grandes. Ni nuestros padres ni nosotros sabíamos que era malo para la salud.

Desde entonces, los posibles efectos en la salud debido a la exposición al mercurio y otros productos químicos tóxicos como el plomo, arsénico y pesticidas, han impulsado las políticas ambientales. Hemos aprendido que la dieta es una ruta importante de exposición a pesticidas y otras sustancias en el medio ambiente.

Pero, ¿por qué son los niños una preocupación y cómo se diferencian de los adultos? Los sistemas del organismo de los niños están en desarrollo y pueden ser más susceptibles a la exposición a compuestos ambientales. El comportamiento de los niños y sus hábitos también pueden ponerlos a mayores riesgo de exposición. Hemos aprendido que los contaminantes pueden ser depositados en los juguetes y objetos que los niños llevan a su boca. Los contaminantes también pueden ser encontrados en la leche de madres lactantes. Otro ejemplo: en promedio, los niños menores de uno año inhalan aproximadamente seis veces la cantidad de aire por el peso corporal que un adulto.

Me encanta que mi trabajo me ayuda a aprender acerca de mantener a mis hijos sanos. Pero si no trabaja aqui, EPA ha desarrollado mucha información útil que comparte con el público en general. Nuestra página cibernética para la Protección de la Salud de los Niños es un buen sitio para comenzar si quiere buscar información en general. Una fuente de información en la que he estado envuelta es el informe titulado Highlights for the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook, que provee a los analistas de riesgo, economistas, y otros con información sobre factores de exposición necesarios para estimar la exposición de los niños a los contaminantes tóxicos.

image of author sitting at deskSobre el autor: Jacqueline Moya es una ingeniera química con la Oficina de Investigación y Desarrollo. Ha trabajado en EPA por 25 años. Su trabajo se concentra en aumentar nuestro entendimiento sobre la exposición en las poblaciones susceptibles.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Don’t Mess with Mercury

A recent snowboarding trip one long weekend was cut short when my cell phone rang and my boss asked if I’d be willing to go to Phoenix. “There’s been a mercury spill in a high school near Phoenix,” he said. “Another one?” I asked. Just one week before, my colleague was sent to Calexico, California to help respond to a mercury spill in a school and help the on-scene coordinator and school district handle the situation. “Yep,” he said. “We got another one.”

I packed up my belongings and headed to Avondale, a Phoenix suburb. I arrived at Agua Fria High School to find emergency responders staged in the “black box” (the school’s drama room) to screen potentially contaminated belongings.

Mercury spills are an immediate health danger. At Agua Fria, a couple of boys got their hands on mercury and split it up into jars and went to their final class of the day.

Emergency responders identified exposed students and retraced their steps to find all potentially contaminated areas. Two buses and five classrooms were contaminated and cleaned up. The 1,700-student high school was closed for three days.

A “lumex” is used to screen for mercury – it looks like a first generation ghost buster (think Igor’s prototype) with a high-pitched whine that could make anyone crazy.

Imagine: you’re a high school student; you find silver liquid that looks cool and beads up like oil in water when you touch it. You bring it to class, throw some at that girl you like, play with it in the locker room, take it home to show your little sister. Now your school’s been closed, EPA officials, the local fire department and the police department are questioning you and pretty much everyone you know. How much did you have? Where did you go? What have you touched? Where are the clothes you were wearing? Do you feel sick?

Two families had to be relocated while their homes were being cleaned up and some students didn’t get some of their belongings back because they were too contaminated to clean up. Those favorite pair of sneakers? Gone. The iPod you got for your birthday? Gone. That sweatshirt you’ve had forever? Gone.

Interestingly enough, a lot of people thought it wasn’t a big deal. Some said they used to play with mercury as children and were fine. There are always arguments about how things used to be done. Sometimes these arguments start with, “In my day…” The best answer I always come up with is that we didn’t know then what we know now.

Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin, it’s poisonous.  Don’t mess with mercury.

About the Author: Margot Perez-Sullivan works in the EPA’s Public Affairs Office in San Francisco handling media relations in Arizona, Nevada and the Navajo Nation. She has also worked for the agency in the Boston and Washington DC offices.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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

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?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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