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Mercury In Schools & Communities

There are many mercury-added products used in schools and homes. These can include thermometers, thermostats, measuring devices, and formulated products. Often these products break or are improperly managed at their end of life. Many state environmental agencies have conducted programs to help schools and residents with the safe removal and collection of these products for recycling or proper waste management.

From 2001-2007, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) funded NEWMOA to assist in identifying and removing elemental mercury and products containing mercury from schools and homes. NEWMOA worked with the South Central Recycling Association of Massachusetts and the Western Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health to complete this initiative, resulting in:

  • Approximately 1,347 pounds of mercury removed from 178 schools (93 high schools, 52 middle or K-8 schools, 24 elementary schools, and 9 state colleges). This included 7,178 laboratory thermometers; 1,416 fever thermometers; 248 sphygmomanometers; 137 barometers; and 971 pounds of elemental mercury.
  • Hundreds of teachers, schools administrators, nurses, and students educated about the health and environmental hazards of mercury and the importance of preventing future use of mercury in schools.
  • Mercury fever thermometer exchanges conducted in 3 communities, yielding 12 pounds of elemental mercury from 910 fever thermometers, 15 thermostats, and other miscellaneous items.

In 2007, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) funded NEWMOA to develop and deliver a series of half-day workshops for school and education officials on eliminating mercury hazards from schools. NEWMOA also assisted NYSDEC with developing a series of fact sheets on removing mercury from schools.

NEWMOA developed the following materials to support both of these projects:

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Mercury Clearinghouse

Years Active

NEWMOA Contact
IMERC Coordinator,