Mercury is a liquid metal that can be found in many common household items. The most common items are Fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent bulbs (curlycue), HID bulbs, thermometers, and thermostats. Other mercury devices include vacuum guages, manometers, and blood pressure guages.
Elemental mercury is also quite common. Often times people will purchase a home or clean out a house and find a jar of liquid mercury. Liquid or elemental mercury jars should be placed in a second container or “overpacked” before transport to prevent a spill. A large peanut butter or mayonnaise jar works well. Overpack containers are also provided by Wild Cat Solid Waste District for no charge.
Mercury can also be found in the form of compounds. Mercury compounds were used in older medications such as merthiolate and hand salves. Wild Cat Solid Waste District will accept any form of mercury or mercury containing device.
Mercury items require special handling because if mercury is exposed to the air, it will evaporate like any other liquid. The vapor from mercury is toxic and is the most common route of mercury exposure.
What happens if I spill mercury?
Never vacuum mercury spills because the heat from the vacuum will cause the mercury to evaporate faster in your breathing space. Search “mercury, idem, cleanup” for clean up information. Mercury cleanup kits are available at Wild Cat Solid Waste District for small spills. Call us at (855) 659-4257