Mercury vapor begins to actively stand out at a temperature of 18 degrees and above. Therefore, in order to reduce the toxicity of mercury, it is necessary to lower the temperature in the room where the spill occurred as much as possible. To do this, you can open the window and turn off all heaters.
To understand how to reduce the toxicity of mercury, it is necessary to have at least an initial idea of the physicochemical properties of this unique metal. Unlike other substances belonging to this group, mercury under normal conditions is in a liquid state of aggregation and is highly volatile. This means that the smallest particles of metal spread quite quickly in the room with the slightest breath of breeze, infecting everything around them.
Mercury belongs to substances of hazard class 1, that is, the most toxic and poisonous. Moreover, mercury itself is not as dangerous to humans as its vapors. However, this feature does not at all reduce the toxic effect of the substance, because the process of vapor formation enters the active phase already at 18 degrees (that is, even lower than at room temperature), and an increase in temperature only accelerates this process.
Knowing how to reduce mercury toxicity yourself can help reduce your chances of developing acute poisoning, but that doesn’t mean the rules below will make your home completely safe, because minimizing doesn’t mean completely eliminating it. Only professional measures to neutralize heavy metal will help to completely remove mercury particles from the premises, therefore, having taken all the necessary measures, do not delay contacting demercurization specialists – delay in this case is fraught with serious health problems!
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By following our recommendations, you will be able to deal with mercury spills at home and minimize the source of infection before the arrival of specialists:
Keep children, pregnant women and pets out of the house! It is they who are the most vulnerable to rapidly spreading mercury vapor, and therefore immediately send all your pets for a walk, not forgetting to give them your favorite pets. Dogs, cats and other living creatures can suffer from mercury no less than a person, and long hair is also an excellent carrier of metal, and therefore it is better not to allow animals to the accident site.
Use mercury protection! Rubber gloves, shoe covers, and a mercury respirator mask are mandatory when exposed to mercury. If you decide to remove the visible source of infection yourself, be sure to protect yourself. If there are no shoe covers at hand, you can put on ordinary plastic bags, securing them with tape or adhesive tape on the ankles. And you will have to look for a respiratory mask from mercury. All household dressings are not able to filter mercury vapor.
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Lower the room temperature as much as possible! To slow down evaporation, it is necessary to achieve the lowest possible temperatures in the room. To do this, you can open a window, turn off heaters and any household appliances that generate heat.
Avoid drafts! Mercury molecules are quite volatile, and therefore any wind can carry them throughout the room. Therefore, when trying to cool the air in the room, do not overdo it – a draft will only aggravate the situation, and therefore it is worth opening one window and at the same time closing the door tightly. Also, do not use a fan and air conditioning with a blower system – although this technique significantly reduces the air temperature, the air currents generated in the process will spread the source of infection.
Do not use a broom and a vacuum cleaner! Of course, a vacuum cleaner could help to quickly remove particles of mercury, however, during operation, this household appliance heats up, which means that mercury that has got into it is converted into steam many times faster. In addition, after such cleaning, expensive equipment will have to be thrown into a toxic waste dump, since it will be extremely dangerous not only for you, but also for the environment. As for the broom, its bristles will only spread small particles of mercury.
Collect Mercury Properly! As you worry about how to reduce mercury toxicity, remember to properly collect and dispose of it. To reduce risks, you should collect visible metal balls with a syringe, rubber bulb or piece of paper, place it in a glass jar, close it tightly and leave it at the accident site until the arrival of specialists. Do not dispose of mercury in a bin or trash can – toxic waste must be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
Even if you know how to reduce mercury toxicity, do not neglect professional help! Before trying to stop the problem, call Mercury Expert – and experts will help you deal with the accident. Trust your health to professionals!