• 1,931 advisories have been issued by state and local governments telling the public to limit consumption of fish caught in local water bodies due to mercury contamination
  • 1 mercury-containing home fever thermometer can contaminate a 20-acre lake with enough mercury to provoke a fish consumption warning
  • $3 – $5 is the extra cost of purchasing a mercury-free digital fever thermometer instead of a mercury-containing one
  • 4,581 metric tons of mercury are stockpiled by the federal government, but have been declared surplus to the nation’s needs
  • 2.8 billion home fever thermometers could be filled with the government’s surplus mercury
  • 2,236 metric tons of mercury were used in the U.S. in 1976 in all industries
  • 554 metric tons of mercury were used in the U.S. in 1991 in all industries
  • 277 metric tons of mercury is the U.S. government’s goal for maximum mercury usage in all industries in 2006
  • 14 centuries ago, Chinese dentists first used mercury in a paste to fill dental cavities
  • 184 years ago, dentist Aguste Taveau of Paris produced the first mercury and silver dental amalgam
  • 100 million mercury-based dental amalgam fillings were placed in U.S. residents’ teeth in 1990
  • a 50 percent higher price is paid by dental patients for mercury-free fillings made of composite materials than for mercury-based amalgam fillings

1 — EPA
2 — Lowell Center for Sustainable Production
3 — CVS.Com, WalMart.Com, DrugStore.Com
4 — U.S. Geological Survey
5 — Grist Magazine calculation, based upon Environmental Working Group estimate of the amount of mercury in an average home fever thermometer
6 — U.S. Bureau of Mines
7 — U.S. Geological Survey
8 — Environment Canada, EPA, and U.S. Geological Survey
9 — DAMS, Inc.
10 — World of Scientific Discovery
11 — U.S. Public Health Service
12 — Mercury Pollution Prevention in Michigan