Mercury Containing Products |
- Certain alkaline batteries prior to 1998 and button batteries
- Certain switches
- Certain pigments of latex and oil-based paints pre 1991
- Pesticides / fungicides
- Felt hat manufacturing
- Mercury is used in dental fillings because it is durable, inexpensive and able to bond with some metals.
- Alternative fillings are made of gold, porcelain, ceramic or plastics.
- Fluorescent lamps
- Mercury vaporlamps
- High-pressure sodium lamps
- Metal halide lamps & neon lamps
- Strobe lights.
Elemental Mercury and Compounds
- Mercury Oxide
- Mercury Chloride
- Mercury Sulfate
- Mercury Nitrate
Mercury and Health Concerns
Mercury is bioaccumulative in organic systems, which means that mercury ingested by an organism will remain in the body. Mercury can effect people’s health through both long-term low-level exposures and through short-term acute exposures, such as direct contact with elemental mercury.
Mercury can be absorbed through the skin and because elemental mercury vaporizes, the vapors present an inhalation hazard. These are reasons why you should ventilate a room to the outside and wear gloves to avoid all direct contact with mercury.
Mercury in lakes and rivers is converted into methyl mercury by certain bacteria. Fish ingest methyl mercury by swimming or feeding in contaminated water. Methyl mercury accumulates in fish tissue and is carried up the food chain to larger fish, animals and humans. Methyl mercury is dangerous because the concentration of methyl mercury increases as it goes up the food chain.
More Information — Health Links & Resouces from EPA
How to Handle a Small Mercury Spill
- DO turn off ventilating or air conditioning system and open windows and doors that vent to the outdoors.
- DO set aside everything you think might be contaminated with mercury.
- DO immediately remove children from the area.
- DO make sure to avoid skin contact by wearing gloves when handling spill.
- DO clean up the silver mercury beads by using one sheet of paper to carefully roll them onto a
second sheet of paper, or use an eye dropper to collect it all.
- DO place the mercury into a sealable container, such as a plastic bag or any available airtight container.
- DON'T try to soak it up with a towel or rag to remove.
- DON'T use household cleaning products to clean the spill, particularly products that contain ammonia or chlorine.
- DON'T vacuum carpeted floors contaminated with liquid mercury.
- If unsure of what to do at anytime during the spill call the NDEP Spill Reporting Hotline at 888-331-6637.
- For all
other mercury disposal concerns contact the Recycling Hotline at 1-800-597-5865.