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Mercury Spill Cleanup Instructions – Cleaning Procedure if a Small Mercury Thermometer Breaks

Mercury Spill Cleanup Instructions – Cleaning Procedure if a Small Mercury Thermometer Breaks

Here are some useful Spill Cleanup Instructions if a Small Mercury Thermometer Breaks at your home or other settings. These instructions also apply to spills from other sources in which the amount is less than or similar to the amount in a thermometer. If your spill is greater than the amount in a thermometer follow other methods. 

Cleanup of a Broken Mercury Thermometer: Preparation

Allow everyone else to leave the area and avoid walking through the mercury on their way out. Remove all pets from the area. Open all windows and doors to the outside. You should shut all doors to other parts of the house. Never allow children to help you clean up the spill. This is very dangerous. Mercury is usually easy to clean from wood, linoleum, tile and other similar smooth surfaces. If a spill occurs on carpet, curtains, upholstery or other absorbent surfaces, you can thrown that item away. Try to cut and remove the affected portion of carpet. 

Clean Up a Small Mercury Spill: Articles Needed

  • 4-5 ziplock-type bags
  • trash bags (2 to 6 mils thick)
  • cardboard or squeegee
  • flashlight
  • powdered sulfur (optional)
  • eyedropper
  • duct tape, or shaving cream and small paint brush
  • rubber, nitrile or latex gloves
  • paper towels

Mercury Spill Cleanup: Procedure and Instructions

  • First Put on rubber, nitrile or latex gloves and remove any broken pieces of glass or sharp objects with care.
  • Place all broken objects on a paper towel and place in a zip lock bag. 
  • Locate visible mercury beads and gather all squeegee or cardboard.
  • Use slow sweeping motions only as to prevent these from becoming uncontrollable. 
  • Look for additional glistening beads of mercury in small cracked areas of the surface. Inspect the entire room when “searching.”
  • You can also use the eyedropper to collect or draw up the mercury beads.
  • Place all mercury onto a damp paper towel and put this in a zip lock bag and secure.
  • Just apply some shaving cream on top of small paint brush and gently “dot” the affected area.
  • This will help to catch those smaller hard-to-see beads.
  • Also try some sticky tape, such as duct tape to get small glass fragments.
  • Put the paint brush or duct tape in a zip lock bag and secure.
  • Label all these bags as directed by your local health or fire department.
  • Contact your local health department, municipal waste authority or your local fire department for proper disposal.
  • After cleaning, Remember to keep the area well ventilated to the outside.

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