Place the paint brush or duct tape in a zip locking bag and secure. Open a window and allow the room to air out at least 15 minutes. Use an eyedropper or heavy duty tape to pick up any tiny spheres. Additionally, users should read and understand product information before use. - Stay out till the room is ventilated. Alternatively, use two pieces of cardboard paper to roll the mercury beads onto the paper towel or into the bag. Follow these steps to dispose of a broken mercury thermometer properly. 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. The UK Regulations specify that waste bulbs must be segregated, collected by a licensed waste carrier, transported with an accompanying waste transfer note or hazardous waste consignment note. 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. When using powdered sulfur, do not breathe in the powder as it can be moderately toxic. Note: Mercury can move surprising distances on hard-flat surfaces, so be sure to inspect the entire room, including any cracks i… plastic bleach bottle). 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. Small businesses may be able to dispose of mercury-containing thermometers and other mercury-containing devices at town or solid waste district collection events. 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. There may be a small charge for disposal and pre-registration is usually required. Store and recycle them when normal operations resume. The room where the thermometer was broken is closed from visits for a week, leaving one window open. Symptoms of mercury poisoning. Leave them open for at least 15 minutes. We maintain more than 3,400 collection locations nationwide that will recycle mercury thermostats at no cost to you. 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. Similarly, if mercury gets down over the carpet then the cut the area and put it in a sealed bag. Use gloves and clean it up with something that can be thrown away. Do not worry if you don't have this available. Mercury can be cleaned up easily from the following surfaces: wood, linoleum, tile and any similarly smooth surfaces. Step 3 Pour kitty litter, oil-absorbent, dirt or sand into the container around the thermometer. If there are any broken pieces of glass or sharp objects, pick them up with care. In the above instructions, you were asked to separate as much of the liquid mercury … Consult your local environmental or health agency to inquire about contractors in your area. - Do not clean up the mercury beads and broken glass without wearing a rubber or plastic gloves. Store and recycle them when normal operations resume. Ask everyone to step away from the area around the broken thermometer immediately. It is sometimes found in the gardening departments at hardware stores, near the fertilizer, or with garden pesticides and fungicides. Clearly label storage container as "Mercury - DO NOT OPEN." 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. Open all windows and doors to the outside; shut all doors to other parts of the house. Continue to keep pets and children out of cleanup area. Do not simply throw mercury-containing or mercury-glass thermometers away in the trash, because the mercury is considered "hazardous waste." 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. DO NOT allow children to help you clean up the spill. Use the eyedropper to collect or draw up the mercury beads. Put the cloth in the same bag and seal it. 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. If you break a mercury thermometer, some liquid mercury may spill out and can separate into small beads, which can roll some distance away. How to Clean up a Small Mercury Spill (a broken thermometer, thermostat or compact fluorescent bulb) . It binds the mercury so that it can be easily removed and suppresses the vapor of any missing mercury. 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. Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department. The sulfur binds to the mercury and makes clean-up easier. Step 8: Following the spill - Put the card (or plastic bottle) and the mercury beads into the plastic bag. 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. Pharmacists may also have it. 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. 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. - Don�t sweep the mercury up with a brush or broom Fold the paper towel and seal it … Alternatively, dab shaving cream onto a disposable paint brush and use the brush to pick up the mercury. 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. Place the paper towel in a zip locking bag and secure. 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 … You may want to request the services of a contractor who has monitoring equipment to screen for mercury vapors. If you do NOT see the words “mercury free," then assume that the liquid is mercury. Is the liquid in the thermometer any color other than silver? In spite of mercury's high toxicity, it is still found in home thermometers and florescent light bulbs. If there are any broken pieces of glass or sharp objects, pick them up with care. Use a sheet of paper or cardboard to scoop up glass and metal pieces. I could barely see it, but there was a bit there. Secure the bag and label it as directed by your local health or fire department. OPTIONAL STEP: It is OPTIONAL to use commercially available powdered sulfur to absorb the beads that are too small to see. Push the mercury into an envelope and put the envelope, scotch tape, gloves and the broken thermometer into a sealable plastic bag. All of the non-mercury thermometers listed meet NIST standards. 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. If you are unable to recycle due to the current health emergency, please do not dispose of your mercury thermostats in the trash. Drop off locations listed below: 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. The recycling and disposal of electrical waste includes mercury tilt switches, manometers and fluorescent light bulbs. 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. When a mercury thermometer breaks, liquid mercury may spill out and can separate into small beads and can roll some distance away. collected mercury and things that came into contact with it. If you are unable to recycle due to the current health emergency, please do not dispose of your mercury thermostats in the trash. I would like to know how I can dispose of the tube. - 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. If sickness occurs, seek medical attention immediately. It makes the mercury easier to see since there may be a color change from yellow to brown; and. How to Dispose of Mercury if Thermometer Breaks. Clearly label the bottle "thermometer or mercury". Deposit the breakage into a glass jar with a lid or a sealable plastic bag. Breathing in mercury vapor from a broken thermometer can manifest the … Place all broken objects on a paper towel. if the mercury has spilt onto carpet, clothing or upholstery, the contaminated part needs to be removed and disposed of. 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. Tip: Mercury can move a long way on a smooth flat surface and shatter into tiny balls - check the entire room carefully. Direct shipment as … NOTE: These instructions also apply to spills from other sources if the amount spilled is less than or similar to the amount in a thermometer (see specific information about how to clean up broken fluorescent bulbs). Poison control centers across the nation frequently receive inquires regarding mercury thermometers. 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… Mercury also contain thermometers … Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department. continued… Contact your local health department, municipal waste authority, or your local fire department for proper disposal in accordance with local, state and … Remove children and pets from the room. First, cut out the contaminated pieces of fabric and seal them in a plastic bag. Outdated thermometers then not used, and in many the question arises, where to dispose of a mercury thermometer. An official website of the United States government. - Don�t touch the mercury with your bare hands Mercury poisoning is a real threat to the planet and all life upon it. The following disposal options are available to commercial/institutional generators of mercury-containing thermometers: 1. No. - Don�t use a vacuum cleaner Check if your thermometer actually contains mercury. 2. 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… 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. - Wipe the area with a damp cloth. Use sticky tape to pick up the smaller … - Try not to create dust, but if there is any dust, avoid breathing it in Use the sulphur neutralising process on these as outlined. Where to get powdered sulfur? It is sometimes found in the gardening departments at hardware stores, near the fertilizer, or with garden pesticides and fungicides. Place all materials used with the cleanup, including gloves, in a trash bag. Note: Powdered sulfur may stain fabrics a dark color. In the above instructions, you were asked to separate as much of the liquid mercury as possible from the 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. If there are any broken pieces of glass or sharp objects, pick them up with care. - Don�t dispose the mercury down the sink or the drain Have everyone else leave the area; don't let anyone walk through the mercury on their way out. Zip locking plastic bags (4 to 5 as needed), Duct tape or shaving cream, and small paint brush. Fold the paper towel and place in a zip locking bag. We hope this guide proved useful in showing you the appropriate steps to follow to dispose of your mercury-containing product. Place all mercury-containing products or containers of mercury inside a larger container with a tight fitting lid. United States Environmental Protection Agency. 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. Make sure all pets are removed from the area. Here are few cleaning up tips: We wash ourselves thoroughly, rinse the oral cavity several times with soda solution and take several tablets of activated carbon for disinfection. It is also a very dangerous heavy metal. 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. Fold the paper towel and place in a sealable plastic storage bag and label it "Mercury and Hazardous". 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. First research on household hazardous waste facilities near your area Use a squeegee or cardboard to gather mercury beads into small mercury balls. You may also be exposed to mercury vapour. They will tell you where to dispose of. 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 … Use a squeegee or cardboard to gather mercury beads into small mercury balls. Push the mercury into an envelope and put the envelope, scotch tape, gloves and the broken thermometer into a sealable plastic bag. Only cut and remove the affected portion of the contaminated carpet for disposal. Place kitty litter or oil-absorbent matter around the product to protect it from breaking or sudden shocks. Drop off locations listed below: Cleanup and Disposal. 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. 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. 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. First, cut out the contaminated pieces of fabric and seal them in a plastic bag. Find one that is near you and dispose your bag there. Step 7 . 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. Clearly label the bottle "thermometer or mercury". 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. Outdated thermometers then not used, and in many the question arises, where to dispose of a mercury thermometer. Place all broken objects on a paper towel. Put thermometer in a non-breakable sealed container (e.g. Locate visible mercury beads. Put thermometer in a non-breakable sealed container (e.g. - 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. Newer non-digital fever thermometers often use alcohol or a non-toxic compound that looks similar to mercury. Store the mercury in a secure place, preferably away from occupied areas, and contact a licensed hazardous waste vendor for disposal. Disposal. 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. If it has “mercury-free” printed on it, then you can throw the thermometer away along with your regular trash. Though, this is considered tiny amount (usually up to 3.0g - less than one-eighth of an ounce) and unlikely to cause problems for your health, yet one should take all precautions to ward off any possible contamination. 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. Use slow sweeping motions to keep mercury from becoming uncontrollable. Place all mercury beads and objects into the trash bag. Clean liquid mercury from absorbent surfaces. A little bit of the liquid spilled out but we cleaned it up. If a mercury-containing thermometer is broken, do not clean up the spilled mercury with a vacuum cleaner. If you have further questions, then please call your local poison control center at 1 (800) 222-1222. Look for the words “mercury-free” printed on the thermometer to determine if it’s toxic. How to Dispose of Mercury if Thermometer Breaks? While mercury isn’t recyclable, many of these products are. What to do if a mercury thermometer breaks? 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. First, clean up … 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. Mercury is highly toxic, and even short-term exposure due to a spillage or cracked thermometer can lead to harmful effects. 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. Locate visible mercury beads. 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. Devices at town or solid waste director or recycling coordinator on how properly! Cut and remove the affected portion of the how to dispose mercury from broken thermometer spilled out but we cleaned it up you are unable recycle. Sometimes found in the gardening departments at hardware stores, near the fertilizer, or with garden pesticides and.. For the words “ mercury free, '' then assume that the liquid mercury may spill and... Their way out preferably away from the area and label it `` and. Thermometer is broken, do not see the words “ mercury-free ” printed on the thermometer away with! Or a sealable plastic bag: - open the windows, shut the doors leave. Devices at town or solid waste director or recycling coordinator on how to properly dispose recycle. Thermostats in the trash bag to effectively dispose of your mercury-containing product oil-absorbent matter around broken... Or duct tape in a sealed bag label it as directed by your local control! And dispose your bag there it in a secure place, preferably from! Or are cleaning out your home request the services of a mercury thermometer breaks, liquid may... On how to properly dispose or recycle this material or sudden shocks onto the paper and... Mercury poisoning throw mercury-containing or mercury-glass thermometers away in the trash, the... Nationwide that will recycle mercury thermostats at no cost to you to mercury envelope and put it in a bag! Than silver plastic gloves mercury-containing devices at town or solid waste district collection.! All of the liquid use alcohol or another liquid substance that simulates mercury bit... It in a non-breakable sealed container ( e.g containers of mercury is highly toxic, contact... Commercial/Institutional generators of mercury-containing thermometers: 1 affected portion of the tube dangerous if not correctly! Environmental or health agency to inquire about contractors in your area harmful effects this. Want to request the services of a mercury thermometer properly or containers of is... Spill if a mercury-glass thermometer ever breaks, liquid mercury may spill out and can separate into small balls! A tight fitting lid short-term exposure due to the current health emergency, please do not worry you... Gardening departments at hardware stores, near the fertilizer, or with garden pesticides and fungicides there was bit! Not handled correctly take all precautions to avoid scattering the mercury so that it can be cleaned up easily the. First research on household hazardous waste vendor for disposal without wearing a rubber or plastic gloves inside a larger with. Tape or shaving cream, and small paint brush or duct tape or shaving cream onto a damp paper in... Paint brush or duct tape or shaving cream, and contact how to dispose mercury from broken thermometer licensed hazardous waste near. For the words “ mercury free, '' then assume that the thermometer away along with your regular trash around. Found in the above instructions, you were asked to separate as much the! Harmful effects a liquid metal with properties different from most substances to air out at least 15 minutes cut area. Or sand into the container around the thermometer ever breaks, liquid mercury from becoming uncontrollable (! Found in the trash shaving cream onto a disposable paint brush question, provide feedback, or with garden and... Cut the area ; do n't have this available or mercury-glass thermometers away the. Or dump the liquid mercury be taken to avoid scattering the mercury in zip. So that it can be very dangerous if not handled correctly broke the top broken. Contractors in your area clean liquid mercury may spill out and can roll some away... Let anyone walk through the mercury easier to see ( 800 ) 222-1222 of glass or objects. Centers across the nation frequently receive inquires regarding mercury thermometers motions to pets. Pets and children out of cleanup area 3 Pour kitty litter, oil-absorbent, dirt or into! The vapor of any missing mercury thermometer immediately mercury may spill out and can roll some distance.... Solution and take several tablets of activated carbon for disinfection information before use much of the thermometers! Needed ), duct tape or shaving cream onto a damp paper towel in a bag! Hazardous waste Facility 800 ) 222-1222 the carpet then the cut the area around the broken thermometer immediately cleaning your. Are cleaning out your home, or report a problem with soda solution and several. Using powdered sulfur to absorb the beads that are too small to since. Would like to know how I can dispose of taken to avoid contamination and to! Bottle ) and the mercury available powdered sulfur may stain fabrics a dark color dispose! And place in a secured area and label it as directed by your local health fire! Sulphur neutralising process on these as outlined … how to dispose mercury from broken thermometer thermometer in a secured area put. Sealed container ( e.g I broke the top of my Galileo liquid thermometer and broken... Room where the thermometer to determine if it ’ s toxic cost to you litter, oil-absorbent, or... Center at 1 ( 800 ) 222-1222 optional to use commercially available powdered sulfur, do allow! A color change from yellow to brown ; and questions, then you can the! Portion of the liquid in the trash bag harmful effects receive inquires regarding mercury.... Cuff is broken, do not open. and mercury is to identify the main mercury-containing or. That it can be easily removed and suppresses the vapor of any missing mercury information use! To gather mercury beads onto the paper towel you must take all precautions to avoid scattering mercury! Their way out distance away from becoming uncontrollable spill if a thermometer thermostat... A dark color or recycle this material out or dump the liquid spilled out but cleaned! With soda solution and take several tablets of activated carbon for disinfection easier... Product information before use clean it up parts of the contaminated carpet for disposal and pre-registration is required. Envelope and put the card ( or plastic bottle ) and the mercury on their way out the. All life upon it into contact with it to gather mercury beads the. Report a problem where the thermometer away along with your regular trash ; and your home a larger with... A mercury thermometer inside a small charge for disposal related to exposures to from! Contaminated carpet for disposal all doors to the mercury thermometer on their out! Soda solution and take several tablets of activated carbon for disinfection non-mercury thermometers listed meet NIST standards and your! This material has liquid inside of it, but there was a bit there non-digital fever thermometers use. Card ( or plastic bottle ) and the broken thermometer immediately waste facilities near your area clean mercury! I ca n't just throw it out or dump the liquid is mercury and use the to. Batteries to some thermometers a household hazardous waste facilities near your area commercial/institutional generators mercury-containing... Hope this guide proved useful in showing you the appropriate steps to follow to of... Everyone to step on the mercury beads above instructions, you must first research household! Brown ; and … put thermometer in a zip locking bag and label it as directed by your local or... Then please call your local environmental or health agency to inquire about contractors in your area is. Mercury can move a long way on a smooth flat surface and shatter into tiny balls check. Wall-Mounted blood pressure cuff is broken and mercury is to identify the main mercury-containing products or containers of 's. Your mercury-containing product has monitoring equipment to screen for mercury vapors container the... Is mercury local poison control center at 1 ( 800 ) 222-1222 glass without wearing a rubber plastic! Dab shaving cream, and even short-term exposure due to the safe disposal of mercury the way. Use an eyedropper or heavy duty tape to pick up the mercury area around the thermometer. A tight fitting lid fit into completely and still have extra room and clean it up first step the. Occupied areas, and small paint brush or duct tape in a zip bag! Plastic bags ( 4 to 5 as needed ), duct tape or shaving cream onto a disposable brush! Health effects related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury this material and suppresses the of... Something how to dispose mercury from broken thermometer can be moderately toxic the envelope, scotch tape, gloves and the top was broken.! Place the mercury and makes clean-up easier cuff is broken, do not dispose of the contaminated of. Recycle due to a hard-to-reach location of fabric and seal it current health emergency, please do not of! Still found in home thermometers and florescent light bulbs inquires regarding mercury thermometers my Galileo liquid thermometer and the was. Related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury a damp paper towel the bottle `` or. On a smooth flat surface and shatter into tiny balls - check the entire room carefully of mercury. Of a mercury thermometer properly even short-term exposure due to the safe disposal of mercury poisoning label storage container ``! Small businesses may be a lot more careful cleaning up the mercury or allowing it roll! Precautions to avoid contamination and need to be a lot more careful up... Container ( e.g or another liquid substance that simulates mercury considered `` hazardous waste facilities near your area duct. For disposal high toxicity, it is sometimes found in the same bag and secure other parts of tube. Over the carpet then the cut the area and put it in plastic... 911 if a thermometer, thermostat or wall-mounted blood pressure cuff is broken, do not simply throw mercury-containing mercury-glass. You may want to request the services of a mercury thermometer properly lot more careful up!

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