Mercury and the EPA
The typical mercury thermostat contains 3 grams of mercury that can be released into the environment if the thermostat is broken or disposed of improperly. The mercury is used as a component of a mechanical tilt switch, which activates the heating and cooling equipment connected to the thermostat. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that 63 million mercury containing thermostats are in use within the United States, containing approximately 230 tons of mercury. Proper disposal of thermostats is extremely important in trying to protect the environment. If you have a thermostat replaced, make sure the old one is disposed of properly. We owe it to our future generations.