Sale attempt draws attention to mercury

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency officials say that mercury can hurt people and the environment if not handled properly.

A recent story about a Floodwood, Minn., man trying to sell 64 pounds of mercury on Craigslist prompted dozens of calls to the agency. One county hazardous waste facility took in 20 pounds of mercury as a result of the story.

“The news coverage certainly got people asking questions,” said Jeff Connell of the MPCA. “This has been a great opportunity to talk to average citizens about this dangerous element, because it is literally found hidden away in jam jars, on garage shelves or hiding in various industrial locations.”

MPCA officials say mercury should be disposed of in county hazardous waste sites.

Mercury is toxic to the human brain and spinal cord, especially in children.

While mercury is legal to own, Minnesota places requirements on its sales and transportation.

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