Mercury Collection and Control

The Program:

Known as the "Mercury Poison
Reduction Program"
This program encourages the reduction
of the use of mercury, restricts the
purchase of elemental mercury
and reduces the inventory
and use of
mercury in laboratorys 
unless no substitute is available.
  This program also ensures the proper
 disposal of mercury products
by utilizing only EPA approved TSD's
 and recycling facilities.
This program establishes a mercury
collection program, and a mercury
education program to the faculty,
staff and student workers of the school.


Since the School of Physical & Life
Sciences (PL&S) is the most
significant handler of elemental mercury
compared to other schools, it has
made its collection program
available to the rest of the university.

If you have any mercury containing
devices that you wish to dispose of,
please contact Steve Gann, P&LS
chemical hygiene officer, Rm 24
McEver, 968-0363 for collection.

DO NOT attempt to collect or
separate the mercury from its device.

Only use approved containers
for storage.

Health information:

Eyes:  May cause severe irritation and possible burns. 
Vapors cause irritation

Skin:  May cause irritation. May be absorbed through
the skin in harmful amounts.
May cause skin sensitization, an alergic reaction,
which becomes evident upon re-exposure.
Chronic exposure may cause permanent central
nervous system damage, fatigue, weight loss,
tremors, personality changes.

Ingestion:  May cause gastrointestinal irritation
 with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
May cause effects similiar to those for inhalation.

Inhalation:  Causes respiratory tract irritation. 
Inhalation of fumes may cause hemochromatosis
or metal fume fever, which is characterized by
flu-like symptoms with metallic taste, fever,
chills, cough, weakness, chest pain,
muscle pain and increased white blood cell count.
May cause central nervous system effects
including vertigo,anxiety, depression, muscle
incoordination, and emotional instability.
May cause severe respiratory tract irritation.

Chronic exposure may cause
permanent central nervous system damage,
fatigue, weight loss, tremors, personality changes.

First aid measures:

Eyes:  Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water
for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting the upper
 and lower lids.  Get medical aid immediately.

Skin:  Get medical aid.  Immediately flush skin with
plenty of soap and water for at least 15 minutes
while removing contaminated clothing, shoes and jewelry.

Ingestion:  Never give anything by mouth to an
unconscious person.  Get medical aid immediately.
Wash mouth out with water.

Inhalation:  Remove from exposure to fresh air immediately.
If not breathing, give artificial respiration. 
If breathing is difficult, give oxygen.  Get medical aid.

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