Friday, February 08, 2008

... and the tale of the broken thermometer

So, K's been 'fluey for about ten days now, probably due to more than one cold or 'flu bug. I have managed to remain uninfected so far, which is just as well, as I have not had a jab for two years.

I received a text message one evening - "I have broken the thermometer"

Great - there's me thinking that the house will be flooded with hyper poisonous mercury fumes and what-not. In the event, there were no fumes and no little silvery liquid blobs zooming around my floor like the T-1000. There was however a small bubble of mercury rolling up and down the plastic case in which the broken thermometer was sitting.

No probs, I think, I'll take it to the chemists next door and ask them to dispose of the thing safely and I'll buy a new electronic thermometer while I am there.

Hello, I say to the nice chemist as I walk in, I'd like to buy a thermometer and to leave you this broken one so you can dispose of it with your other hazardous waste.

- Blank stares.

There is no provision for disposing of mercury thermometers safely, I am told.

So it all goes to the landfill?

- Nods

And the baby seals? I ask pleadingly…

- Shakes.

So it seems that there is nothing to be done but let the broken thermometer go the landfill, potentially be played with by the gipsy children, end up in the ground water and the food chain in general, and finish up in the baby seals or worse still in the cute fluffy polar bear cubs.

I resolved at that point to write to the municipality, something I have not yet done, but, believe me, I will do it. Apparently, there is no provision for safe disposal of medicinal sharps, either.

I love living in the Alabama of the European Union.

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