In these cases, it is advisable to get in contact with your local authority's environmental health department. I then remember when I was 12 years old that i got a fever. He didn't drown. I also love swordfish steaks, which are reported to have high Hg content. If, at the moment, it is not possible to apply for help to specialists, it is necessary to follow the order of actions in collecting mercury. The vapor pressure of mercury is so low at room temperature that there is very little risk of inhalation. When I worked in a large lab for two years in my early twenties we mixed asbestos, flour, and water to insulate our equipment. The affected areas may need to be removed and disposed of in a particular way. I accidentally dropped a thermometer (one attached to a wooden board to display room temperature), and without thinking, I picked the broken pieces of glass and wood (threw them into the garbage can.) Seal the pieces in a plastic bag. When I got into high school I found out how dangerous it is. My mother left me alone because she needs to work and left me a glass of milk. Not sure if this is a result of that or working in chemicals laboratories all my life. Even a simple thing such as a broken thermometer can lead to mercury poisoning. Popping a few balls of Hg from a thermometer into your mouth isn't a good idea, but it's not likely to hurt you. The mercury may also evaporate into vapour. If it is swallowed, like from a broken thermometer, it mostly passes through your body and very little is absorbed. Some thermometers and light bulbs contain very small amounts of mercury. I do not remember any warnings about mercury until maybe the 70's. Some energy-saving light bulbs contain a tiny amount of mercury, sealed inside the bulb. I'm sorry, but I don't see why anyone would ever touch the stuff! Metallic mercury is the elemental or pure form of mercury (i.e., it is not combined with … However, this small amount of mercury … Amount of mercury in various items: Thermometer – 0.5–3.0 grams (less than 1 quarter teaspoon) Liquid mercury can separate into small beads, which can roll some distance away. Mercury will vaporize slowly over time and can expose your family to toxic fumes for a very long time if not thoroughly cleaned up. Almost every family has a mercury thermometer. However, I have more specific questions now. When these thermometers break, there will be some broken glass and small amounts of mercury may sometimes be released. ventilate the room by opening the windows, for example – leave them open for at least 15 minutes, go out of the room while it's being ventilated, making sure children and pets are kept out, wear rubber or plastic gloves and change into some old clothes before cleaning up the mercury beads and broken glass, pick up the pieces of glass carefully and put them in a plastic bag or container, collect the spilled mercury beads using a thin piece of card or a strip of masking tape – you can also use an empty plastic bottle to suck them up, such as an empty washing-up liquid bottle, mercury beads reflect light, so you can use a torch to look for any beads that are difficult to spot, put the card (or bottle) and the mercury beads into the plastic bag, wipe the area with a damp cloth, then put the cloth in the same bag and seal it, leave the room to ventilate for at least 24 hours after cleaning the spill, don't put the sealed bag in your household bin, as mercury is classed as hazardous waste, don't touch the mercury with your bare hands, try not to create dust – if there is any dust, avoid breathing it in, don't put the mercury down the sink or the drain, don't wash clothes with mercury on them in a washing machine – dispose of them in a sealed bag. Even if mercury continues to be ingested, it will not cause insanity but it could cause kidney failure. However, this small amount of mercury is extremely unlikely to cause problems for your health. The released liquid mercury will appear as small, bright or glimmering, silver-colored beads, droplets, or balls. I had a gold ring on one time and accidentally touched the mercury drop with the ring. The person who will clean up the spill should have everyone else, espe-cially children, leave the spill area, including pets. In one bulb, there's usually less than 4mg (about enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen). Wash your skin or eyes (removing any contact lenses first) with lukewarm water for at least 10 to 15 minutes if they come into contact with mercury. I tried to wipe it all off. Can a broken thermometer or light bulb cause mercury poisoning? Mercury is a highly toxic liquid metal that ‘shatters' into tiny balls, so take great care when cleaning it up. 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