Can mercury be collected with a vacuum cleaner?

Every day the city mercury service receives a question: “Is it possible to collect mercury with a vacuum cleaner?”

– Let’s analyze the answer in detail.

Mercury and a vacuum cleaner are absolutely incompatible things, and this should be remembered in a situation where a thermometer accidentally broke in an apartment. What to do if you have already collected mercury with a vacuum cleaner, and what should you prepare for? Is there any chance to correct the situation and minimize the negative consequences? Experts from the city environmental service “Expert Mercury” will tell about this.

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8 (812) 309-13-43

What is the danger of mercury to humans

People who have collected mercury with a vacuum cleaner have already put their own health in serious danger. Even a small ball of “liquid metal” can cause a lot of trouble if it is not disposed of on time, or if it is done ineptly – for example, with a vacuum cleaner. Inhalation of mercury vapor does indeed lead to serious poisoning. It is much more dangerous than getting this substance on the skin of people and animals. It is important to understand that the evaporation of this metal is highly toxic, which means that the initial task with a broken thermometer is the prompt disposal of mercury..

I accidentally collected mercury with a vacuum cleaner, what should I do in a similar situation? To avoid serious consequences, it is necessary to ensure that the room in which the thermometer was broken and the floor was vacuumed was immediately left by people and pets. Remember that you can not touch the metal and try to remove it yourself – it can get on the mucous membranes or just on the skin, after which toxic substances will spread throughout the body. Also, households should not be allowed to breathe mercury fumes – this can lead to irreparable consequences..

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Is it possible to collect mercury with a vacuum cleaner and what will it lead to?

The vacuum cleaner is categorically not suitable for the role of a tool for collecting mercury in the room. Getting into the suction unit, the “liquid metal” immediately turns it into a constant source of fumes of toxic substances. Even a vacuum cleaner that is not turned on, just located in the apartment, is already a hotbed of regular poisonous radiation. If the device is often used for cleaning in the house, then mercury vapor will instantly spread throughout the living space.

If you collected mercury with a vacuum cleaner, it means that all household members are at risk. The air in the apartment will be constantly poisoned, while no one will even guess about the impending threat. Regardless of the modification of the vacuum cleaner, mercury, getting into it, immediately settles on all heating elements – in particular, on the engine itself. As soon as the device is turned on, toxic fumes in huge concentration will immediately enter the air, causing irreparable harm to the respiratory system and not only. The answer to the question “is it possible to collect mercury with a vacuum cleaner” is absolutely unambiguous – it is strictly forbidden to do this.

expert rtuti

Expert opinion:

In acute poisoning with mercury vapor, weakness, headache, pain when swallowing, a metallic taste in the mouth, discoloration of the gums, a sharp increase in temperature, pain in the chest, diarrhea with bloody discharge are observed. intensifies, the consequences are aggravated.
Even with a slight excess of the concentration of mercury vapor, there is a chronic form of mercury vapor poisoning – Micromercurialism. With this form, it is noted: a violation of the central nervous system, high fatigue, drowsiness, weakness, nausea, dizziness, constant mood swings.
Paramedic ambulance 
Arina Titova

Here are some figures to understand the gravity of the situation

  • The maximum permissible concentration (MAC-further) of mercury vapor in residential and office premises is not more than 300 ng./m3.
  • In case the thermometer crashed, and left everything as it is. In an hour, the concentration rises to 3000 ng./m3. – 5000 ng./m3. Exceeding the MPC by 10-17 times.
  • When the thermometer was broken and they decided to sweep and wash it themselves. In an hour, the concentration rises to 8000 ng./m3.- 12000 ng./m3. Exceeding the MPC by 25-40 times.
  • If they began to collect mercury with a vacuum cleaner, the concentration immediately rises to 80,000 ng/m3 – 150,000 ng/m3. Exceeding the MPC by 250-500 times
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What happens if you collect mercury with a vacuum cleaner – procedure

Why is the danger from collecting mercury with a vacuum cleaner so great?

When pouring mercury under standard conditions, the evaporation of mercury begins immediately and very intensively. But since it is still metal, mercury, for example, from a thermometer can evaporate up to 5-7 years.
In the case of collecting mercury with a vacuum cleaner, under the influence of pressure and temperature above 60 ° C, mercury entering the vacuum cleaner immediately evaporates. The Vacuum Cleaner transforms into a Tier 1 Poison Sprayer. Moreover, insane concentrations of mercury up to 1 million ng/m3 occur inside the vacuum cleaner itself. This suspension settles on all internal parts of the vacuum cleaner. Chips, motor rotor, filters, hoses – everything turns out to be infected.

Did you collect mercury with a vacuum cleaner, because you were unaware of the possible consequences, and now you don’t know what to do with a contaminated household appliance? Perhaps the most correct thing in this situation is to dispose of the device and forget about it. If it is difficult to find disposal sites, the device must be broken down and thrown away from people. It is necessary to break or disassemble the vacuum cleaner into several parts so that if someone finds the device, they cannot use it, and unknowingly poison themselves and others.

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Many believe that such drastic measures can be avoided – Is this really so?

There are several cases where a vacuum cleaner after collecting mercury can be salvaged. The most important thing is to make sure that the “liquid metal” really got inside. For this purpose, it is necessary to contact the city mercury service to check the vacuum cleaner for mercury. If you are lucky and mercury did not get into the hose of the vacuum cleaner, then the fears are in vain and you can continue to use.

If mercury still got into the vacuum cleaner. And your vacuum cleaner is ordinary, without a water tank. Get rid of the vacuum cleaner. No washing, airing, warming up and other tips from the Internet do not help! If you still want to try these methods, you must understand that after the event you need to make sure that it is safe to use. This means that you need to re-apply to the mercury service to check the device.

Your vacuum cleaner has a water tank, and water was in the vacuum cleaner when the mercury was collected. You will also need to contact a mercury service expert to check and possibly clean the vacuum cleaner of mercury. As a rule, the hose is subject to mandatory disposal. The tank can be treated with a special composition for mercury demercurization. In any case, the chance is assessed by a specialist upon arrival at the place.

Measure the concentration of mercury vapor should also be in the entire room. It is impossible to do this on your own, the performance of such a task must be trusted to specialists from the city environmental service “Expert Mercury”. All necessary зmeasurements will be performed by demercurization specialists promptly and with high accuracy. If vapors of “liquid metal” are still found in the device, you do not have to puzzle over how to clean the vacuum cleaner after collecting mercury – this will be done by the pros from the expert service.

How to clean the house after collecting mercury with a vacuum cleaner – recommendations from experts

Not every person is aware of what will happen if mercury is collected with a vacuum cleaner, which is why this household appliance is often used in the process of cleaning a room from “liquid metal”. The consequences of such actions can be the most deplorable. However, a timely response can prevent disaster.

If you collected mercury with a vacuum cleaner, what should you do in a similar situation in the first place? Perhaps, for some reason, you cannot promptly call a mercury service specialist. In this case, follow the next procedure:

  • Make sure all people leave the premises. Tightly close the doors of the room on the floor of which the thermometer fell and broke – this is necessary so as not to spread mercury vapor throughout the apartment.
  • The windows in a room with a broken thermometer must be wide open for ventilation..
  • Put on rubber gloves and a protective mask.
  • Carefully collect any remaining mercury with a syringe, blower, piece of tape, or douche.
  • Dilute 3 g of manganese in 1 liter of warm water, add a tablespoon of salt, and 50g. vinegar 9%.
  • Rinse the area with the spilled mercury with the resulting solution..
  • Dispose of used cleaning tools and materials.
  • Remove the vacuum cleaner and all its parts from the room (balcony, stairs, basement, etc.)!
Демеркуризация квартир

Within a month, after this procedure, you will have to do wet cleaning of the premises using “Whiteness” or other chlorine-containing preparations. It should be understood that such actions do not give a full guarantee of cleaning the premises from mercury vapor. Housing will be completely clean and safe for living only after it has been professionally processed. If mercury was collected in your apartment with a vacuum cleaner, immediately call the Expert Mercury environmental service specialists. They will promptly respond to the call and ensure the complete cleaning of your home from the harmful fumes of “liquid metal”. Such assistance is inexpensive, so you should not risk your health and the health of loved ones by trying to fix the problem yourself..

Take care of yourself and the health of loved ones!

The search for mercury, collection, demercurization is the business of professionals.

City service “Expert Mercury”, help 24 hours,
St. Petersburg and Leningrad region.

Call an Expert:
8 (812) 309-13-43

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