Mercury thermometers are a common household item, but they can be dangerous to dispose of in the trash. This is because mercury makes up a significant portion of the product and it can contaminate landfills or the water supply if disposed of improperly.
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How to safely dispose of a mercury thermometer
Disposing of a mercury thermometer properly is important for two reasons. First, it’s imperative to keep this potent neurotoxin out of the environment and away from people, especially children who are more susceptible to mercury’s harmful effects. Second, in Utah it’s against the law to dispose of mercury in the garbage.
The best way to dispose of a mercury thermometer is to bring it to a special collection site or event set up specifically for this purpose. You can also mail it in for recycling. If you have a home business that uses mercury thermometers, please call 1-800-3333-EXIT to find out about special disposal options for your business.
If you absolutely must dispose of a mercury thermometer in your regular trash, do the following:
1) Carefully place the thermometer in a metal container with a secure lid, such as a metal coffee can or an empty paint can. Label the container ‘Do Not Open ‘ Mercury Thermometer Inside!’
2) Place the container in another larger trash bag and seal tightly.
3) Take the bagged container directly to your local landfill for disposal. Do not put it out with your regular trash!
4) Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
How to clean up a mercury spill
If a mercury thermometer breaks in your home or business, follow these instructions to clean up the spill:
– Mercury is a metal that is liquid at room temperature.
– It is silver in color and can be found in some older style thermometers.
– If you see small silver balls on the ground, these are mercury beads.
– Do not allow children or pets near the spill.
– Immediately contain the spill.
– Place a plastic sheet or tray under the broken thermometer.
– Gently pick up any larger beadsof mercury with tweezers and place them on the plastic.
– Use adhesive tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any small beads of mercury. Wrap the tape around your finger, sticky side out, and press it onto the floor to pick up the mercury. Adhesive tape can also be used to pick up small fragments of glass from a broken thermometer.
– Be sure to dispose of all materials used to clean up the spill, such as gloves, tweezers, and tape, in a sealed plastic bag.
After you have contained the spill:
– Open windows and doors to ventilate the area.
– Mercury vapors can be harmful if inhaled, so it is important to ventilate the area well.
– Leave the area for 15 minutes before returning.
How to store mercury safely
If you have a mercury thermometer, it is important to know how to store it safely and how to dispose of it properly.
Mercury is a metal that is liquid at room temperature. It is found in thermometers, thermostats, dental fillings, some light bulbs, and some switches.
If a mercury thermometer breaks, it is important to clean up the mercury carefully. Do not use a vacuum cleaner because this will spread the mercury around and make the cleanup more difficult.
To clean up mercury:
– Carefully collect all the beads of mercury using a stiff piece of paper or cardboard.
– Scoop up the beads with the paper and place them in a sealable container such as a jar with a tight-fitting lid or a zip-top bag.
– Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth. Be sure to wash your hands when you are finished.
If you have a large amount of mercury, you can call your local solid waste agency or the Utah Hazardous Waste Hotline at 1-800-452-5346 for help with disposal. You can also take the mercury to a household hazardous waste collection site. Check with your local solid waste agency for locations and hours of operation.
The dangers of mercury exposure
Everyone is aware of the dangers of mercury exposure, but not everyone knows how to properly dispose of a mercury thermometer. If you have a mercury thermometer at home or at your business, it’s important to know the proper way to dispose of it.
In Utah, it is illegal to dispose of any mercury-containing device in the trash. Thermometers contain metal, so they must be recycled through a residential or commercial recycling program. If you don’t have access to a recycling program, you can take your thermometer to a Utah Hazardous Waste Facility for disposal.
To find the nearest hazardous waste facility, visit Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality website or call 1-800-222-3271.
The symptoms of mercury poisoning
If you have a broken mercury thermometer at home or at your business, it is important to clean up the spill and dispose of the thermometer properly. If not cleaned up properly, mercury can cause health problems.
Exposure to high levels of mercury can cause neurological symptoms such as headache, dizziness, tremors and hallucinations. Exposure to lower levels of mercury can cause kidney damage.
If you think you may have been exposed to mercury, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
How To Dispose Of A Mercury Thermometer:
1) If the thermometer is broken, open a window and leave the area for 15 minutes.
2) Carefully pick up the pieces of the thermometer with tweezers or gloved hands and place them in a sealed plastic bag.
3) Wipe the area where the thermometer broke with a damp cloth. Be sure to dispose of the cloth in a sealed plastic bag.
4) Place all mercury-containing materials in a sealed container such as a coffee can or jar. Mercury should never be thrown in the trash!
5) Contact your local Solid Waste District or Environmental Protection Agency to find out where you can take these materials for proper disposal. In Utah, you can also call 1-800-222-1222 for disposal information.
How to protect yourself from mercury exposure
If you have a mercury thermometer, please follow these instructions for disposal:
-Take the mercury thermometer to a metal recycling center.
-In Utah, metal recycling centers are located in most cities and towns. Many hardware and home stores also contain metal recycling centers.
-Place the thermometer in a sealed plastic bag.
How to test for mercury exposure
If you have a broken mercury thermometer at home or business, please follow these steps for safe cleanup and disposal:
-Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
-Carefully scoop up the mercury beads and droplets with a stiff piece of paper. Wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel.
-Place all mercury-contaminated materials in a sealable plastic bag.
-Mercury thermometers can be taken to any of Utah’s household hazardous waste collection sites for free disposal. Please call ahead to your county’s location to ensure they are able to take the thermometer. Do not put in the garbage.
-If you must throw away a mercury-containing device, such as a thermostat, please remove the mercury switch first and dispose of it properly before discarding the rest of the device in the trash. For more information on removing switches, please contact your local hazardous waste collection site.
The treatment for mercury poisoning
If you have a mercury thermometer, you should dispose of it as soon as possible. Here are some guidelines for disposing of mercury thermometers:
-If the mercury is contained in a glass or metal (Utah does not allow for the disposal of mercury-containing devices in the home or business trash), you can return it to a household hazardous waste collection site or a Utah Hazardous Waste Facility for free.
-If the mercury is not contained, contact your local hazardous waste facility or the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Hazardous Waste Hotline at 1-800-633-4372 for guidance on how to safely clean up and dispose of the mercury.
The long-term effects of mercury exposure
Mercuric sulfide (HgS), also known as cinnabar, is the main ore of mercury. It is a bright red powder that is insoluble in water. When heated, it decomposes to give off poisonous fumes of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and mercury vapor (Hg).
How to prevent mercury exposure
To prevent inadvertent mercury exposure, it’s important to:
-Read and follow the directions that come with your mercury thermometer.
-If you have an older mercury thermometer, do not attempt to calibrate it. Get a new one.
-If you break a mercury thermometer at home, open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes. Carefully scoop up the pieces with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealable plastic bag. Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth. Place all cleaning materials in the plastic bag.
-If you break a mercury thermometer at work, follow your company’s cleanup procedures immediately and notify your supervisor.
-Don’t use a vacuum cleaner to clean up mercury. It will spread the mercury vapors throughout the house.
-Don’t wash clothing or other absorbent materials that may be contaminated with mercury in a washing machine where they can contaminate other clothing. hand wash them using rubber or disposable gloves and dispose of them properly.
If you have a | at home:
Contact your local waste management agency for instructions on how to properly dispose of it. In Utah, you can also bring it to any Metal Mart location for proper disposal .
Mercury thermometers are a type of mercury-containing medical device that is used to measure temperature. These devices can be dangerous when they have been left in the environment for too long or if they have been dropped and broken. The cost of disposing of these items varies depending on how much mercury has been released into the environment and where it is being disposed. Reference: mercury disposal cost.