Mercury is a toxic chemical. If released to the environment it can cause serious ecological and health problems. Often it is found in our offices and homes.
Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children are the most sensitive to mercury poisoning.
Potentially toxic mercury is found in a wide variety of household products like thermometers. Knowing what products contain mercury, handling them properly, and knowing what to do in case of a spill will help limit the risk of mercury exposure to family members and pets.
Products that contain Mercury that can be found in your Home:
- Blood Pressure Gauges
- Fluorescent and Mercury Vapor Lamps
- Mercury Switches (switches with a “smooth” movement, rather than a “click”)
- Old Chemistry Sets and Toys
Mercury and Your Health
Mercury is one of a number of persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemicals (PBTs) and can cause serious ecological and health problems when released to the environment.
- Children are most sensitive to mercury poisoning during early development to age six.
- Mercury is toxic to the nervous system. Short term ( high mercury concentration) exposure can result in nausea, shortness of breath, and bronchitis.
- Exposure to high levels of mercury over extended time can result in shakiness, tremors, numbness the fingers and toes, loss of muscle control, memory loss and kidney disease.
Get the Mercury Out!
In an effort to Get the Mercury Out! of homes in Utah, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, in cooperation with local Health Departments, collects thermometers that contain Mercury and exchange them for Mercury-free thermometers for free.