Re: Florescent Foolishness
From: Edward V. Phillips[SMTP:ed-at-alumni.caltech.edu]
Sent: Monday, December 01, 1997 1:55 PM
Subject: Re: Florescent Foolishness
"I agree that Mercury is dangerous to "play" with, and, I did say that the
idea would be hazardous to implement. However, 20 kV is dangerous to play
with, as well. Without getting off topic, I think your high school teacher
overstated the risk a bit.
Know the hazards and take appropriate precautions. If you don't know how to
handle Mercury, then don't use it. However: factories produce mercury
switches and mercury vapor filled fluorescent tubes by the billions,
without a noticeable loss of life due to mercury poisoning."
On top of that, mercury-filled fever thermometers are still
offered for sale everywhere. If swallowing a little liquid mercury
were harmful you can be sure that they would be banned by the
"activists". The vapor pressure of mercury at room temperature is
of the order of 1 micron, which means that there is enough vapor
in the air that VERY LONG exposures might produce measurable
results. The people who really get into instant problems are
the gold miners who amalgamate the gold particles in the ore
they are trying to reduce, and then get rid of the mercury by
heating the amalgam in a frying pan over an open flame!
Indoors, too, in some cases!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently there have
been a lot of casualties in the Philippines due to this.