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Letter to the Editor: Danger of mercury



I have been aware that mercury is dangerous, but I didn't know how dangerous until I began to try to find a way for all of us to dispose of our worn out compact fluorescent bulbs and some (if not all) of the new batteries.

The greatest focus by environmental quality groups has been on the mercury emitted by industries, topped in amount by coal-fired power plants. Mercury floats around with the rest of the air until it settles to the bottom of some lakes and streams. One of those noted locally is Joe's Valley reservoir.

But mercury is commonly used in many other things. So there has been some attempt to dispose of certain car parts, mercury thermometers of all kinds, etc.

However, if your compact bulb goes out or your new type flashlight battery that has mercury in it and doesn't work anymore you have to drive to Salt Lake or at least to Payson (where a certain hardware store collects them for disposal) to safely get rid of them. There is no place in Emery or Carbon county or further south to do that.

As more people use more of these bulbs and batteries (and they are good to use) they will be put with all the other trash to poison land and air.

Everyone has to become more aware of this and work together to establish a means of safe disposal.

To get some information about mercury and what is being done about it, contact the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and then decide what to do to use these items but keep all of us safe.

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