$50,000 to clean up a 2 oz mercury spill (Updated)

George Orwell where are you? Here is the headline in my local newspaper today: "Mercury Removal from T.F. [Twin Falls, Idaho] Apartment complex results in $50,000 bill." That's right - fifty grand.

Two ounces of mercury were found in the road that leads into an apartment complex. It cost local, state, and the federal governments $50,000 to clean up the two ounce catastrophe. Read the EPA report here.

This is a picture of the clean up crew:

The use of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) will soon be mandatory in the United States. And CFLs contain what? What? Say it louder: MERCURY.

You can expect the cleanup crew in the picture to be coming to your house - to help you clean up a broken light bulb.

Congratulations America. And welcome to George Orwell's worst nightmare.


The EPA report states the amount of mercury was 2 teaspoons. An ounce is 6 teaspoons.  (Who knew? I thought a teaspoon equaled an ounce. Do not eat anything I have cooked from a recipe.) So the actual amount of spilled mercury was less than one ounce.


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