are natural and human-made sources of mercury in our environment. Natural
sources of mercury are found in soils and rocks, forest fires and volcanic
eruptions. More than half of the mercury in the environment comes from human
sources such as burning coal to create electricity, burning trash, and improper
disposal at landfills. Burning coal and trash releases mercury in the form of
gas and particles into the air. Rain and snow bring mercury in the air back to
the earth’s surface. Improper disposal causes
get into the water and soil.
Humans are exposed to mercury through their diet, absorption, or through the
inhalation of toxic elemental mercury fumes. Brief exposure may cause:
coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea and bronchitis. Long-term
exposure may cause: loss of muscle control, memory loss, central nervous system
damage and kidney disease.
Mercury sources in the home and the
What to Do if a Mercury Thermometer Breaks? Cleaning up A Mercury Spill (EPA)
To dispose of old mercury thermostats, it is
recommended that a local thermostat collection site be utilized.
Local thermostat collection sites