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How mercury disperses

How does mercury scatter at home?

Knowing how mercury scatters, you can prevent many unpleasant consequences after spilling it due to a broken thermometer, a cracked energy-saving light bulb, and other reasons. Such a situation is extremely dangerous for people present in the room, as it can result in serious poisoning. Therefore, it is important to act competently and consistently, step by step cleaning your apartment from poisonous fumes accumulated in it.

A little about mercury

To understand how mercury flies, you need to know at least a little about the metal itself, because the features of its distribution are associated with physical and chemical properties. In the event that mercury fell from a height of growth, for example, fell  thermometer and crashed, due to the lack of resistance, the mercury balls are crushed into small crumbs, and if you make an awkward movement or the wind blows, the balls will quickly scatter throughout the room. And if a ball of mercury has rolled into a hard-to-reach place, it is possible to find it only with a special mercury vapor analyzer. If the ball is not found, it will completely evaporate for about a year or more, and poison everyone around.

Mercury belongs to the category of substances of the first hazard class, intoxication with which can lead to life-threatening consequences. Under standard conditions, this metal is in a liquid state of aggregation, which, although it cannot be considered harmless, is still not as toxic as its vapors.

Already at 18 degrees, mercury begins to emit dangerous vapors, upon inhalation of which the lesion begins to appear almost instantly. When it enters the lungs, metal molecules are absorbed into the blood and with its current quickly spread throughout the body. Combining with proteins, mercury affects the internal organs, is deposited in the kidneys, liver, brain tissues, etc. However, the nervous system takes the first blow: the primary symptoms mercury poisoning is a metallic taste in the mouth, weakness, headache, nausea, lethargy or hyper-nervousness, dizziness, and confusion. However, you should not wait for them to appear – in the event of a spill of mercury, it is better to direct the main activity to the prevention of poisoning.

expert rtuti

Expert opinion:

In the event of a mercury spill, depending on the rate of fall, the mercury may scatter over several tens and sometimes even hundreds of meters. If
the thermometer crashes from a height of growth, without physical acceleration, the focus of infection is usually
3m2 – 5m2. In this situation, the main thing is not to continue the spacing. You can not use a broom, vacuum cleaner, rags. It is also impossible to arrange drafts.
It must be taken into account that the smaller the size of the particles and the greater their number, the more intense the evaporation.
environmental engineer 
Zemskov Sergey

How to prevent the spread of mercury?

Based on how mercury spreads, the primary safety measures for bottling are to keep the room temperature below 18 degrees. To do this, it is recommended to open the window and turn off the heaters. At the same time, it should be ensured that there is no draft in the room – the slightest breeze can spread mercury balls over an area of ​​​​more than 100m2, expanding the pollution radius. After that, it is necessary to collect the maximum number of visible metal drops using a syringe or an aspiration bulb. The collected substance must be placed in a jar with a tight-fitting lid – so the vapors will not be able to poison the room.

However, these measures will only partially reduce the degree of pollution – for the complete neutralization of mercury and its vapors, it is necessary to carry out professional search and measurement measures and, if necessary, demercurization. Residents of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region should urgently call the mercury elimination service «mercury expert» – the company’s specialists will competently solve the task, completely securing the contaminated premises from toxic chemical compounds.

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