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Mercury in Schools

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1. Mercury, why is it a problem in schools?
  • Mercury is a hazardous material that not only has serious health and environmental consequences but has a very large price tag to clean up if spilled.
  • For an example in PA Click Here).

2. What are the basic handling procedures/precautions?

  • Limit the opportunity for an accident. You can do this by removing mercury from your school.
  • Minimize the time period involved when handling or operating instruments that contain mercury. The more amount of time mercury is handled, the more chance for a mercury spill
  • Minimize the places something can go wrong; the fewer places mercury is, the fewer places it will spill.
  • When storing mercury or mercury containing devices keep mercury as far from the important and expensive parts of a building as possible.
  • What are the consequences if mercury would spill, would shutting down the area for a day be a problem?
    • Is there an opportunity that if mercury were spilled it could be tracked throughout the rest of the building and cause if to be closed for clean-up?

3. In what areas can mercury be found?

  • Lab's
  • Nurses office
  • Boiler room
  • Thermostats in Classrooms

4. What should I do if a mercury spill occurs?

  • Evacuate the room.
  • Call 911 as well as DEP
  • Immediately secure the area. Keep anyone from walking through it.
  • Close the doors of the room and seal them with tape. Allow no entry.

Click on the pictures on the right to observe unwanted accumulated mercury.

DEP may collect and recycle your elemental mercury. Call your regional office for details

DEP's 24-hour emergency telephone contact number is 1-800-541-2050.

Link to Mercury Schools Web site

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Mercury Collection
Mercury Collection
Mercury Collection
Mercury Collection
Mercury Collection



















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