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
461781_tn?1285613081
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
657586_tn?1224591547
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
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
Avatar_universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar_universal
Synthetic organic chemist to be exact ;-)
Comment
Cancel
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
689265_tn?1251133687
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar_universal
Thanks Spade!

To the original poster- when in doubt you must ALWAYS call your doctor.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar_universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Your Answer
Avatar_universal
Answer
Know how to answer? Tap here to leave your answer...
Answer
Broken mercury thermometer
Submit Answer
A
A
Recent Activity
1816154_tn?1433484088
Blank
hansen20 commented on photo
1 hr ago
12618772_tn?1445218132
Blank
babyIvy_42715 commented on photo
5 hrs ago
1816154_tn?1433484088
Blank
KeeLolo, and hansen20 commented on renae176's status
6 hrs ago
Blank
Weight Tracker
Track your weight throughout your pregnancy
Start Tracking Now
Blank
Pregnancy Tracker
Track your pregnancy
Start Tracking Now
Pregnancy: Ages 18-24 Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
Marathon Running Done Over Many Yea...
May 21 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Article on Multifocal IOL vs &q...
May 21 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
748543_tn?1443740527
Blank
TMJ/TMJ The Connection Between Teet...
01/15 by Hamidreza Nassery , DMD, FICOI, FAGD, FICCMOBlank