A broken mercury-containing thermometer can be toxic if the vapors are inhaled. Care must be taken to avoid scattering the mercury or allowing it to roll to a hard-to-reach location. Inhalation is also not a concern because there is no absorption through the lungs. Mercury can be toxic in certain situations. button cell batteries which can be very harmful if swallowed. It binds the mercury so that it can be easily removed and suppresses the vapor of any missing mercury. The spill had not been cleaned up. If the liquid spills, rinse off the skin or rinse out the mouth with water. Locate visible mercury beads. After months of treatment with a medicine that helps remove mercury from the body, the symptoms were gone and the mercury levels were not detectable. The EPA recommends the following clean-up steps for broken mercury thermometers in your home. DO NOT allow children to help you clean up the spill. Place the paper towel in a zip locking bag and secure. A standard mercury fever thermometer contains about ½ gram of mercury. Reference: Velzeboer SC, Frenkel J, de Wolff FA. Place the paint brush or duct tape in a zip locking bag and secure. Cough and cold. If the liquid gets in the eye, prevent irritation by irrigating the eye with water for 15 to 20 minutes, then call Poison Control. Place the paper towel in a Zip-Lock style bag and secure. and got my dads lighter and started to slowly go over it evenly, not thinking that Mercury heats up. These vapors might be in low concentrations that would not cause immediate effects, but repeated long-term exposure to vapors can cause problems such as shaking, difficulty walking, weakness, headaches, loss of appetite, gum inflammation, red skin, high blood pressure, rapid pulse, kidney damage, and personality changes. Mercury is a liquid metal with properties different from most substances. Spring Mercury can be cleaned up easily from the following surfaces: wood, linoleum, tile, and most other hard, smooth surfaces.  |  Have everyone else (including pets) leave the area; don't let anyone walk through the mercury on their way out. Open all windows and doors to the outside; shut all doors to other parts of the house. The risk of poisoning from touching or swallowing mercury from a broken thermometer is low if appropriate clean-up measures are taken. Open all windows and doors to the outside; shut all doors to other parts of the house. Sure, It can still be there somewhere. 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). But, in fact, a crashed thermometer with correct and well-adjusted actions is nothing more than an unpleasant situation that can be resolved on its own. Is the liquid in the thermometer any color other than silver? In addition to checking for medical problems, the doctors asked the mother about exposures to anything unusual at home. If there are any broken pieces of glass or sharp objects, pick them up with care. Use a squeegee or cardboard to gather mercury beads into small mercury balls. Take a flashlight, hold it at a low angle close to the floor and look for additional glistening beads of mercury that might be sticking to the surface or in small cracked areas on the surface. Thermometers use a variety of technologies to measure body temperature. Firefighters decontaminate house after mercury leaked from simple thermometer in Milton Keynes A check to see if someone had a fever turned to danger when a mercury thermometer broke into pieces. Terms of UseAbout UsCourse RegistrationPrivacy PolicyContact UsFeedbackMedical Toxicology Fellowship. Have everyone else leave the area; don't let anyone walk through the mercury on their way out. This was the first type of thermometer to use mercury instead of water/alcohol mixtures, and it was this design that would remain in use until after the Second World War. If a battery is swallowed, contact the battery ingestion hotline at 800-498-8666. An official website of the United States government. 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. 1997;349:1810. Place all mercury beads and objects into the trash bag. Most likely in the lowest spot in the area where was broken. Note: Powdered sulfur may stain fabrics a dark color. It looks like silvery-white beads or balls (globules). Place the trash bag outside in a secured area and label it as directed by your local health or fire department. 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. He had a recent catheter-associated urinary tract infection and his daughter was checking his temperature orally with a mercury thermometer 30 minutes previously. However, many of the electronic thermometers contain button cell batteries which can be very harmful if swallowed. Use slow sweeping motions to keep mercury from becoming uncontrollable. Additionally, users should read and understand product information before use. 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. When I did, I realized that we hadn't used the thermometer in years and decided it was best to sterilize it in case anything was on it. 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. If the liquid is not silver in color, it does not contain mercury. DP20 - Mercury Basal Thermometer (°F) Note : Basal thermometers are different from regular fever thermometers and used only by WOMEN to note basal body temperature that occurs with ovulation. Fold the paper towel and seal it in a Zip-Lock style bag. While handling mercury, or any other hazardous substance, one should always wear protective gloves. If your spill is greater than the amount in a thermometer, visit our What to Do if You Spill More Mercury than the Amount in a Thermometer page. 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. What to do if a mercury thermometer breaks. Clin Toxicol (Phila). How to Repair a Mercury Thermometer. Winter The vapors can be inhaled and are absorbed into the body. Contact with the skin or inside the mouth could cause minor irritation or a burning sensation that should resolve quickly. 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. 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. Temperatures can be checked in the mouth, rectum, armpit, and ear as well as across the forehead. Common to all the liquid-in-glass thermometers is the potential for injury from the broken glass. A fever can be a sign of an infection or other medical condition, so it is useful to check body temperature with a thermometer. 1997;349:1810. Pediatr Emerg Care. Toddler and Preschool The real danger with mercury is not the pure metal, its organic mercury compounds - which are definitely not used in thermometers. If sickness occurs, seek medical attention immediately. View information on health effects related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury. It is a dense, shiny, fast-moving liquid metal that can break up into little balls that reform when pushed together. Consult your local environmental or health agency to inquire about contractors in your area. First of all, if the thermometer broke, we recall its physical properties and cool, if …

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