Small beads of mercury or tiny pieces of broken glass can be picked up with sticky tape. Find one that is near you and dispose your bag there. Follow these steps to dispose of a broken mercury thermometer properly. We maintain more than 3,400 collection locations nationwide that will recycle mercury thermostats at no cost to you. Have everyone else leave the area; don't let anyone walk through the mercury on their way out. How to Clean up a Small Mercury Spill (a broken thermometer, thermostat or compact fluorescent bulb) . Clearly label the bottle "thermometer or mercury". Step 1: Open the windows, shut the doors and leave the room for about 15 minutes. However, this tiny amount (usually up to 3.0g - less than one-eighth of an ounce) of mercury is extremely unlikely to cause problems for your health. Where to get powdered sulfur? Place all mercury-containing products or containers of mercury inside a larger container with a tight fitting lid. It was absolutely ancient (it didn't even work anymore - the mercury didn't move, no matter how hot it got) and when it broke it looked like a miniscule amount of mercury came out. Pharmacists may also have it. Note: Powdered sulfur may stain fabrics a dark color. Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department. You can start with our list of common items containing mercury, but also remember that computers, tablets, mobile phones and other items that rely on printed circuit boards may also contain some mercury and other toxic metals. Place kitty litter or oil-absorbent matter around the product to protect it from breaking or sudden shocks. First, clean up … Locate visible mercury beads. The preferred method of disposal for unbroken mercury thermometers and the mercury from broken thermometers is to take them to a local household hazardous waste collection facility or thermometer collection site if one is available in your area. Locate visible mercury beads. continued… Contact your local health department, municipal waste authority, or your local fire department for proper disposal in accordance with local, state and … How to Dispose of Mercury if Thermometer Breaks? How to Clean up a Small Mercury Spill (a broken thermometer, thermostat or compact fluorescent bulb) . We wash ourselves thoroughly, rinse the oral cavity several times with soda solution and take several tablets of activated carbon for disinfection. Do not worry if you don't have this available. The requirements for disposing of a broken thermometer can differ by city, Call your local health department or municipal waste facility to ask how to label and dispose of the bag. Place the paper towel in a zip locking bag and secure. collected mercury and things that came into contact with it. The amount of mercury in a single thermometer is not enough to do any great harm to the environment, but here are some better ways than flushing it which will leave it in your sink or toilet trap. Many household products contain mercury, from CFLs to button batteries to some thermometers. No. If a mercury-glass thermometer ever breaks, do not touch the mercury -- it is very poisonous. Deposit the breakage into a glass jar with a lid or a sealable plastic bag. Drop off locations listed below: Use sticky tape to pick up the smaller … - Do not clean up the mercury beads and broken glass without wearing a rubber or plastic gloves. - Try not to create dust, but if there is any dust, avoid breathing it in For additional information on health effects, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) provides a Public Health Statement on Mercury that also presents information on health effects related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury. Small droplets will combine into a larger sphere shape, which will roll on a flat surface and break back into smaller droplets if dropped or if pressure is applied. Knowing how to dispose of mercury the proper way is essential, whether you operate a business or are cleaning out your home. In the above instructions, you were asked to separate as much of the liquid mercury … The non-mercury thermometers are non-toxic and environmentally safe. If your spill is greater than the amount in a thermometer, then visit our What to Do if You Spill More Mercury than the Amount in a Thermometer page. Outdated thermometers then not used, and in many the question arises, where to dispose of a mercury thermometer. Choose a container that the thermometer will fit into completely and still have extra room. Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department. What to do if a mercury thermometer breaks? Wrap the sticky tape around your gloves finger, with the sticky side out, then pick up the contaminants and place the tap inside a zip-locked bag. Alternatively, dab shaving cream onto a disposable paint brush and use the brush to pick up the mercury. Step 7 . Pharmacists may also have it.​. Use a sheet of paper or cardboard to scoop up glass and metal pieces. Step 8: Following the spill Note: Mercury can move surprising distances on hard-flat surfaces, so be sure to inspect the entire room, including any cracks i… Push the mercury into an envelope and put the envelope, scotch tape, gloves and the broken thermometer into a sealable plastic bag. Dispose of mercury thermometer carefully Originally published August 9, 2009 at 12:01 am Joe and Teresa Graedon's People's Pharmacy column answers questions on mercury thermometers… Store and recycle them when normal operations resume. Contact your local health department, municipal waste authority, or your local fire department to find out how to conduct proper disposal in accordance with local, state and federal laws. DO NOT allow children to help you clean up the spill. The requirements for disposing of a broken thermometer can differ by city, Call your local health department or municipal waste facility to ask how to label and dispose of the bag. It is also a very dangerous heavy metal. Mercury can be cleaned up easily from the following surfaces: wood, linoleum, tile and any similarly smooth surfaces. Above 100° C mercury thermometers have an accuracy range of ± 1.5° C, while non-mercury have an accuracy limit of ± 3° C. National Institute of Standards and Technology. A little bit of the liquid spilled out but we cleaned it up. Here are few cleaning up tips: continued… Contact your local health department, municipal waste authority, or your local fire department for proper disposal in accordance with local, state and federal laws. If a mercury-containing thermometer is broken, do not clean up the spilled mercury with a vacuum cleaner. The preferred method of disposal for unbroken mercury thermometers and the mercury from broken thermometers is to take them to a local household hazardous waste collection facility or thermometer collection site if one is available in your area. Common situations that they are presented with include: • a child has just swallowed part of a fever thermometer; • a thermometer has broken in a body orifice; or • an individual is unsure how to safely dispose of a thermometer. Continue to keep pets and children out of cleanup area. If you have questions about the potential health effects after being exposed to a broken thermometer, then please call your physician or your local poison control center at 1 (800) 222-1222. Now, if you want to correctly dispose of a mercury thermometer, the best way is to take the thermometer to a household hazardous waste facility. Tip: Mercury can move a long way on a smooth flat surface and shatter into tiny balls - check the entire room carefully. This Really Happened An 11-month-old girl was seen in a hospital because she developed loss of appetite, difficulty crawling, drowsiness, an itchy rash, red skin on her hands, and peeling skin on her feet. Alternatively, use two pieces of cardboard paper to roll the mercury beads onto the paper towel or into the bag. It makes the mercury easier to see since there may be a color change from yellow to brown; and. While mercury isn’t recyclable, many of these products are. We maintain more than 3,400 collection locations nationwide that will recycle mercury thermostats at no cost to you. If you break a mercury thermometer, some liquid mercury may spill out and can separate into small beads, which can roll some distance away. If you spill more than a quarter teaspoon, you should follow the advice on this page and seek help from professional hazardous waste disposal companies to clean up the spill. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Newer models of thermometers contain alcohol or another liquid substance that simulates mercury. - Don�t use a vacuum cleaner Fold the paper towel and place in a sealable plastic storage bag and label it "Mercury and Hazardous". Check if your thermometer actually contains mercury. Poison control centers across the nation frequently receive inquires regarding mercury thermometers. Fold the paper towel and place in a zip locking bag. If you do NOT see the words “mercury free," then assume that the liquid is mercury. Drop off locations listed below: Cleanup and Disposal. Put thermometer in a non-breakable sealed container (e.g. Similarly, if mercury gets down over the carpet then the cut the area and put it in a sealed bag. Store and recycle them when normal operations resume. Small businesses may be able to dispose of mercury-containing thermometers and other mercury-containing devices at town or solid waste district collection events. It still has liquid inside of it, so I can't just throw it out or dump the liquid. Ask everyone to step away from the area around the broken thermometer immediately. I could barely see it, but there was a bit there. Mercury that cannot be stabilised by sulphur powder or is stored in a jar is a hazardous waste and can only be disposed at a household chemical cleanout. Place the mercury thermometer inside a small disposable plastic or glass container. Mercury thermometers are a great tool that help us tell temperature, but if one breaks you can’t just throw it in the garbage. An official website of the United States government. If a thermometer has broken, spilled liquid metal is unlikely to bring critical consequences, if we mean by this concept paralysis, irreversible changes in the systems of vital activity and death. If you are a business, school, or other non-household site that is a CEG, you can take elemental mercury, mercury-containing compounds or mercury-containing devices for safe disposal to a permanent HHW collection facility or a HHW collection event. Hi, I broke the top of my Galileo Liquid Thermometer and the top was broken off. After you remove larger beads, put shaving cream on top of small paint brush and gently "dot" the affected area to pick up smaller hard-to-see beads. Place the trash bag outside in a secured area and label it as directed by your local health or fire department. The sulfur binds to the mercury and makes clean-up easier. How to Dispose of Mercury if Thermometer Breaks? If it is damaged, it is necessary to dispose of mercury - for this is a special place, where you can drop the broken thermometer without harm to health and the environment. Fold the paper towel and seal it … Call 911 if a thermometer, thermostat or wall-mounted blood pressure cuff is broken and mercury is released. Do not simply throw mercury-containing or mercury-glass thermometers away in the trash, because the mercury is considered "hazardous waste." There may be a small charge for disposal and pre-registration is usually required. Place all mercury beads and objects into the trash bag. Place all broken objects on a paper towel. Don't allow anybody to step on the mercury or the shards of glass. Alternatively, use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments (Peel the tape very slowly from the floor to keep the mercury beads stuck to the tape.) If you have further questions, then please call your local poison control center at 1 (800) 222-1222. Push the mercury into an envelope and put the envelope, scotch tape, gloves and the broken thermometer into a sealable plastic bag. In the above instructions, you were asked to separate as much of the liquid mercury as possible from the Care must be taken to avoid scattering the mercury or allowing it to roll to a hard-to-reach location. The safest way to deal with a broken mercury thermometer is to clean up the mercury immediately, and then safely dispose of anything that the mercury touched. Place all broken objects on a paper towel. It is sometimes found in the gardening departments at hardware stores, near the fertilizer, or with garden pesticides and fungicides. Mercury also contain thermometers … Now, if you want to correctly dispose of a mercury thermometer, the best way is to take the thermometer to a household hazardous waste facility. Step 3 Pour kitty litter, oil-absorbent, dirt or sand into the container around the thermometer. To effectively dispose of the thermometer, you must first research household hazardous waste facilities in your area. If a spill occurs on carpet, curtains, upholstery or other absorbent surfaces, these contaminated items should be thrown away in accordance with the disposal means outlined below. Clean liquid mercury from absorbent surfaces. Contact Environment Line By phone: 131 555 If you are unable to recycle due to the current health emergency, please do not dispose of your mercury thermostats in the trash. … I've just broken an old mercury thermometer. You may also be exposed to mercury vapour. How to Dispose of Mercury if Thermometer Breaks. Bring the Thermometer to a Household Hazardous Waste Facility. - Put the card (or plastic bottle) and the mercury beads into the plastic bag. Mercury is the 80th element on the periodic table and is useful for all sorts of things: thermometers, lights, batteries, even jewelry. They will tell you where to dispose of. Use slow sweeping motions to keep mercury from becoming uncontrollable. Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem. Outdated thermometers then not used, and in many the question arises, where to dispose of a mercury thermometer. - Stay out till the room is ventilated. Store the mercury in a secure place, preferably away from occupied areas, and contact a licensed hazardous waste vendor for disposal. Clearly label storage container as "Mercury - DO NOT OPEN." Store the mercury in a secure place, preferably away from occupied areas, and contact a licensed hazardous waste vendor for disposal. Use a squeegee or cardboard to gather mercury beads into small mercury balls. Use a piece of paper or light cardboard to collect larger blobs and put these on a wet paper towel then put this into a sealed container. Place the paint brush or duct tape in a zip locking bag and secure. Because of the potential for toxic mercury to be leaked into the air and into the water supply, it’s not safe to simply throw a mercury thermometer into the garbage or flush it down the toilet. You may want to request the services of a contractor who has monitoring equipment to screen for mercury vapors. Use the sulphur neutralising process on these as outlined. Open a window and allow the room to air out at least 15 minutes. plastic bleach bottle). plastic bleach bottle). If it is damaged, it is necessary to dispose of mercury - for this is a special place, where you can drop the broken thermometer without harm to health and the environment. Take a flashlight, hold it at a low angle close to the floor in a darkened room and look for additional glistening beads of mercury that may be sticking to the surface or in small cracked areas of the surface. How Our Disposal Service Works Our medical services team will arrange a collection from your premises: The mercury is transported in a secure container First, cut out the contaminated pieces of fabric and seal them in a plastic bag. Clean liquid mercury from absorbent surfaces. Spilled mercury can be very dangerous if not handled correctly. Mercury poisoning is a real threat to the planet and all life upon it. Clearly label the bottle "thermometer or mercury". If it has “mercury-free” printed on it, then you can throw the thermometer away along with your regular trash. Use an eyedropper or heavy duty tape to pick up any tiny spheres. Secure the bag and label it as directed by your local health or fire department. The sulfur does two things: Determining Whether Your Non-Digital Fever Thermometer Has Mercury in It, Prepping for Clean Up of a Broken Mercury Thermometer, Items Needed to Clean Up a Small Mercury Spill, specific information about how to clean up broken fluorescent bulbs, What to Do if You Spill More Mercury than the Amount in a Thermometer, health effects related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury. When using powdered sulfur, do not breathe in the powder as it can be moderately toxic. What NOT to do after a Mercury Spill - Don’t sweep the mercury up with a brush or broom - Don’t dispose the mercury down the sink or the drain - If mercury has been spilled over the cloth, then do not wash them or put them in washing machine, instead dispose of them in a sealed bag. - Don�t sweep the mercury up with a brush or broom - Don�t dispose the mercury down the sink or the drain Similarly, if mercury gets down over the carpet then the cut the area and put it in a sealed bag. The following disposal options are available to commercial/institutional generators of mercury-containing thermometers: 1. View information on health effects related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury. Make sure all pets are removed from the area. EPA recommends that consumers use mercury-free thermometers, but not does not endorse, recommend, certify, authorize or approve of any specific brand of mercury-free thermometer. Open all windows and doors to the outside; shut all doors to other parts of the house. Symptoms of mercury poisoning. Breathing in mercury vapor from a broken thermometer can manifest the … - Don�t touch the mercury with your bare hands - Open the windows and doors to ventilate the room. 2. Remember to keep the area well ventilated to the outside (i.e., windows open and fans in exterior windows running) for at least 24 hours after your successful cleanup. First research on household hazardous waste facilities near your area if the mercury has spilt onto carpet, clothing or upholstery, the contaminated part needs to be removed and disposed of. Step 7 . Mercury is highly toxic, and even short-term exposure due to a spillage or cracked thermometer can lead to harmful effects. The first step to the safe disposal of mercury is to identify the main mercury-containing products that that you are likely to come across. - If mercury has been spilled over the cloth, then do not wash them or put them in washing machine, instead dispose of them in a sealed bag. If a mercury thermometer breaks (or other items containing around ¼ teaspoon or less of mercury), you may be able to clean it up yourself by following the advice on this page. First research on household hazardous waste facilities near your area; Pack the thermometer in a puncture-resistant, non-breakable sealed container and then label it “MERCURY… The recycling and disposal of electrical waste includes mercury tilt switches, manometers and fluorescent light bulbs. Disposing of household items containing mercury or disposing of industrial-use mercury requires knowledge of local, state and federal requirements so that you dispose of the mercury … 1. have all people and pets leave, then ventilate the room (continue to do so for 24 hours) 2. put on heavy duty rubber gloves and pick up … OPTIONAL STEP: It is OPTIONAL to use commercially available powdered sulfur to absorb the beads that are too small to see. If there is a paper calibration strip inside of the thermometer that includes the words “mercury free,” then the liquid in the thermometer is not mercury. Additionally, users should read and understand product information before use. Newer non-digital fever thermometers often use alcohol or a non-toxic compound that looks similar to mercury. Use gloves and clean it up with something that can be thrown away. We hope this guide proved useful in showing you the appropriate steps to follow to dispose of your mercury-containing product. Almost everywhere in the world, concerned authorities provide facilities where you can dispose of hazardous waste, such as mercury or garden chemicals, for example, at local tips and recycling centres. Mercury is a liquid metal with properties different from most substances. Yet, you must take all precautions to avoid contamination and need to be a lot more careful cleaning up the spilled mercury. Slowly and carefully squeeze mercury onto a damp paper towel. When a mercury thermometer breaks, liquid mercury may spill out and can separate into small beads and can roll some distance away. You will likely have to utilize your local household hazardous waste (HHW) facility or events to properly dispose of and recycle items containing mercury. Only cut and remove the affected portion of the contaminated carpet for disposal. Direct shipment as … - Use a thin piece of card to collect up the spilled mercury beads or you can also use an empty plastic bottle to suck    them up. Note: Mercury can move surprising distances on hard-flat surfaces, so be sure to inspect the entire room, including any cracks in the floor, when searching. Unborn children exposed to mercury can suffer from neurological damage that … Use a squeegee or cardboard to gather mercury beads into small mercury balls. All of the non-mercury thermometers listed meet NIST standards. Pack the thermometer in a puncture-resistant, non-breakable sealed container such as a plastic bottle and then label the container as a thermometer with a permanent marker. 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