Don't allow anybody to step on the mercury or the shards of glass. Place all mercury beads and objects into the trash bag. - Open the windows and doors to ventilate the room. Cleanup and Disposal. First, cut out the contaminated pieces of fabric and seal them in a 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… Many household products contain mercury, from CFLs to button batteries to some thermometers. Note: Mercury can move surprising distances on hard-flat surfaces, so be sure to inspect the entire room, including any cracks i… Mercury can be cleaned up easily from the following surfaces: wood, linoleum, tile and any similarly smooth surfaces. If you are unable to recycle due to the current health emergency, please do not dispose of your mercury thermostats in the trash. 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. - Put the card (or plastic bottle) and the mercury beads into the plastic bag. I would like to know how I can dispose of the tube. 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: OPTIONAL STEP: It is OPTIONAL to use commercially available powdered sulfur to absorb the beads that are too small to see. 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. There may be a small charge for disposal and pre-registration is usually required. Only cut and remove the affected portion of the contaminated carpet for disposal. - Don�t touch the mercury with your bare hands 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. The sulfur binds to the mercury and makes clean-up easier. Tip: Mercury can move a long way on a smooth flat surface and shatter into tiny balls - check the entire room carefully. 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. The following disposal options are available to commercial/institutional generators of mercury-containing thermometers: 1. 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. Unborn children exposed to mercury can suffer from neurological damage that … 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. Remove children and pets from the room. 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. Find one that is near you and dispose your bag there. DO NOT allow children to help you clean up the spill. Make sure all pets are removed from the area. Use a squeegee or cardboard to gather mercury beads into small mercury balls. United States Environmental Protection Agency. We maintain more than 3,400 collection locations nationwide that will recycle mercury thermostats at no cost to you. plastic bleach bottle). If a mercury-containing thermometer is broken, do not clean up the spilled mercury with a vacuum cleaner. 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. First, clean up … collected mercury and things that came into contact with it. 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. Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem. Place the paint brush or duct tape in a zip locking bag and secure. 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. The recycling and disposal of electrical waste includes mercury tilt switches, manometers and fluorescent light bulbs. 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. Contact Environment Line By phone: 131 555 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. Step 7 . Place kitty litter or oil-absorbent matter around the product to protect it from breaking or sudden shocks. Newer non-digital fever thermometers often use alcohol or a non-toxic compound that looks similar to mercury. Similarly, if mercury gets down over the carpet then the cut the area and put it in a sealed bag. continued… Contact your local health department, municipal waste authority, or your local fire department for proper disposal in accordance with local, state and … 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. Knowing how to dispose of mercury the proper way is essential, whether you operate a business or are cleaning out your home. Outdated thermometers then not used, and in many the question arises, where to dispose of a mercury thermometer. Deposit the breakage into a glass jar with a lid or a sealable plastic bag. 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. Breathing in mercury vapor from a broken thermometer can manifest the … I've just broken an old mercury thermometer. In the above instructions, you were asked to separate as much of the liquid mercury … Do not simply throw mercury-containing or mercury-glass thermometers away in the trash, because the mercury is considered "hazardous waste." 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. Leave them open for at least 15 minutes. Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department. 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. Continue to keep pets and children out of cleanup area. What NOT to do after a Mercury Spill Open all windows and doors to the outside; shut all doors to other parts of the house. Secure the bag and label it as directed by your local health or fire department. 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 will likely have to utilize your local household hazardous waste (HHW) facility or events to properly dispose of and recycle items containing mercury. - Don�t sweep the mercury up with a brush or broom Step 8: Following the spill 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. Ask everyone to step away from the area around the broken thermometer immediately. Mercury poisoning is a real threat to the planet and all life upon it. 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.) 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. Place all materials used with the cleanup, including gloves, in a trash bag. Use a sheet of paper or cardboard to scoop up glass and metal pieces. 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. - Don�t dispose the mercury down the sink or the drain Call 911 if a thermometer, thermostat or wall-mounted blood pressure cuff is broken and mercury is released. It binds the mercury so that it can be easily removed and suppresses the vapor of any missing 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. Fold the paper towel and place in a zip locking bag. Use slow sweeping motions to keep mercury from becoming uncontrollable. If you break a mercury thermometer, some liquid mercury may spill out and can separate into small beads, which can roll some distance away. Locate visible mercury beads. Note: Powdered sulfur may stain fabrics a dark color. 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. 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. How Our Disposal Service Works Our medical services team will arrange a collection from your premises: The mercury is transported in a secure container It is also a very dangerous heavy metal. Place all broken objects on a paper towel. In spite of mercury's high toxicity, it is still found in home thermometers and florescent light bulbs. We hope this guide proved useful in showing you the appropriate steps to follow to dispose of your mercury-containing product. Step 3 Pour kitty litter, oil-absorbent, dirt or sand into the container around the thermometer. Small businesses may be able to dispose of mercury-containing thermometers and other mercury-containing devices at town or solid waste district collection events. 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 all broken objects on a paper towel. 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 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. Alternatively, use two pieces of cardboard paper to roll the mercury beads onto the paper towel or into the bag. Store the mercury in a secure place, preferably away from occupied areas, and contact a licensed hazardous waste vendor for disposal. 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… In the above instructions, you were asked to separate as much of the liquid mercury as possible from the How to Dispose of Mercury if Thermometer Breaks? All of the non-mercury thermometers listed meet NIST standards. 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. It still has liquid inside of it, so I can't just throw it out or dump the liquid. Mercury is a liquid metal with properties different from most substances. When a mercury thermometer breaks, liquid mercury may spill out and can separate into small beads and can roll some distance away. Step 1: Open the windows, shut the doors and leave the room for about 15 minutes. Care must be taken to avoid scattering the mercury or allowing it to roll to a hard-to-reach location. 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. The non-mercury thermometers are non-toxic and environmentally safe. Mercury is the 80th element on the periodic table and is useful for all sorts of things: thermometers, lights, batteries, even jewelry. It makes the mercury easier to see since there may be a color change from yellow to brown; and. Zip locking plastic bags (4 to 5 as needed), Duct tape or shaving cream, and small paint brush. 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. How to Dispose of Mercury if Thermometer Breaks. If there are any broken pieces of glass or sharp objects, pick them up with care. Use an eyedropper or heavy duty tape to pick up any tiny spheres. Clean liquid mercury from absorbent surfaces. Outdated thermometers then not used, and in many the question arises, where to dispose of a mercury thermometer. Store and recycle them when normal operations resume. 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 slow sweeping motions to keep mercury from becoming uncontrollable. Push the mercury into an envelope and put the envelope, scotch tape, gloves and the broken thermometer into a sealable plastic bag. We maintain more than 3,400 collection locations nationwide that will recycle mercury thermostats at no cost to you. 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. Contact your local solid waste director or recycling coordinator on how to properly dispose or recycle this material. While mercury isn’t recyclable, many of these products are. - 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. Store the mercury in a secure place, preferably away from occupied areas, and contact a licensed hazardous waste vendor for disposal. Choose a container that the thermometer will fit into completely and still have extra room. 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. If there are any broken pieces of glass or sharp objects, pick them up with care. - Stay out till the room is ventilated. How to Clean up a Small Mercury Spill (a broken thermometer, thermostat or compact fluorescent bulb) . Small beads of mercury or tiny pieces of broken glass can be picked up with sticky tape. Have everyone else leave the area; don't let anyone walk through the mercury on their way out. The room where the thermometer was broken is closed from visits for a week, leaving one window open. 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. If sickness occurs, seek medical attention immediately. 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. Symptoms of mercury poisoning. if the mercury has spilt onto carpet, clothing or upholstery, the contaminated part needs to be removed and disposed of. If it has “mercury-free” printed on it, then you can throw the thermometer away along with your regular trash. Newer models of thermometers contain alcohol or another liquid substance that simulates mercury. Place the trash bag outside in a secured area and label it as directed by your local health or fire department. How to Dispose of Mercury if Thermometer Breaks? Here are few cleaning up tips: Use a squeegee or cardboard to gather mercury beads into small mercury balls. Fold the paper towel and seal it … You may also be exposed to mercury vapour. 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). Drop off locations listed below: Put thermometer in a non-breakable sealed container (e.g. 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. Use gloves and clean it up with something that can be thrown away. Additionally, users should read and understand product information before use. Check if your thermometer actually contains mercury. Store and recycle them when normal operations resume. Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department. An official website of the United States government. Look for the words “mercury-free” printed on the thermometer to determine if it’s toxic. If a mercury-glass thermometer ever breaks, do not touch the mercury -- it is very poisonous. Consult your local environmental or health agency to inquire about contractors in your area. Fold the paper towel and place in a sealable plastic storage bag and label it "Mercury and Hazardous". They will tell you where to dispose of. Alternatively, dab shaving cream onto a disposable paint brush and use the brush to pick up the mercury. Call 911 if a thermometer, thermostat or wall-mounted blood pressure cuff is broken and mercury is released. - 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. Follow these steps to dispose of a broken mercury thermometer properly. First research on household hazardous waste facilities near your area To effectively dispose of the thermometer, you must first research household hazardous waste facilities in your area. Place the paper towel in a zip locking bag and secure. Clearly label storage container as "Mercury - DO NOT OPEN." 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. - Wipe the area with a damp cloth. 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. You may want to request the services of a contractor who has monitoring equipment to screen for mercury vapors. Put the cloth in the same bag and seal it. 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. Use the eyedropper to collect or draw up the mercury beads. 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. Poison control centers across the nation frequently receive inquires regarding mercury thermometers. Place all mercury-containing products or containers of mercury inside a larger container with a tight fitting lid. - Don�t use a vacuum cleaner 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. Yet, you must take all precautions to avoid contamination and need to be a lot more careful cleaning up the spilled mercury. Spilled mercury can be very dangerous if not handled correctly. Push the mercury into an envelope and put the envelope, scotch tape, gloves and the broken thermometer into a sealable plastic bag. We wash ourselves thoroughly, rinse the oral cavity several times with soda solution and take several tablets of activated carbon for disinfection. Hi, I broke the top of my Galileo Liquid Thermometer and the top was broken off. Where to get powdered sulfur? 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. 2. I could barely see it, but there was a bit there. Do not worry if you don't have this available. Use the sulphur neutralising process on these as outlined. Open a window and allow the room to air out at least 15 minutes. Slowly and carefully squeeze mercury onto a damp paper towel. Mercury is highly toxic, and even short-term exposure due to a spillage or cracked thermometer can lead to harmful effects. Clearly label the bottle "thermometer or mercury". It is sometimes found in the gardening departments at hardware stores, near the fertilizer, or with garden pesticides and fungicides. What to do if a mercury thermometer breaks? plastic bleach bottle). How to Clean up a Small Mercury Spill (a broken thermometer, thermostat or compact fluorescent bulb) . - 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. First, cut out the contaminated pieces of fabric and seal them in a plastic bag. 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. A little bit of the liquid spilled out but we cleaned it up. Pharmacists may also have it. Similarly, if mercury gets down over the carpet then the cut the area and put it in a sealed bag. If you have further questions, then please call your local poison control center at 1 (800) 222-1222. … When using powdered sulfur, do not breathe in the powder as it can be moderately toxic. Mercury thermometers are a great tool that help us tell temperature, but if one breaks you can’t just throw it in the garbage. If you do NOT see the words “mercury free," then assume that the liquid is mercury. - Try not to create dust, but if there is any dust, avoid breathing it in - Do not clean up the mercury beads and broken glass without wearing a rubber or plastic gloves. 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. Clean liquid mercury from absorbent surfaces. 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. Use sticky tape to pick up the smaller … Pharmacists may also have it.​. Put thermometer in a non-breakable sealed container (e.g. Bring the Thermometer to a Household Hazardous Waste Facility. 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. Mercury also contain thermometers … No. 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. View information on health effects related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury. Locate visible mercury beads. Step 7 . Direct shipment as … Clearly label the bottle "thermometer or mercury". Place all broken objects on a paper towel. Is the liquid in the thermometer any color other than silver? If there are any broken pieces of glass or sharp objects, pick them up with care. Disposal. 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