Mercury Exposure

A late in the day news item spurs this posting on antiques and potential mercury exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that antique or vintage items such as clocks, barometers, mirrors and lamps, are liable to mercury releases. Apparently the problem arises when seals age and these items are dropped, damaged or moved improperly. The CDC study cites six case reports of antique-related mercury releases in New York state between 2000 and 2006. Although none of these spills resulted in symptoms or acute health effects, the CDC notes that they required remediation to prevent future mercury exposure. The agency says the findings underscore the need for caution when handling antiques containing elemental mercury and the need for proper remediation of spills. We’ve heard of exposure to mercury  from eating fish, but could this  be something to watch? For further info on mercury  check out  the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) site.

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