What should I do if a mercury thermometer is broken?

Everyone knows that mercury is dangerous. But, on the other hand, it is available to each of us in everyday life, in particular in thermometers and thermometers.

Mercury enters the body either through the digestive tract or through the respiratory tract. Well, an adult, of course, will not try to mercury on the tooth, but the child can very much pull it into his mouth. Mercury balls look very cute, you can even say - festive.

Even worse is the fact that mercury vapor can be simply breathing in and out of it. And mercury poisoning is an insidious thing, it does not give much information about itself. There is irritability, nausea, but it is usually written off to a bad ecology, fatigue, or the classic "something is not something eaten." Meanwhile, mercury is reaching your kidneys and the central nervous system. So, the mercury thermometer crashed, what to do?

First steps

If there are signs of mercury sources - contact the Mercury Disposal Service immediately:Hot line, 24 hours, without weekends and holidays:

+7 (495) 781-90-99

Using specialized equipment entered in the State Register of Measuring Instruments, certified specialists will measure the concentration of mercury vapor in the air and determine the sources of mercury. The detected sources of pollution are eliminated during special demercurization measures.

Guaranteed quality of all the work done - Test departure for repeated measurements of the concentration of mercury vapor in the air for 7 days - FREE!

The services are certified: Laboratory Accreditation Certificate issued by the Federal Accreditation Service No. ROSS RU.0001.21EN01. Conforms to requirements of GOST ISO / MEK 17025-2009.

If a mercury thermometer broke, consider the following fact: the higher the temperature in the room, the faster you need to move.

1. Remove children from the room. As already mentioned, mercury balls look pretty nice, so it’s not worth the risk.

2. Limit the place where mercury has scattered. It has the unpleasant property of sticking to all surfaces and spreads quickly around the house on the soles of shoes.

3. Wear rubber gloves.In the process of collecting mercury should not come into contact with the skin.

4. Place a desktop electric lamp next to it - so the droplets of mercury will be visible much better.

5. Collect mercury as quickly and accurately as possible. Note that you can not collect mercury with a broom or (even worse) with a vacuum cleaner. In both cases, you simply crush it into minute particles and send it to a free flight, which may well end in your lungs. Do you need it? Therefore, we collect carefully. A copper brush or wire (mercury adheres to it), adhesive tape or adhesive tape, cotton swabs, a wet newspaper are well suited for this business. From the cracks mercury is best to pull out with a rubber syringe or syringe.

The very mercury is sent to a jar of cold water, which is tightly closed and put in a cold place. Everything, than mercury collected - in a sealed package (a wet newspaper, cotton wool, sticking plaster - you can all in the same jar). Package - in the garbage can, a can of mercury - representatives of the service "01".

6. After the mercury has been collected, we open all the windows and ventilate the room.

7. The place where the mercury was needed to process. Ideally, a solution of bleach or chloramine.If there is nothing like that - we make soda-soap solution (30 grams of soda and 40 grams of grated soap per liter of water).

Further actions

1. Contact the Mercury Disposal Service for assistance. Even if you removed the mercury yourself, it is highly desirable that they take away the jar of mercury and check the concentration of mercury vapor in the room. So, if you worry about your health and your children, do not lag behind them until they arrive and they will not do everything.

2. In the process of collecting try to breathe less. Mercury evaporates, and still you will breathe in its vapor, so do not increase the "dose".

3. Drink plenty of diuretic fluid. For example, tea, juices. If the season - watermelon will also be a good tool. Mercury compounds are excreted through the kidneys, and the faster you "wash" them - the better.

Why not?

1. You can not throw a broken thermometer in the garbage disposal. That pair of grammes of mercury, that is in a thermometer, quickly will pollute all entrance to a dangerous level.

2. You can not sweep mercury with a broom. Rigid rods grind mercury balls into fine dust, which evaporates much faster.

3. Do not collect mercury with a vacuum cleaner. A powerful flow of air quickly evaporates mercury.Not only will the vacuum cleaner be thrown away, so much of the mercury will immediately be in your room in the form of toxic fumes, which we are actually afraid of.

4. It is logical that it is better to collect mercury in a cool room. But it is absolutely impossible to do drafts - the effect will turn out as in the case of a vacuum cleaner.

5. If mercury is in contact with clothing - it is better to throw it away. If these clothes are expensive for you and you don’t want to throw them away, then you absolutely can’t wash them in a washing machine. The process of cleaning clothes from mercury residues is very long and dreary, think carefully, maybe this thing is not so important?

6. Never flush mercury down the drain. It has the unpleasant property to immediately settle on sewer pipes (mercury is metal, therefore it settles quickly). And getting rid of mercury in the sewage system is almost impossible.


Do not forget that thermometers and thermometers are not the only things that contain mercury. Mercury compounds are present in many technical devices. For example, in batteries, in fluorescent lamps. By the way, so widely advertised and actively introduced energy-saving lamps also have mercury.And - not so little. Therefore, they can not even be thrown into garbage, they must be disposed of.

Acute poisoning with mercury from a broken thermometer does not threaten you, unless you decide to taste it. But if you do not remove mercury in time - the consequences will be the most unpleasant.

Of course, the amount of mercury in an ordinary thermometer is not so great, but if it evaporates all in a closed room, it will be extremely unpleasant. The problem is that mercury vapor poisoning almost does not manifest itself at first. The first symptoms are fatigue, headache, general weakness, drowsiness, apathy.

All these symptoms are usually attributed to fatigue or overwork. But then, when the poisoning turns into a chronic form, more serious problems appear - pressure decreases, heart rhythm disturbances appear, the thyroid gland increases. Well and the central nervous system too gets - there is an emotional instability.

So be careful and use such things carefully! Instructions, by the way, are also helpful to read.

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