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Price health district accepting mercury for limited time

The public health department office in Price has teamed up with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality to provide Castle Valley residents with an opportunity to get rid of products containing mercury.

"We live in an area where liquid mercury has been collected and is being stored in a variety of places. We frequently hear of people cleaning out sheds, garages or basements only to discover a container with mercury in it. Mercury is also in old thermometers, thermostats and old chemistry sets," said Terrie Wright, emergency response coordinator for the Southeastern Utah Health District.

"Keeping mercury around your home isn't illegal - it's just not a good idea. It not only creates a huge risk for those individuals where it's stored, but also for firemen or other first responders," added Wright.

Mercury is a neurotoxin which, when released to the environment, can present health risks, including learning disabilities and mental problems, according to public health officials.

Children and pregnant women are particularly susceptible to the health risks associated with mercury exposure.

In an effort to keep mercury out of the local landfills, the public health department will be accepting products containing the chemical for a limited time at the Price office only.

Interested Castle Valley residents are encouraged to follow several instructions when arranging to dispose of products containing mercury through the public health district. Residents should:

•Call the health department at 637-3671 before bringing the items to the Price office.

•Make certain that the containers have the lids on tight and are not be leaking.

•Double bag the item in zip lock bags.

•If the item is glass wrap, people should it in bubble wrap before placing it in the double bag to protect it from breaking.

Never use a vacuum cleaner or broom to clean up mercury. Visit the department of environmental quality's website hhtp:// for proper cleanup and disposal.

This collection effort is for Carbon, Emery, San Juan and Grand county residents only, not available to businesses.

For more information contact the health department at (435) 637-3671.

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