- Mercury weight in the thermometer is up to 5 grams
- If a thermometer is broken in a room with 50 m3 airspace, mercury vapors concentration while mercury evaporation process (mercury begins to evaporate at any positive temperature. The higher the temperature, the more intensive the evaporation process gets) grows up to (5000 mg/50 m3) = 100 mg/m3, which is 30 thousand times larger than the MAC (maximum allowed concentration) level for an inhabited area. Fluorescent lamps breaking is also dangerous as in case of a fluorescent lamp the MAC level will be (100 mg/50 m3)= 2 mg/m3 – there will be a 6 times MAC level excess.
In actual practice considering ventilation and other conditions the MAC concentration will be increased by 50-100 times if a medical thermometer is broken in a room with 12-18 m2 room space.
Staying in a room with this amount of mercury concentration is highly dangerous for health.
- Open windows to allow air access.
- Take away from the area all the people.
- Restrict access to the area (close and lock the doors). It will allow the following:
- Decrease of mercury amount taken to other areas.
- Eliminate the risk of taking mercury to other areas of footwear (put a carpet wetted with manganese solution at the entrance).
These are organization actions. Now we will describe the demercurization process.
1. Collect the shatters of the thermometer and mercury balls in a leakproof container with a tough cover (f.e. a glass can with a polyethylene cover). Remember that the relative weight of mercury is high (13 times higher than that of water), it may divide in several pieces if it is dropped and some of the mercury drops may be really difficult to find. Medical syringe with a thin tip, enameled scoop, court plaster, plasticine and sealing compound will be of great help in this kind of situation.
Another thing is that mercury is collected starting from peripheral parts ending in the central part of the area. The final stage of collecting of mercury balls and thermometer shatters may be realized by a home vacuum cleaner on condition that it is equipped with a dust exhauster and mercury vapors adsorbent. In this case the specialists of R&D Mercury, LLC may provide their services.
2. Chemical demercurization is implemented after completion of these activities.
The most simple demercurization agents are:
- Potassium permanganate.
- Soap-soda solution.
The in-turn implementation of both methods is necessary:
- 0,2% water solution of potassium permanganate is prepared (20 grams for a bucket). If salt acid is available it is added to the solution (the concentration of salt acid is 5-10 times higher than that of dry potassium permanganate). Using brushes or air compressor the solution is spread across the polluted area.
- The reaction products are washed with soap-soda solution (soap – 4%, 5% of water solution of soda) in 1 hour. These activities must be repeated during several days, 2 or 3 times per day.
3. Protect your health whole implementing the abovementioned activities.
- Wash gloves and footwear with potassium permanganate and soap-soda solution;
- Rinse your mouth cavity with potassium permanganate solution;
- Brush your teeth.
- Take 2-3 pills of absorbent carbon.
In conclusion: the shatters of the thermometer that were collected in a leak-proof container must be taken to R&D Mercury, LLC to avoid further pollution of the territory and house area. R&D Mercury, LLC possesses safe demercurization technologies of any areas and mercury waste.
It is recommended to measure the residual mercury vapors by special measuring tools. These activities are provided by R&D Mercury, LLC laboratories, Environment Protection Committee bodies and Public Health Authorities.