Hold on to your thermometers: The European Union will ban exports of mercury as of March 2011. The 27-nation bloc stopped mining mercury in 2001, but its exports of the metal account for up to a quarter of global supply. The export ban will require mercury that’s no longer of service to be put into storage instead of sent abroad. “Mercury poses a threat to human health and the environment in the European Union and globally,” says E.U. Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. “Let us hope that other countries will follow our example and support our goal of cutting the global supply of this dangerous substance.” Mercury has been linked to icky effects on the nervous, cardiovascular, immune, and reproductive systems.