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Air Indoor Resources - Mercury

Laboratories & Nurse’s Office

Mercury thermometers are the most commonly used mercury-containing device in homes and schools. The inexpensive mercury-free alternative thermometers include: digital, glass gallium-tin, glass alcohol, and flexible Thermochromic Liquid Crystal disposables forehead thermometers or the more expensive infrared ear thermometers.

Mercury sphygmomanometers or the blood pressure gauges used with the rubber cuff are a major source of large mercury spills and can contain up to several pounds of mercury. Alternative blood pressure gauges like aneroid (using no fluid) or digital/electronic units have become very efficient over the last decade.

Mercury-based compounds historically used in laboratories should be removed and sent for hazardous waste disposal. Any mercury-containing device in the laboratory should be carefully packaged to ensure no leakage or breakage. A sturdy container with a screw top placed inside a zip lock back should keep any mercury from escaping into the school’s atmosphere until it can be properly recycled or disposed.

A good source to find alternatives to mercury-containing equipment, or to contact equipment manufacturers and/or distributors is INFORM - Strategies for a Better Environment. (PDF)

Contact Information

Wendy Murphy
325 West Gaines Street
Suite, 1054
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 245-9295