Mercury alert in Vermont

Published: Friday 28 February 2003

-- The us state of Vermont has taken a small step forward in combating the threat posed by mercury. It is now mandatory for manufacturers of fluorescent lamps in the state to label all lamps and packages containing the liquid metal. The step follows the nationwide ban on mercury thermometers in the us.

An estimated 600 million lamps will be labelled each year under the provision. Lamp-makers are also required to help consumers get information on recycling used light bulbs by providing a website and a toll-free number. Manufacturers will spend $10,000 a year for two years to educate the residents of Vermont to prevent lamps from being broken or thrown with trash.

Mercury is one of the most poisonous metals in the world and causes the Minamata disease. Environmentalists have urged the extension of Vermont's labelling provision to lamp-makers all over the world.

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