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Published: Thursday, 9/16/2004

St. Charles seeks mercury thermometers

St. Charles Mercy Hospital will have a mercury thermometer swap-out two days next week.

People can bring in their old mercury thermometers to the outpatient surgery entrance from 9 a.m. to noon and 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, as well as 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 25.

They will be provided with one digital thermometer in exchange. The newer devices don't contain mercury. There is a limit of one digital thermometer per household, regardless how many mercury thermometers are turned in, the hospital said.

Similar swap-out programs have occurred elsewhere in Ohio.

Mercury fumes can cause health problems, including those affecting childhood brain and nervous system development. Mercury also is a difficult metal to remove from sewage networks.

Officials are trying to get people to turn in old mercury thermometers before they break apart, often by falling from medicine cabinets and spilling in sinks.

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