If the thermometer breaks and mercury spills, the question arises:
“How to collect mercury correctly?”
1. Immediately withdraw from the room where the thermometer crashed, all the people there. This primarily applies to children and the elderly. Don’t forget about pets.
2. Limit the location of the “accident” as mercury sticks to surfaces and can be easily spread on the soles of shoes (animal paws) to other areas of the room. To avoid the spread of mercury outside the contaminated area, demercurization (removal of mercury and its compounds by physical-chemical or mechanical methods) is carried out from the periphery towards the center of pollution.
3. Call the City Mercury Service in St. Petersburg and call an Expert to eliminate contamination, by phone: +7 (812) 309-13-43 or +7 (812) 649-98-03
If the outside air temperature is much lower than indoors, it is necessary to open the windows, because at low temperatures, the release of mercury vapor decreases. However, before you collect the mercury, a draft is completely unacceptable, because because of it the mercury balls will “scatter” around the room and break into small particles that will settle on the walls and furniture.
Therefore, isolate the room as much as possible – close all doors tightly.
Attention self-collection of mercury is dangerous! No home remedies block the toxic mercury fumes at all! No matter how many masks you put on, you are absolutely defenseless. Only special protection “from MERCURY” is able to block the access of mercury vapor.
How to protect yourself from mercury correctly: Read…
The place where the mercury crumbled must be highlighted. For this purpose, a flashlight or a table electric lamp is suitable. To ensure maximum visibility of all droplets for their high-quality collection, place the backlight on the side.
Now the most important thing is to remove the metallic mercury thoroughly and quickly..
It is more convenient to collect mercury balls in the following way: use one piece of paper or foil in the form of a scoop, and roll the balls onto a paper scoop with a soft brush or other sheet.
Do not use a broom or a hard brush for this purpose, which will make the poisonous mercury balls even smaller..
You can use a piece of cotton wool soaked in a solution of potassium permanganate (0.2%) to collect mercury. Gently shake off the collected mercury from a piece of paper or cotton wool into a prepared glass container filled with a solution of potassium permanganate or simply cold water. -Then you need to draw smaller balls into the prepared rubber bulb or syringe.
– Stick very small droplets on adhesive tape or adhesive plaster.
– Sprinkle the mercury that has clogged into the cracks of the floor with sand, with which it will be easily swept with a brush onto paper.
– If the floor is wooden, and there are gaps between the boards, it is likely that a few silvery drops “hid” in shelters and at room temperature will do their dirty work. In this case, the owner will have to deal with unscheduled repairs of the apartment – there is no other way to get rid of the uninvited chemical guest.
In a jar of water, place sand containing mercury particles, a rubber bulb (or syringe) and mercury from a broken thermometer. Seal the jar tightly and keep it away from heating appliances.
It is very difficult to collect mercury if the thermometer is broken on a sofa, carpet, or other porous or fleecy surface. In this case, it is better to call professionals for demercurization (removal of mercury). This is the easiest and smartest way.! «Mercury expert»
If you stepped on mercury, clean and rinse the shoe soles with a strong, almost black solution of potassium permanganate.
If the collection of mercury is delayed, then every 15 minutes take a break and go out into the fresh air.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the consequences and signs of poisoning: Read
By popular demand of people who do not have the opportunity to call the mercury service for verification. We have created a mercury contamination test. Now everyone can roughly estimate the degree of mercury contamination depending on various situations. And also following the instructions to correctly eliminate the consequences of a broken thermometer.
The “correct” collection of mercury from the point of view of the inhabitants is often discussed on forums and blogs, advising the use of ineffective and sometimes dangerous methods: a magnet, a vacuum cleaner, a broom and other improvised means. So let’s take a look at each of these methods one by one..
Even a basic school course is enough to understand that this is unrealistic. Although mercury is a metal, it belongs to the class of diamagnets. These substances are absolutely indifferent to any external magnets and do not react in any way to the fields formed during their approach..
This means that the question of how to collect mercury with a magnet has the only correct answer – no way! You can move the magnet as much as you like over the carpet, sofa and other pouring places – from this the silver balls will not move a millimeter. Mercury is not magnetic!
This method is good only as complacency – of course, it will not harm, but it will not help at all. So put away the magnetic bars in the far corner, mercury is not magnetized, and do not waste time on a futile task, especially since every minute counts when pouring mercury!
Let’s repeat the question: Is mercury magnetized? – No! Mercury is not magnetic!
The answer to a common question: How to collect mercury from the floor? Seems very simple and logical. Purely theoretically, it is possible to sweep fragments of a broken thermometer from the floor and along with them some of the metal balls. However, the air currents, which will certainly rise when sweeping, will spread the remaining molecules throughout the apartment, thereby increasing the area of pollution. This means that in this way you will only aggravate the situation, turning the collection of mercury into a hopeless and unsafe activity..
Of course, modern household appliances are able to solve almost any problem, thereby making life easier for its owners. However, the question of how to collect mercury is not able to solve even the most powerful vacuum cleaner. He, of course, will suck part of the metal inside, but small microscopic balls will immediately scatter from the filter. Moreover, during operation, the vacuum cleaner heats up, which only accelerates the formation of toxic fumes that are dangerous to life and health..
If you still unknowingly picked up a vacuum cleaner, then you will have to part with expensive equipment – metal molecules will settle on the inside of the structure, gradually infecting the atmosphere of the apartment with toxic chemical compounds. Such household appliances cannot simply be thrown into a trash can – they must be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Therefore, when faced with the problem of how to collect spilled mercury, in no case pick up a vacuum cleaner!
Summarizing all of the above, you should focus on the mandatory safety rules that will help preserve the health, and possibly the life of you and your loved ones.:
If the thermometer breaks, lower the temperature in the room below 18 as quickly as possible, while avoiding the presence of a draft!
When collecting mercury, do not forget about personal protective equipment: rubber gloves, a respiratory mask “from mercury” (it cannot be replaced with anything, including a home-made gauze bandage soaked in soda solution), shoe covers (it is also possible to use strong plastic bags worn on the legs and tied around the ankles with adhesive tape or adhesive tape).
In no case do not use a vacuum cleaner or a broom – it is better to collect metal balls with a piece of paper, a syringe or an aspiration bulb.
After a thorough collection of mercury, take care to check the effectiveness of the cleaning. The analysis of air for mercury vapor with a gas analyzer gives an immediate result. And points to uncleaned places of pollution.
And most importantly – do not forget that even a thorough knowledge of how to properly collect mercury does not fully guarantee the success of this event. Only professional demercurization can ensure the safety of residential premises from the chemical compounds of this poison by 100%..
The Environmental Emergency Response team is professional in dealing with any mercury emergency. The work is carried out under the strict control of a special device for measuring toxic fumes, which means that upon completion of demercurization, you will be able to see for yourself that the atmosphere of your home is safe..