I am puzzled at the great concern over the problem of mercury thermometers, as noted in this article. I grant that mercury is a hazard, and I am glad that mercury thermometers are disappearing. But I would think that fluorescent light bulbs are a far more pervasive problem. They also contain a small amount of mercury, they break easily, and they eventually end up in landfills. Since fluorescent bulbs are common for industrial and commercial lighting, and since they are being used more and more in homes in order to conserve energy, I’m wondering whether environmentalists should be more concerned about the mercury hazard from old fluorescent bulbs.

John A. Bloom
La Mirada, Calif.

The fever caused by mercury in thermometers has gotten out of hand. The town I live in alone has set up a recycle center, issued health warnings, and instituted an exchange program to deal with this problem. Yet, in all this time, there is never a mention of the biggest mercury hazard we face today: fluorescent lights.

Steve Miller
Palo Alto, Calif.

I found the problems of disposing of mercury from old thermometers interesting. Perhaps they could send it to dentists for amalgam fillings. It is ironic that there seems to be such great concern over minute amounts of mercury in the environment while some dentists still put significant amounts of mercury in fillings.

John P. MacLean
Orem, Utah

Add to “old thermometers” old mercury wall (silent) switches and furnace thermostats.

Michael Bihn
Freedom, Calif.