There were no letters to the editor submitted for the week of May 14, 2001.
To the Editor,
Exposure to mercury is a very serious health threat because it stays in your system a lifetime. This silver liquidized metal causes damage to the liver, brain, and developing fetuses. Mercury is found in fish tissues, thermometers, barometers, and dental fillings. Currently, there is a bill (S555) that will change the amount of exposure to mercury that is safe for pregnant women and young children. I encourage you to speak to your local representatives about the Mercury-Safe Seafood Act.
I would also like to thank the Fillmore County residents that brought in mercury thermometers for exchange during the week of April 23rd. Fillmore County Public Health was only supposed to distribute 40 digital thermometers, which were all gone in first day of the program. We then received a second shipment of 72 thermometers that lasted until April 27, 2001. In total, 112 thermometers were given out and 151 were taken in for hazardous waste disposal. When community members came in to drop off the thermometers they were asked to complete a 10-question survey. The majority of Fillmore County residents have not been exposed to a broken mercury thermometer and did not know how to clean up mercury and dispose of it properly. In addition, the people of Fillmore County who participated in the mercury thermometer exchange had minimal risks from mercury exposure due to consumption of fish. Please look for further opportunities to dispose of your mercury thermometers in the near future. If you have any questions about mercury please contact me at 507-765-3898.
Brenda Leigh Waege, MPH
Fillmore County Health Educator