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broken mercury thermometer

broken mercury thermometer - Chemistry Forum

broken mercury thermometer - Chemistry Forum. Discuss chemical reactions, chemistry.


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  #1  
Old 12-29-2003, 01:51 PM
Mohammed Farooq
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Default broken mercury thermometer



Yesterday I accidently dropped a household mercury thermometer in my
room, it shattered into pieces, though the amount of mercury was not
so much, but the problem was to collect literally hundreds of
microdrops from marble tiles. Fortunately there was no carpet in the
room, I collected the drops as much as possible with a cardboard and
then sprinkled powdered some sulfur on that area and later I washed
the room with water. Is this treatment enough to ensure that all the
mercury has been eliminated from the room. There are thousand of
websites dealing with broken mercury thermometers but reading them
makes a person paranoid.
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2003, 01:58 PM
Steve Turner
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Default broken mercury thermometer

[Only registered users see links. ] (Mohammed Farooq) wrote:


Yuck, what a potential nightmare. You're lucky that you had a marble
floor and not carpet. Are there any cracks or other gaps in the
marble surface?

You did what I would have done. The only thing I might add would be a
re-application of sulfur. Use it liberally. Let it sit for a day or
so and then sweep it up. I would do this a couple more times.

Other than that, I would personally not worry about it.

Steve Turner

Real address contains worldnet instead of spamnet
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2003, 05:10 PM
hanson
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Default broken mercury thermometer

"Steve Turner" <[Only registered users see links. ].net> wrote in message
news:[Only registered users see links. ]...
[Steve]

[hanson]
But you should worry, Steve, because I will prove it to you by towing
the green party line: Steve, that S-treatment is POTENTIALLY very
dangerous! The Hg will react with the S forming HgS that will release
deadly H2S if you spill some vinegar or citrus on it.
Hg + S = Hg S , --- then --- HgS + 2 CH3COOH = HgAc2 = H2S
You will have now created a worse situation then before. You'll have
besides the debilitating mercury vapors, additional deadly Hydrogen sulfide
gas and toxic, soluble sweet Mercury acetate, which is used as rat poison.
Your cat or dog will lap that HgAc2 rat poison up and begin to fart Ethyl
mercury (HgEt2) before they die. ---- HgAc2 + org redox ---> HgEt2
The insidious, invisible slightly garlicky smelling HgEt2 gas will get into
your lungs & pass in no time thru your blood/brain barrier easily into your
brain because this horrific poison is an uncharged molecule. There it will
coagulate your brain tissue and you will follow your pet into heaven in
a severely demented-debilitated condition under unimaginable suffering.
**IT IS MUCH BETTER TO CALL THE MOON SUIT PEOPLE **, and have
homeland security quarantine at least 12 square mile around your house.

[hanson]
First thing first: *****HAPPY NEW YEAR YOU ALL****
------------------- Now to the laughs ---------------
AHAHHAHAHhahahahahhaah.......ahahahahaha.......aha hahaha...
THE ENVIROS SURE DID A NUMBER ON YOU GUYS........ahahaha..
You should have looked up how many cases of mad hatter syndrome
and deaths did occur from the after-effects of the Hg spilled by broken
household mercury thermometers......BIG FAT ZERO..... ahahahaha
The facts are that IF there were injuries and deaths then they came
from bacterial infections of wounds caused by the glass shards !!
Sheesh, get a grip, dudes, take the vacuum-cleaner, suck the mess up,
forget it and carry on with your lives AND heed the message that

=== Environmentalism is just a despicable, evil money (green) game, ===
=== without any redeeming value, nor any intent to save anything. This ==
=== scam has come to an end. Now, all the green shits are whining... ===

-----***** start: Quotes from environmental leaders *****-----

"We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic
statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have.
Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being
effective and being honest."
- Stephen Schneider (Stanford professor who first sought fame as
a global cooler, but has now hit the big time as a global warmer)

"If you don't know an answer, a fact, a statistic, then .... make it
up on the spot ... for the mass-media today ... the truth is irrelevant."
-- Paul Watson in Earthforce: An Earth Warrior's Guide to Strategy.

"A lot of environmental messages are simply not accurate. But
that's the way we sell messages in this society. We use hype."
-- Dr. Jerry Franklin, Ecologist, Univ.of Washington

"We already have too much economic growth in the United States.
Economic growth in rich countries like ours is the disease, not the cure."
-- Paul Elrich, Stanford U biologist and Advisor to Vice President Gore

"A global climate treaty must be implemented even if there is no
scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect."
-- Richard Benedict, an employee for the State Department working
on assignment for the Conservation Foundation

"We in the Green movement, aspire to a cultural model in which
the killing of a forest will be considered more contemptible and more
criminal than the sale of 6-year-old children to Asian brothels."
-- Carl Amery, Green Party of West Germany

"I got the impression that instead of going out to shoot birds,
I should go out and shoot the kids who shoot birds."
-- Paul Watson, founder of Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd

-----***** end: Quotes from environmental leaders *****-----

=== Environmentalism is just a despicable, evil money (green) game, ===
=== without any redeeming value, nor any intent to save anything. This ==
=== scam has come to an end. Now, all the green shits are whining... ===


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  #4  
Old 12-29-2003, 06:19 PM
Mohammed Farooq
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Default broken mercury thermometer

Steve Turner <[Only registered users see links. ].net> wrote in message news:<[Only registered users see links. ]>. ..
If I let the sulfur powder sit for one day in my "bedroom" the whole
room would start stinking of sulfur, but its better than inhaling
odorless mercury vapor. As you said, I tried my best to clean and
check cracks in the tiles. Would furhter washing with chlorine bleach
help here?
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2003, 06:26 PM
David A. Webb
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Default broken mercury thermometer

On 29 Dec 2003 10:19:35 -0800, [Only registered users see links. ] (Mohammed Farooq)
wrote:


A mercury clean-up kit we have at work has some kind of powdered metal
you sprinkle on the mercury. That is all I know about it.

Dave

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  #6  
Old 12-29-2003, 08:03 PM
Cary Kittrell
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Default broken mercury thermometer

In article <[Only registered users see links. ] > [Only registered users see links. ] (Mohammed Farooq) writes:
<Steve Turner <[Only registered users see links. ].net> wrote in message news:<[Only registered users see links. ]>. ..
<> [Only registered users see links. ] (Mohammed Farooq) wrote:
<>
<> >Yesterday I accidently dropped a household mercury thermometer in my
<> >room, it shattered into pieces, though the amount of mercury was not
<> >so much, but the problem was to collect literally hundreds of
<> >microdrops from marble tiles. Fortunately there was no carpet in the
<> >room, I collected the drops as much as possible with a cardboard and
<> >then sprinkled powdered some sulfur on that area and later I washed
<> >the room with water. Is this treatment enough to ensure that all the
<> >mercury has been eliminated from the room. There are thousand of
<> >websites dealing with broken mercury thermometers but reading them
<> >makes a person paranoid.
<>
<> Yuck, what a potential nightmare. You're lucky that you had a marble
<> floor and not carpet. Are there any cracks or other gaps in the
<> marble surface?
<>
<> You did what I would have done. The only thing I might add would be a
<> re-application of sulfur. Use it liberally. Let it sit for a day or
<> so and then sweep it up. I would do this a couple more times.
<>
<> Other than that, I would personally not worry about it.
<>
<> Steve Turner
<>
<> Real address contains worldnet instead of spamnet.
<If I let the sulfur powder sit for one day in my "bedroom" the whole
<room would start stinking of sulfur, but its better than inhaling
<odorless mercury vapor. As you said, I tried my best to clean and
<check cracks in the tiles. Would furhter washing with chlorine bleach
<help here?

If I were in your position, I'd want badly to take some actual
measurements of mercury levels in the air. I'm sure there must
be firms that do suchlike.

If this doesn't turn out to be plausible -- or even if it does --
I think I'd find a doctor who would authorize periodic
analysis of mercury levels in your urine; I imagine this is a routine
process for some medical labs. If you're lucky, you insurance might even
cover this.


-- cary


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  #7  
Old 12-29-2003, 09:14 PM
fkasner
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Default broken mercury thermometer

Cary Kittrell wrote:


Thirty five years ago I broke the wetbulb thermometer in my humidity
meter. This was in the basement (full unocovered concrete floor with no
cracks anywhere near that location. I poured sulfur over it. It was in a
location that was largely under my work bench. The break occured when I
picked up th cracked tube. So there was essentially no splashing of the
Hg. I kep it covered with the sulfur for many months. There was never
any odor of any kind that emanated from the sulfur pile. Nobody other
than myself ever used that location. When I finally swept it up there
was no visible sign of Hg in the debris. I put the stuff in a glass
bottle with a very tight screw top closure and that in turn in another
bottle with a rubber stopper that was jammed in with great force. Some
years later I turned this over to a state run environmental agency and
they were surprised at the efforts I have essayed. But the stuff was
supposedly disposed of properly. They also took off my hands about five
pounds of chlordane. I missed the latter since my house subsequently had
an infestation of carpenter ants and the costs for reconstruction were
hideously high. Chlordane had done a great job of keepin them out prior
to the time I no longer used it.
FK

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  #8  
Old 12-29-2003, 10:17 PM
Steve Turner
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Default broken mercury thermometer

[Only registered users see links. ] (Mohammed Farooq) wrote:


Reasonably pure sulfur should have very little odor. If your sulfur
is very smelly maybe you should look for another sample.

I would *not* wash with chlorine bleach. This has the potential for
converting the HgS to other, more soluble compounds. You don't want
to do this. Simply sweep up the sulfur, being careful to avoid
raising dust. Dispose of it "properly." (See fkasner's post...) The
magic of sulfur is that the HgS which forms 1) has very low vapor
pressure relative to Hg itself, and 2) is a solid and much easier to
clean up than the very dense liquid metal.

Steve Turner

Real address contains worldnet instead of spamnet
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2003, 10:25 PM
Steve Turner
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Default broken mercury thermometer

"hanson" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote:


Yep, very true. This illustrates the importance of using common sense
(i.e., clean up the HgS rather than just leaving it sit) instead of
knee-jerking to the hysterical rantings of people grinding axes.


I don't know about a quarantine. But I do know that there is the
potential for a very serious and expensive overreaction to the spill
if the "wrong" people find out about it, a response all out of
proportion to the actual ill.

Hanson's dislike of "green turds" is well known. But I think I'd take
them over mindless bureaucrats. The bureaucrats are the ones who
enforce the greens' policies, no matter how stupid, with the authority
of law and the resources of government. They can cause you no end of
grief.

Steve Turner

Real address contains worldnet instead of spamnet
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2003, 10:49 PM
Bruce Hamilton
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Default broken mercury thermometer

On 29 Dec 2003 05:51:12 -0800, [Only registered users see links. ] (Mohammed Farooq)
wrote:


Not really. Sulphur reacts fairly slowly with mercury, and some people
have recommended the much faster zinc dust treatments. General rule is
to use a vacuum with short, fine capillary nozzle to move as many
small droplets into a flask if you can't get them to combine into
larger ones suitable for collection onto paper by gentle wiping or
brushing.

These days there are specialist treatments that work better - Mercon
products are fairly popular, searching the WWW using Mercon and
mercury should provide information. You local health or OSH
authorities might even be able to offer useful suggestions as well.

Bruce Hamilton
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