Home > Occupational Health & Safety > Mercury Spills

Mercury
Spills

Mercury is the only metal that is a liquid at room temperature. It is commonly found in thermometers, barometers, manometers and sphygmomanometers. Mercury can also be present in small amounts in thermostats, batteries, paint and switches.

The release of mercury from an apparatus can result in mercury vapor contamination in the workplace. If not properly cleaned up, mercury vapor can cause adverse health effects over time. If a mercury release has occurred in the workplace, complete the following steps. 1) Isolate the area of the spill and do not allow foot traffic through the area; 2) Contact Environmental Health & Safety (292-1284) immediately and do not attempt to clean up the spill individually. EHS has the capability to conduct mercury vapor monitoring, clean up released elemental mercury and decontaminate affected areas using equipment specifically designed for mercury releases.