Mercury in Your Environment: Steps You Can Take
Steps You Can Take to Reduce Mercury in the Environment
Sources of electricity
Learn from your utility or other electricity provider where the electricity powering your home comes from; if it comes from coal-burning power plants, you can check to see if your provider offers the option to have some or all that energy come from a different source, like natural gas, nuclear power, wind or solar. Mercury is found in many types of rock, including coal. When coal is burned at a power plant to produce electricity, mercury is released into the environment as air pollution.
Note that the electricity provided from sources other than coal-burning power plants may cost you either less or more than energy from coal. If your provider offers the option to have some or all of the energy you use come from a different source, and you are considering switching to that source, make sure you understand how your electricity bill may change.
Choose to buy and use products that are mercury-free. Many mercury-free alternatives are readily available.
Recycle or otherwise properly dispose of any mercury-containing items. Learn about recommended management and disposal options for mercury-containing products, including automotive parts, other consumer products, medical and pharmaceutical products, and commercial products on EPA's Mercury in Consumer Products page.
Steps You Can Take to Minimize Your Exposures to Mercury
Eating fish and shellfish
- Eat mainly types of fish and shellfish low in mercury
- Limit your consumption of types of fish that typically have higher levels of mercury
- Learn more on our Guidelines for Eating Fish that Contain Methylmercury page
Choose to buy and use products that are mercury-free
- Products that contain mercury
- Mercury-free alternatives for CFLs (Energy.gov's Lighting Choices to Save You Money website)