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How To Dispose Of A Mercury Thermometer

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One of the reasons the Canadian Pediatric Association does not recommend the use of mercury thermometers in the home is that, if these thermometers break, you and your child or children can be exposed to a toxic substance. Mercury is a liquid at room temperature, but it can quickly evaporate into a gas that has no smell. This gas then becomes toxic to all people within its radius and there have been many cases where children and parents have become ill due to mercury thermometers being broken and releasing mercury into homes. It’s the reason why it’s now recommended that all mercury thermometers are disposed of safely—in this post we’ll guide you on the disposal process.

Proper Ways To Throw Away A Mercury Thermometer

Bring the Thermometer to a Household Hazardous Waste Facility

Because of the potential for toxic mercury to be leaked into the air and into the water supply, it’s not safe to simply throw a mercury thermometer into the garbage or flush it down the toilet. These disposal methods could cause serious harm to you and your family, as well as others in your area.

To effectively dispose of the thermometer, you must first research household hazardous waste facilities in your area. Pack the thermometer in a puncture-resistant, non-breakable sealed container such as a plastic bottle and then label the container as a thermometer with a permanent marker. Then take the container directly to your local household hazardous waste facility. There, the thermometer will be disposed of using specially equipped machinery designed to protect against the toxic release of mercury during the disposal process.

Common Questions on Mercury Thermometer Disposal

The following are common questions regarding the mercury thermometer disposal process:

  • How do I determine if my thermometer uses mercury?

    If your thermometer is made from glass, it’s likely that it also contains mercury. Mercury thermometers also have a silver bulb as opposed to a red, green, or blue bulb.

  • What do I do if I believe mercury has been spilt at home?

    If any mercury has leaked from the thermometer, it’s important that leak is cleaned quickly. Call a local cleaning company to discuss the cleanup process: don’t attempt to handle the thermometer without expert guidance.

  • What are common signs of mercury poisoning?

    While it’s unlikely that you’ll to suffer significant health effects from the breakage of a mercury thermometer, it’s important to recognize the signs of potential poisoning. These signs include shortness of breath, chest pains and shaking.

By learning more on the mercury thermometer disposal process, you can help ensure your home remains safe over the coming years. To discuss mercury thermometer disposal services with a trusted specialist, call our expert team today!

Written July 11, 2016 by Christopher Luciano

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