|Mercury Pollution PreventionIn the event of an emergency contact:|
Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
Michigan Department of Community Health: 1-800-648-6942
For decades, Mercury (Hg),has been a pollutant of concern due to its toxic and bioaccumulative properties. In aquatic systems mercury is often converted into methylmercury (the organic form of mercury) which is bioaccumulated and magnified up the aquatic food chain. This poses a risk to humans and wildlife that consume fish in contaminated waterways and all of Michigan waterways have been classified as mercury contaminated. Steps can be taken to reduce mercury spills and emissions. Pollution Prevention (P2) is the elimination and/or reduction of mercury at its source and not release it to the environment. Mercury pollution prevention activities include product design, process modifications and technology changes but the most powerful and simple action is the purchasing of mercury-free alternatives. The programmable thermostat (pictured left) is an easy P2 substitute for the older mercury-containing device (pictured right). In instances where no viable mercury-free alternative exists, such as in fluorescent lamps, employing best management practices of mercury items is the preferred approach. Recycling of all mercury items no longer needed protects the environment also. Recycling sites are listed under Disposal below.
DEQ Mercury Home Page