Pennsylvania DEP highlights benefits of mercury-free thermostat law

Pennsylvanians are at lower risk of exposure to mercury as a result of the Mercury Free Thermostat Act, which took effect in December 2009. The law bans the sale, installation and disposal of mercury-containing thermostats and requires contractors and homeowners to recycle out-of-service thermostats.

Under the new law, only mercury-free thermostats can be sold in Pennsylvania. In addition, manufacturers that have sold mercury thermostats in the state must collect and recycle waste mercury thermostats at no cost.

Wholesalers located in Pennsylvania must serve as collection sites for the thermostats. The law also requires retailers and contractors to either participate as collection points or provide notice to customers that mercury thermostats must be recycled and identify locations of nearby collection points.