Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/04/15

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Mercury Cell Ban & Fish
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 18:40:05 -0700

I remember many years ago when the "Mercury" scare swept the country.
"Don't eat this fish, or that fish" Then they pulled some very old fish
from the Smithsonian. Very old fish. And guess what. Some, of the same
species, had MORE Mercury than current fish. The conclusion was that the
level of Hg in fish has nothing to do with industry. This is the scientists
talking, not the EPA. And if the EPA has anything to do with anything, you
know it will be wrong.


At 01:44 PM 4/15/98 -0400, marc wrote:
>There are, of course, a zillion other ways to control the "threat" from
>mercury cells other than an outright ban.  One suggestion was to have a
>deposit on the cells to encourage purchasers to return them to the store
>from which they bought the cell once it was dead.  
>The reality is that flourescent lightbulbs introduce into the environment
>well over 1000 times the mercury that the batteries did;  we all just toss
>the burned-out light tubes into the trash, and they break as soon as they
>are tossed into the landfill, if not before.  The mercury batteries have to
>rust before they release mercury, and that is a matter of many years.
>The issue is one more of inflammatory environmentalism gone a-gley than of
>a reasoned response to a huge threat.
>As to the situation with the eating of fish, I am not a large-scale
>consumer of our finny friends.  But I want to know just how these fish got
>mercury into their systems from camera batteries.  Am I missing something?
>Is there a piscine market for MR-4 meters and old Spotmatics?  Have I been
>neglecting a possible venue for camera shows I should be attending?
>  FAX:  +540/343-7315
>Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!