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EDITORIAL: World can survive without numerous mercury products

A proposed ban on mercury-containing products, proposed Thursday by State Sen. Robert Jauch, is long overdue. The toxic liquid metal has been used for years in goods such as thermometers and electric switches. That's a problem because those produ...

A proposed ban on mercury-containing products, proposed Thursday by State Sen. Robert Jauch, is long overdue.

The toxic liquid metal has been used for years in goods such as thermometers and electric switches. That's a problem because those products eventually age and get discarded. Then, mercury enters the environment, a short step away from poisoning living organisms and entering the food chain. In most cases, these products can be manufactured without mercury.

Some municipalities, including Superior and Duluth, already have enacted their own bans. As we've seen, life goes on without a hitch.

Some manufacturers of products that use mercury will object to the legislation, as it will force them to redesign and retool. It would be appropriate to provide them some time to meet terms of a ban. But not an indefinite amount. The use of mercury should have stopped years, if not decades, ago.

This plan has the support of lawmakers in several Great Lakes states, an environmentally sensitive region, and deserves support.

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