What to do if the thermometer broke with mercury Many of us have faced this situation,when a mercury thermometer was broken at home. And everyone understands that it is dangerous. But far from many people know when the thermometer broke, what to do, how to collect the grown mercury correctly and, most importantly, how to proceed with it further. In this article, we will tell you all the most important things to do if a thermometer with mercury is broken and what can not be done categorically. As they say, warned, means saved. Let's start with what all the same is mercury itself and what should be feared in dealing with it. We all learned chemistry at school, and we know perfectly well that mercury is metal. But not quite normal. At room temperature, mercury is a heavy silver-white liquid, and its vapors are extremely dangerous to humans. Evaporate the same metal begins already at 18 ° C. By the way, mercury is the only metal that is a liquid substance under normal conditions. Today, mercury and its vapors are present in many home and medical devices. Because of its high toxicity, it is almost completely excluded from medical preparations. But still there are thermometers containing mercury. Each of them contains up to two grams of this metal. Until now mercury-quartz and fluorescent lamps are filled with mercury vapor. And in the old days it was used even in the manufacture of mirrors.

What is dangerous for human mercury?

In solid form, mercury will not have a significanteffects on the human body. But its fumes and soluble compounds should be feared. In order to avoid unpleasant consequences, appropriate measures must be taken. Vapors of mercury can cause very severe poisoning. They are not detectable by ordinary senses - they do not have odor and color, but their inhalation leads to damage to the nervous system, kidneys, liver and gastrointestinal tract, because liquid mercury is an extremely dangerous chemical substance. Demercurization is the process of cleaning objects and premises from sources of mercury vapors and contamination with liquid mercury. Simply put, this is the process of collecting drops of mercury, which is the main and most laborious in cleaning the room of mercury and its vapors.

What do we have to do!

Here you will find detailed instructions on how toWhat to do if the thermometer broke. Before starting to collect mercury, it is necessary to withdraw from the premises all people who will not be involved in cleaning it. And first of all it concerns children. Do not forget also about pets. Mercury is dangerous for their health. In addition, they can smash drops of this metal around the room, or, worst of all, swallow it. Then, if possible, you need to lower the temperature in the room, since mercury begins to actively evaporate at 18 degrees. In the winter, you need to open the windows. But keep in mind that a draft can not be tolerated. He can even roll out the mercury balls from each other even more. In summer, the temperature in the room can be reduced by using an air conditioner. If it does not, then all the same for the influx of fresh air you need to open the windows completely. The next step is to protect people who will be collecting mercury. To do this, you have to put shoe covers on your feet. Of course, they are not in every house, so you can replace them with conventional plastic bags. It is very important to protect your hands. They should always wear rubber gloves. And here are suitable as those that you use for everyday cleaning at home, and medical. And most importantly - do not forget to wear a gauze bandage on your face, which you need to moisten with water. This is how you can protect yourself from the ingress of vapors and tiny particles of mercury into the respiratory tract. When you have fully prepared yourself for the procedure for collecting mercury, you need to carefully inspect all objects and surfaces that her drops could get into. Do not forget that the mercury balls can swing quite far from the place of their fall, and also scatter into the smallest particles. It is worthwhile to prepare a flashlight in advance, which should be used to illuminate all cracks, cracks and corners. All collected mercury should be placed in advance prepared jar with water or a solution of potassium permanganate. Remains of a thermometer with mercury also gently move into the same jar. Water is needed to prevent mercury from evaporating. After it is collected all, the can should be tightly closed with a lid. In no case should you place it next to the heating devices! Begin collecting mercury from the largest drops, so that they do not break into smaller ones. This is convenient to do with two sheets of paper. One needs to be taken in hand and made from it something like a scoop, and the second is to push the drops onto the "sovochok". Instead of a second sheet of paper, you can use a large needle or knitting needle. Small drops need to be gently combined into one big one. So it will be more convenient to move them to the scoop. Also for the collection of mercury it is convenient to use paper napkins slightly moistened with vegetable oil. You can collect it and using a syringe. And the smallest drops can be conveniently collected with a sticky surface of an adhesive tape or adhesive plaster. After collecting the drops of mercury, they are also placed in a jar of water. You can collect mercury drops with a syringe with a large needle or a piece of a copper wire - to him mercury will stretch itself, like a magnet. It is important that copper is not oxidized. Such an "instrument" will be convenient to use in case the drops of mercury have rolled into the slots of the floor, parquet or under the baseboard. The collection of all the spilled mercury can take quite a long time, but it needs to be done very carefully, since unassembled residues can further damage your health and the health of your family members. During the collection of mercury, take short breaks every 10-15 minutes, leaving it for fresh air. After all the mercury has been collected, it must be handled extremely carefully and carefully. The can is closed with a tight lid. Then you should inform the Emergency Situations Ministry about the situation that has developed in your country and wait for their arrival to hand over the bank with mercury. The collected mercury can also be transferred to enterprises that collect mercury-containing waste. Before the arrival of the employees of the service, the bank can be stored on the balcony or in the garage, ensuring the integrity of its integrity. All the items that you used when cleaning mercury, should be carefully collected in a package and also transferred to the employees of the service. As we have already said, the collected mercury should be handled very carefully and carefully. Covered with a dense lid, a jar of mercury, like mercury itself, can not be thrown into garbage cans, a garbage can, or a toilet bowl. This will result in new, very difficult to remove pollution. a thermometer broke what to do

What can not be done?

  • Do not allow a draft containing mercury in the room. You run the risk of the balls rolling around the room, and after that it will all be much harder to collect.
  • Do not throw the broken thermometer into the garbage disposal. This can lead to contamination of six thousand cubic meters of air in your home.
  • Under no circumstances should you use a vacuum cleanerto collect droplets of mercury, because it will be clogged by its particles and its continued use will become hazardous to your health. The second reason why you can not use a vacuum cleaner is that its filters can not hold up all of the mercury. It will end with the fact that most of the mercury in the sprayed form will return to the room and settle on all surfaces. In such a situation, it will be impossible to remove it. Mercury will remain in the room forever and will evaporate, and all present will inhale it, poisoned in pairs. The same goes for the broom. It also can not be used for cleaning mercury. Because of its design, you risk splitting mercury into the smallest drops that can not be collected. If the mistake was made and you collected mercury with a vacuum cleaner, you also need to get rid of it by handing over to the Ministry of Emergency Measures or to an enterprise collecting mercury-containing waste.
  • It is absolutely unacceptable to throw out mercury atgarbage or dig it into the ground. This will lead to infection of the site, because of which people can suffer. Also, do not pour mercury into the sewer system. It can settle on the walls of sewer pipes and from there gradually "give way" to harmful fumes, and extract it from there will be extremely difficult. But even if it does not settle on the pipes, it will fall into some pond. And this, too, can provoke the disease of other people or animals. Do not take this responsibility!
  • Do not throw away carpets or sofas thatgot mercury. They can be picked up by other people, the result can be poisoning with mercury vapor. Do not expose anyone to danger! There is a way out: either it is necessary to carry out a specialized dry cleaning of a sofa or carpet, or to hand over to an enterprise for collection of mercury-containing waste. Even if no one will pick up the things thrown away by you, they will still cause harm to nature, as they will fall on a waste dump.
  • The second stage of cleaning is chemical demercurization

    The second stage of cleaning and cleaning the premises from mercurywill become chemical demercurization. In fact, it is the treatment of all previously contaminated with mercury objects and surfaces by chemical means. To this stage it is necessary to pass only in the case when all visible drops of mercury will be removed. To do this, it is quite sufficient for those funds that are available in almost all houses, namely: chlorine and manganese.

    • Method 1: Use of potassium permanganate

    It is necessary to prepare a saturated solution of potassium permanganate. OD should be dark brown and almost opaque. To this solution it is necessary to add one tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of some acid. It can be acetic essence, citric acid or even a means for removing rust. Use what is in your home. After preparing the solution, treat all contaminated surfaces with it. Do not forget about the cracks in the floor or between the floor and the skirting board. Apply the solution with a spray gun, brush or brush. Leave the applied solution on the surface of the watch for six to eight. As it dries, wet the treated surfaces with water. Note, however, that from this solution there will be stains on the treated surfaces, which you can not then wash. But this does not mean that you do not need to carry out this procedure. Do not forget that it's about your health and the health of all members of your family! After the set time, treat the same surfaces with a soap-soda solution. Prepare it simply: for one liter of water, add 50 g of soda and 40 g of soap. The above procedure should be repeated for the next few days. Only the solution of potassium permanganate should be aged for six to eight hours, but only for about an hour. It is also recommended to ventilate the room frequently and to carry out a wet cleaning daily.

    • Method 2: Use of whiteness and manganese

    In this case, the process will need to take place intwo stages. First, the contaminated surface is treated with a 2% chlorine solution, for which it is necessary to dissolve 1 liter of chlorine-containing whiteness in 8 liters of water. You need to take a plastic bucket for the solution. Metal for these purposes is not like. Then, using a rag, sponge or brush, you need to wash this solution with a dirty surface. This solution should be allowed to stand for 15 minutes and rinse with clean water. After this, prepare a solution of potassium permanganate (0.8%) and treat it with a surface. To do this, add 1 g of potassium permanganate to 8 liters of water. If the solution is contaminated with mercury for the first time, do not pour it into the sewer system. All used rags and solutions must be handed over to a specialized service along with the collected mercury and the remnants of the thermometer.

    What to do after harvesting mercury?

    After you have collected all the mercury and processedcontaminated surfaces with special solutions, it is necessary to contact the Ministry of Emergency Situations and inform you about the situation that you have had. Also, after eliminating the consequences of the broken thermometer, you need to drink more liquid: it can be tea, coffee, juices or plain water. It is necessary to do this in order to remove all mercury formations as soon as possible from your body. If, after all the actions you have done, it still seems to you that not all of the mercury was collected, then be sure to refer to specialists who have gas-mercury analyzers. Do not neglect the consequences of the broken thermometer. This is really serious! And only from you in this situation will determine the health of all members of your family. We advise you to read: