Fighting mercury pollution in Lake Erie

Mercury is a toxic substance that can damage the brain, heart, and lungs, and cause brain damage in children and fetuses when it gets into water and is consumed by our food sources then eaten by us (Source: EPA). Mercury pollution in Lake Erie has been a hot topic for years. The pollution comes from a wide variety of sources, some of which are from our homes. For instance, we know old thermometers have mercury in them; that’s why they aren’t on drugstore shelves anymore. This and other measures have been taken reducing mercury in our ecosystem. But did you know fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) have mercury in them? CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps)—the popular, energy-efficient, coil-type bulbs you likely have in your home—contain mercury vapor. You can be a part of the solution to mercury pollution. To keep mercury out of Lake Erie, don’t dispose of these bulbs in your home garbage or recycling bins. The mercury can make its way into the water supply and become ingested by fish. Instead, drop them off at CFL recycling locations at home improvement stores such as Lowe’s or at Lorain County Solid Waste District, located at 540 Abbe Road (@ Broad Street, in the old DIY building, open Monday and Wednesday from noon until 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.). If you end up dropping it off at LCSWD, make sure you get rid of any old mercury thermometers while you’re at it.

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