Regarding the editorial on mercury switches on Jan. 17, Maine’s committees, councils and alliances often try to scare the bejesus out of us to wring out another dollar to support their causes. A little skepticism is in order. After all, mercury was used as an effective laxative a while back and the amalgam makes a great filling for teeth.

The sphygmomanometer was far more impressive for reading blood pressure than dials or (horrors) digital readouts.

Kids today miss out the on the joys of chasing mercury drops around the lab table or shining up the Indian and buffalo on old nickels.

True, we should respect as well as conserve all scarce materials, but instilling fear does little to encourage curiosity and understanding of our environment.

Roland Lange, Auburn

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