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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Whereas , The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is forthwith to protect the water supply and the public health by regulating the sale of mercury thermometers, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health and convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Chapter 270 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

Section 24. No person shall sell or supply, including online, retail mercury fever thermometers, except in the case of a medical necessity as determined by a licensed physician or by prescription. Manufacturers of mercury fever thermometers sold or supplied in the commonwealth in such cases of medical necessity shall furnish clear instructions on the careful handling of thermometers to avoid breakage and proper cleanup should a breakage occur. This section shall not apply to digital thermometers using mercury-added button cell batteries. A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.

SECTION 2. Section 1 shall not prevent the depleting of a retailer's current inventory on the effective date of this act.

Approved February 21, 2002.