Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

October 8, 2009

Nanny State Update

by Doug Mataconis

In Wisconsin, it is now against the law to buy a mercury thermometer without a prescription:

[Governor] Doyle also signed a bill that regulates products that contain mercury. It includes a provision that would require people to get a prescription before they could buy a thermometer that contains mercury.

There are no words.

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  • Pingback: Kafkaesque Wisconsin law requires doctor's prescription for purchase of a mercury thermometer. | Popehat

  • southernjames

    Don’t those new twisty light bulbs we’re all supposed to use now, if we really love Mother Gaia and America, all contain mercury?

    I’m not being facetious, I really want to know. Becuase if so, do our overlords in DC who are shoving these dim-light things down our throats REALLY think that 95% of the people are going to recycle those things instead of just tossing them in the trash?

    With all the hysteria over the risk of mercury spoiling our fisheries and ruining our ground water, etc., etc., — I can only assume that my info is wrong and what I thought I read is mistaken, and those things can be tossed in the trash without risk to the environment…because I have never seen one word out of, e.g., Consumer Reports or the MSM about mercury content in those bulbs and the severe danger cumulative amounts of it could pose over time, if millions of these things end up in landfills.

    If it is indeed critical for the environment that these bulbs be taken to a toxic waste recycle place, then there is a conspiracy of silence coming out of the Enviro-Green movement wackos and their allies/enablers in the Media and Govt. over these bulbs.

  • http://pith-n-vinegar.blogspot.com/ Quincy

    southernjames –

    If you believe the EPA, then throwing these things in a landfill *is* an ecological disaster. But, the left would rather focus on the sexy problem than the nitty-gritty one. Hence the conspiracy of silence.

  • John222

    The argument seems to be that even though the new CFL bulbs do contain mercury, using them results in less mercury in the environment overall because they don’t use as much electricity provided by a coal burning plant which belches the toxic mercury directly into the air.

    If you didn’t need two of them to provide the same illumination, I guess it makes some sense. I do wonder if a prescription or other permit will be required to purchase them in Wisconsin now. And what about mercury switches in thermostats? Kids might break them open and bite open the glass vials.

  • Akston

    I wonder if they’ll also need a prescription when they’re injected with the mercury preservative (thimerosal) in some H1N1 vaccines.

  • southernjames

    I’m just a little aggravated that these new bulbs are being so very aggressively pushed – from what I understand there is even pressure being exerted to stop making the old bulbs altogether. Yet ZERO mention is ever made of the potential pros and cons these bulbs may bring as compared to the old ones – not just the environmental issues like mercury in the water system issue – but stuff like — the procedures you have to go through at home if you drop and break one.

    And out the other side of the enviros mouths we get scare stories about mercury ruining our fisheries and poisoning seafood, etc.

    We’ve been stocking up on the old bulbs. I buy a 3 pack or two, every week. We’re up to about 40 or so spare 3-way old fashioned bulbs.

    Geez, first it’s ammo; now it’s frickin light bulbs. What next?

  • tfr

    Hey guess what? Those 4-foot long fluorescent light tubes that fill hundreds of light fixtures in every large building in the world… yep, mercury. You used to be able to actually see drops of it sitting on the bottom of the tube when they would get old, I don’t know any more. So far, I have heard precisely doodly-squat about those from the greenies.

  • John222

    Well I looked up some of the laws on mercury thermometers. Most of them are very specific in banning or requiring a prescription for them only, no mentions of other products containing mercury. FYI, in Boston you can be fined $700 for “importing” a mercury thermometer.

    As for incandescents being banned altogether, I wouldn’t worry to much, they aren’t that hard to make. Some of Edison’s are still on display and working in his winter home.

    It is strange how there is little mention of potential harm caused by the CFL’s though. Could be they want to wait until enough pile up in the landfills before they attack the problem. I could see some kind of forced recycling or random garbage inspections coming.

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