Tony Duell wrote:
Consdiiering the idfiot EU Bureaucrats have banned
thermometers (I believe), I might just have to :-(
I'm sorry I have to take
issue with this, in what way is banning the use
of a (resonably large amount) of hazadous material (Mercury) a bad thing ?
I thoiught metalic mercury wasn't all that harmful, it's the salts that
are very toxic.
Well liquid metalic mercury isn't that hazadous, however I believe that
the vapor is dangerous if inhaled of course.
when it can be replaced with a non/less hazadous replacement
that can do the job just as well.
There must have been a good reason for using mercury in the first place,
and it wasn;t cost ;-).And therefore I douibt the alternatives 'do the
job just as well'.
Well mercury has been known about for hundereds of years and I guess was
the easiest to use when people first started making themometers. However
I guess we have discovered other things that will do the same job with
less toxicity. Oddly though the Max-Min thermometer I have in my office
at work is cirtainly some sort of metalic substance, though it has been
there for a couple of years now, so if it is mercury it must have been
before the ban, as I can't imagine that we'd be allowed to use them at
work....especially as my wife is deputy health and safety officer :)
Actually, for reasons of cost, moist thermometers
don't use mercury
Did you mean most :) :)
anyway. The ones that did, did so for, I suspect,
technical reasons. I
don';t beleive there was enoguh mercury used in thermomneters to be a
hazard, but when it was used, it was used because it was the best
material to use, And that's what bothers me about the ban.
Well I do believe the one place it is a real no-no is clinical settings
I guess you don't want a patient accidentally chewing on it :) I do also
seem to rememeber there being cases where young childeren became
seriously ill when they ingested a mercury button cell.
But there is one plaec I would not use a mercury
the temperature of an electromagnetic device such as a transformer or a
motor. It's quite possible to induce eddy currents in the mercury and
have the thermometer read too high.
Because it heats up I guess.
And yes there
is Mercury in other household things CFL bulbs for
example, but it is at a much lower concentration and cannot easily be
replaced by a less hazadous substance that can do the job as well.
The UV lamp in my EPROM eraser is a 6" long hot-cathode dischage tube,
similar ot a flouresecent tube with a special envelope (to transmit the
UV light) and no phosphor coating. I can see a quite a few droplets of
mercury insde that lamp when it's cold. I susepct the CFLs run at a lower
pressure, but I still suspet the total amount of mercury in use in all
the CFLs is a sizeable amount.
Well yeah I suppose however I guess it's not as well concentrated in a
single place, and I also believe the advice is that if you break a CFL
(or any flurescent(sp?) for that matter), is to open the windows in the
room to allow any mercury vapor to dissipate.
Oh, and don;t get me started on the lightbulb ban...
Well I've pretty much used CFLs here for a few years now, they last
longer (if correctly used), generate less heat, which is deffo an
advantage for the anglepoise that I use for close work :)
Guess I've just gotten used to them.
Phill Harvey-Smith, Programmer, Hardware hacker, and general eccentric !
"You can twist perceptions, but reality won't budge" -- Rush.