Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Nanny Bans Barometers

Nanny Bans BarometersOnce considered to be a harmless, and rather quaint, object in people's homes; the barometer is now deemed by Nanny, and her acolytes, to be a major threat to mankind.

This time Nanny is being helped in her evil work by the "mother of all Nanny's"; the interfering, overpaid, unwanted, ineffective, bureaucratic and totally useless members of the European parliament.

(Editor's note: please feel free to add to the list of adjectives to describe the European parliament, and it's members).

Euro MPs (God bless their little cotton socks!) have decided to ban traditional barometers.

For why? I hear you ejaculate over your banned eggs (can I use the word ejaculate at this time of the morning?).

I shall tell you.

Barometers contain mercury, mercury is evil; therefore barometers must be banned.

The EU, dear readers, is working on banning all products containing mercury in the EU.

Recent Photo of KenPersonally I don't know what the fuss is about, I well remember playing with mercury in the school labs (rolling little globules of the stuff around the lab work surfaces etc); as you can see, it never did me any harm!

Anyhoo, Nanny Knows Best!

The EU's environment committee has rejected a bid to exclude barometers from the ban, needless to say the ban will also affect thermometers (what are you mean to insert into your orifices now, to check your temperature with?) and blood pressure gauges.

An amendment to the law supporting the continued manufacture of mercury barometers was passed in the European Parliament last November, but not supported by the member states.

Kudos to one member of the EU parliament who shows some vague signs of intelligence, British Conservative MEP Martin Callanan, he said:

"So the many thousands of people

up and down the country that have

an existing barometer cannot get it

repaired and will therefore throw it

away which will result in more

mercury entering the environment


Where exactly is one meant to dispose of one's stock of mercury then?

Should I pour mine down the toilet then?

Should I sell it to a third world country?

The people need answers!

British Labour MEP, Linda McAvan, true to form as an acolyte of Nanny welcomed the ban:

"Research has shown that even at low doses

mercury is extremely harmful to human health

Madam, I refer you to my comment earlier about playing with mercury in the school labs.

On the subject of harmful substances, that I don't notice Nanny rushing to ban, what about the emissions from car engines?

That, I guarantee you, does more harm to our health and the health of the young than any number of mercury barometers.

Will Nanny be banning cars, car fumes and emissions?

Will she fark!

Once the legislation is adopted, manufacturers will have two years to switch to alternative ways of making thermometers, barometers, blood pressure gauges, marine instruments, and devices such as hygrometers for measuring humidity.

Some wall clocks have also traditionally been made with mercury.

The EU claim that it will not be illegal to own an old mercury barometer.


I spit upon their promises!

How long will they keep their word on that then?


  1. albert ross7:52 AM

    These same lunatics are pressing for the increased production of low wattage lighting.

    These lamps need mercury to work. What's gonna happen to the discarded lamps and the mercury inside?
    What a bunch of c****!

  2. Anonymous8:19 AM

    Engage pedant mode..... you've got a picture of the wrong sort of barometer there Ken. That's an aneroid one and it uses a spring. Mercury ones look like a big thermometer.

  3. Nanny won't let me show you a picture of a mercury one!

  4. Albert raises a good point. I'm not sure how many sockets there are in the UK, but in the US there are about 4 billion:

    CFLs contain mercury, up to 5 milligrams per lightbulb. If all 4 billion incandescent sockets were filled with CFLs we'd have 20 billion milligrams of mercury spread around every single US household. By the way, 20 billion milligrams is nearly 50,000 pounds.

    That 50,000 pounds of mercury amongst 300 million people, if indiscriminately thrown away, will eventually find its way to your favorite landfill and public drinking water supply.

  5. "Engage pedant mode..... you've got a picture of the wrong sort of barometer there Ken."

    Also engaging pedant mode - not necessarily. Some mercury barometers have a U-tube the open end of which has a float which drives a pointer. This was the original purpose of the long upright above the dial - to house the main length of the mercury-filled U-tube. Later aneroids copied the style.

    Mercury is a naturally occurring element for fark's sake. Although mercury is a cumulative poison our bodies have evolved methods to deal with very small quantities - as they have for most natural chemical hazards. It is "artificial" pollutants, the most serious of which can be argued to be traffic pollution, that are so dangerous as we don't have any natural protection against them.

    Meanwhile, about a yard from where I'm sitting, I have a pair of large mercury vapour rectifiers, with liquid mercury sloshing around inside them. Don't tell Nanny!!


  6. I rather suspect that mercury thermometers and the like were outlawed, especially in hospitals, some time ago. The recent 'law' changes seem to mostly affect repairers and restorers. I assume that is another ancient craft that will head east to places where the H&SE do not yet have a footprint.

    I too recall playing with mercury on the benches in the labs at school, indeed as a teenager I had a small jar of the stuff (I think you could get it at the Chemists back then) and used it to activate brake lights on one of my model car racers (like Scalextric but mostly home made cars ...).

    Thinking about it I don't suppose it helped the handling but under acceleration the mercury flowed backwards in a small plastic tube. Cut the power and the car slowed but the mercury didn't, moving forward in the tube to where two electrical contacts were positioned. The circuit was completed and the tiny bulbs fitted to the rear bodywork glowed brightly.

    Of course you can tell that all of that happened some time ago when most children of my acquaintance, especially teenagers, had some sort of hobby to keep them occupied.

    Thermometers these days seem to be mostly non-contact heat sensors. I bought one a couple of years ago out of interest. Works quite well to the nearest 0.1 degree. It's intended for taking the temperature of babies and young children via the ear orifice or similar (without the need for skin contact) but also works on radiators and heating pipes when checking the correct function of, for example, a central heating system.

    Of course in the future world when people return to living in caves without electricity, the supply of batteries for such devices may be a problem and I could foresee quicksilver making a comeback for those who remember any science at all.


  7. I rather like the idea of adding 'venal' and 'vacant' to the list of adjectives.

  8. For many decades doctors took blood pressure with a mercury containing BP machine.
    I still have my old one.
    Oh dear me!

  9. Confession: I do ElfinSafety for a living.

    Protest: But they have lost sight of the plot in Brussels, where all our ElfinSafety law is made these days. [Westminster just does as it is told and turns it unmodified unprotested in UK regulations.]

    Now they have got the power to legislate they are addicted to it! And they will go on legislating until someone puts them into "cold turkey". Oh, unless they suddenly find themselves the victim of lead poisoning, 9mm is probably sufficient to cause death.