Facts about Mercury
- Mercury is a naturally occurring substance that can cause serious health and ecological problems when released to the environment through human activities.
- Mercury is a nerve toxin that may impair sight, hearing, and the ability to walk or talk.
- Atmospheric mercury mixes with rain and snow and falls into lakes and waterways. When mercury is deposited in lakes or waterways, bacteria convert it to methylmercury. Methylmercury contaminates the food chain and builds up in the tissue of fish and of wildlife and humans who eat the fish.
- Because of high mercury concentrations in the fish, several Great Lakes states issue advisories each year cautioning people to limit how much fish they eat.
- About two-thirds of the mercury in the atmosphere comes for man-made sources. About a gram of mercury enters a 20-acre lake each year. A gram of mercury is only a drop. A teaspoon of mercury weighs about 70 grams. A thermostat contains about 3 grams of mercury, a fluorescent lamp contains 4 grams and a mercury switch contains 3.5 grams of mercury.
- Even small amounts of mercury in a lake can contaminate the fish, making them unfit to eat on a regular basis. Minimizing mercury releases is important. If we want to continue eating the fish we catch and seeing the fish-eating wildlife (loons, eagles, osprey), we need to protect our environment from the release of mercury.
- In cooperation with the State of Wisconsin, the EPA and local governments the Neenah Menasha Sewerage Commission is committed to helping reduce mercury in the environment.
What You Can Do To Help Reduce Mercury Contamination In Your Community
- Use mercury-free alternative products when purchasing: thermometers, thermostats, blood pressure monitors, wall and automobile switches, dental amalgam, manometers and barometers.
- Reduce your use of electricity and fossil fuel consumption.
- Keep mercury out of the environment by transporting any elemental mercury or mercury-containing products in your home to a recycling center.
- Support legislation that helps keep mercury out of our landfills and water.
Want to learn more about mercury and how it affects your health and the environment?
Try these links:
Neenah Menasha Sewerage Commission Laboratory
The laboratory serves the Neenah Menasha Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility and the following communities: Mt Calvary, St Cloud, Lomira, Bear Creek, Sherwood, Oakfield, Allenton, Winneconne, Poygan, Marion, Brillion, Potter, Fox Lake, Sevastopol, Hollandtown, Fremont-Orihula S.D. and Stockbridge.
The laboratory is staffed with the equivalent of two full-time positions. The laboratory is certified under the provisions of Ch. NR 149, Wisconsin Administration Code for: Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Carbonaceous Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Ammonia as N, Total Phosphorus, Total Suspended Solids. The laboratory ID number is 471005590.