Mercury Regulations

Lake Superior Basin Mercury Regulation

The City of Superior and Douglas County do not allow fluorescent bulbs to be landfilled, as they contain mercury. To prevent mercury pollution, you may bring old bulbs to the following drop-off sites:
Campbell Lumber – 3107 Tower Avenue
Superior Wastewater Treatment Plant – 51 East 1 Street
Poplar Hardware – 9892 E US Hwy 2, Poplar

Recycling bulbs is free to all households and small businesses as Murphy Oil (Superior) sponsors the recycling program. Large businesses are required to pay recycling fees.

Mercury Fever Thermometer Ban

In July 2001, the sale of mercury thermometers in the City and Douglas County was banned.
Prior to the ban, all business that may have handled thermometers in the County were sent notices and given the opportunity to bring their thermometers to the Superior Wastewater Treatment Plant for proper recycling.

Superior was one of just a few places in the US that banned the sale of mercury fever thermometers. Since then, several places have banned their sale and a Federal ban on mercury thermometer sales has been drafted.

City of Ashland, Wisconsin

Mercury-containing Product Ban

Since 2001, Ashland made it unlawful for any enterprise to sell or distribute any device containing 50 or more milligrams of mercury, excluding dental amalgams. In addition, all mercury-containing devices must be removed from properties before demolition.

City of Duluth, Minnesota

Mercury and Mercury-Containing Item Ordinance

The City of Duluth passed the first-ever ban on the sale of mercury-containing medical equipment and banned the sale and purchase of mercury thermostats and mercury-containing products in all K –12 schools. Specific items referenced in the ordinance include gastrointestinal devices, barometers, psychrometers and thermostats.

State of Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is in the process of writing rules to reduce mercury emissions from electrical utilities. For more information visit WDNR’s Mercury Emissions Reduction Rule.

State of Minnesota

On May 11, 2006 the Mercury Emissions Reduction Act was signed into law. When fully implemented, the act will result in a 90% reduction of emissions from Minnesota’s three largest coal-fired power plants.

Federal Regulations

The Federal Government is looking at the following legislation to prevent and/or minimize the effects of mercury contamination.

  • Prohibit dental amalgam distribution, require extensive labeling of mercury products, and set limitations on what mercury can be used for (2008);
  • Ban the sale of mercury fever thermometers;
  • Establish a federal task force to plan long-term management of mercury; and
  • Minimize the use of mercury in products.