Most of the green we talk about here at AutoblogGreen relates to a car's engine, fuel tank and/or tailpipe. Today we've got a story from the Salem, Oregon Statesman Journal about a common harmful toxin that is often found in cars, but this one's in the trunk.

Turns out, until 2003, most cars used a small switch made with a gram of mercury to light up under the hood and the trunk. Of course, there are mercury-free alternatives, and in Oregon, 116 auto shops participate in a free program to replace the switches with a switch that contains a steel roller. Shops in Idaho will also remove the mercury switch and safely recycle it. If you live in one of these two states, click here to find a local mechanic who will perform the surgery.

The Statesman article mentions a related issue that parents should know about: those little flashing lights in kids' shoes contain mercury.

[Source: Statesman Journal, Hat Tip to Joel A. Photo Credit: Statesman Journal]

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