Aa
A
A
Close
Avatar universal
Broken mercury thermometer
Two days ago I broke a mercury thermometer and cleaned the spill using my bare hands.
I cleaned as best I could, some of it went down the drain (I know this is not good).
Could the amount of mercury in a thermometer produce dangerous levels of mercury in the air of a room? Should I be concerned about my baby? I am 5 months pregnant.
Cancel
7 Answers
Page 1 of 1
461781 tn?1285613081
You should deffinitely call your Dr. regarding the mercury in your system if you cleaned up a spill with your bare hands.  Mercury is a highly toxic metal for pregnant women and children.  I don't think that it will produce dangerous levels in the air but the skin contact could probably penetrate into your blood stream and it could be very dangerous.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
657586 tn?1224591547
You should phone your local public health office or google who in your area provides infomation on Mercury disposal and clean-up. Mercury is tricky and it depends on whether the mercury landed in carpet or another hard to reach area. Is the room big/small or easily ventilated etc. You should never touch it with bear hands as it can absorb into your skin. Heat and vaccuming can aerosolize the mercury. It is also likely that the mercury that went down your sink is still trapped there. Mercury binds to metal so if you were wearing jewelery it is possibile contaminated. It is best to call someone to make sure your cleaning was sufficient then you can ask about health risks. Any amount can be potentially dangerous.

It is better to be safe an ask an expert.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
NEVER, NEVER, clean mercury with your bare hands because it is absorbed through the SKIN and you do not want to inadvertently make contact.  That being said, the amount in a thermometer is quite low and it is unlikely to be an inhalation hazard unless you flushed it down the sink with hot water and were standing directly over the sink.  In any case, call your OBGYN and let them know.

As GermanBaby said, if this happens again call you local public health group or the EPA for advice on clean up.  If it goes down the sink then the sink would need to be flushed with COLD water for about an hour but it is too late now.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
Trust Spade22. I believe she is a biochemist (correct me if I'm wrong, Spade).
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
Synthetic organic chemist to be exact ;-)
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
689265 tn?1251133687
it's not good and you should contact your dr/ob. spade will be the most knowledgable on this one but pregnant women are not supposed to go anywhere near mercury.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
Thanks Spade!

To the original poster- when in doubt you must ALWAYS call your doctor.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Your Answer
Avatar universal
Answer
Know how to answer? Tap here to leave your answer...
Answer
Submit Answer
A
A
Recent Activity
2020005 tn?1472427714
Blank
KTowne commented on photo
4 hrs ago
4769306 tn?1451008167
Blank
KeeLolo commented on photo
4 hrs ago
2020005 tn?1472427714
Blank
KTowne commented on photo
4 hrs ago
Blank
Weight Tracker
Track your weight throughout your pregnancy
Start Tracking Now
Blank
Pregnancy Tracker
Track your pregnancy
Start Tracking Now
Top Pregnancy Answerers
9442948 tn?1406820051
Blank
1816154 tn?1463433618
Blank
Collage Place, WA
Avatar universal
Blank
Avatar universal
Blank
6470732 tn?1439559892
Blank
Corning, NY
2080231 tn?1444937185
Blank
Royal Oak, MI
Pregnancy: Ages 18-24 Community Resources