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Broken mercury thermometer
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Avatar f tn
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.
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Avatar f tn
Trust Spade22. I believe she is a biochemist (correct me if I'm wrong, Spade).
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Avatar f tn
Synthetic organic chemist to be exact ;-)
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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.
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Avatar f tn
Thanks Spade!

To the original poster- when in doubt you must ALWAYS call your doctor.
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