The REDUCE Act - Mercury


  • Clean Water Action believes that every community deserves to have their health and environmental safety treated with equity and integrity.
  • The REDUCE Act grows out of the environmental justice movement in Maryland. This bill builds on the environmental justice principles of fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people in environmental decision-making.
  • The REDUCE Act supports information sharing about diesel trucks to enhance community engagement in decisions about new industrial development.
  • The goal is effective engagement between communities, industry, and government when new air pollution permits are being considered.

To learn more about the REDUCE Act, check out these materials:

Mercury Reduction

Mercury, the infamous silvery liquid metal, is a proven neurotoxin and exposure to mercury is a potential serious health threat for pregnant women and young children in particular. During the first years of life, a child's brain is still developing and rapidly absorbing nutrients. Even in low doses, mercury may affect a child's development, delaying walking and talking, shortening attention span and causing learning disabilities.

Major sources of mercury pollution include trash incinerators (when mercury products are thrown in the trash), coal fired power plants and other fossil fuel burning, and dental offices (where mercury from amalgam, or silver, fillings goes down the drain).  Because mercury is a “PBT” chemical – a persistent, bio-accumulative toxin – it builds up in the local waterways and ultimately contaminates our fish.

Mercury and Lead Wheel Weight Ban

  • This year, Delegate Clarence Lam has introduced legislation that would ban the use and sale of mercury and lead wheel weights in Maryland.
  • Wheel weights are an after-market product that balances a tire and extend the life of a tire. They are most often used on large trucks and recreational vehicles. They are not required for operation of any products on which they are installed.
  • There are several wheel weight alternatives made from zinc, iron, and aluminum. They are readily available and can be bought through most auto suppliers.