Demercurization is the removal of mercury in various ways to avoid poisoning people with the vapors of this metal. Mercury can evaporate at room temperature. To carry out demercurization, it is necessary to call specialists.
Why is mercury removal called demercurization? From ancient Roman, the word "mercury" is translated as "mercury", and the prefix "de" denotes an action opposite to what is called the motivating noun "mercury".
Before you start
If you broke the thermometer, you need to immediately open all the vents in the room where it happened, and also close all the doors. Mercury vapors must not penetrate into other rooms. Limit the area where you find the mercury droplets. This metal sticks to various surfaces and can easily end up in the next room.
How to properly collect mercury
If you yourself decide to demercurize, you need to follow some recommendations. These rules are necessary so that you yourself do not get poisoned by poisonous vapors.
The first stage of demercurization is the collection of mercury. Before this, you must wear rubber gloves and plastic shoe covers. Do not forget about respiratory protection, put on a gauze bandage dipped in a solution of baking soda or plain water.
First, collect all the pieces of the thermometer in a jar of water. Water is needed so that mercury does not evaporate in the future. Don't miss any small shards, as they may contain droplets of toxic metal. Take this seriously.
Droplets of mercury on the floor can be collected with a syringe or rubber bulb. Then they need to be sent to the same jar of water. If mercury could be behind the baseboard or under the parquet, you need to remove them and check it. Often, the collection of droplets is delayed, so you need to take a break every 15 minutes and go out into the fresh air, not forgetting to close the door to the room.
The jar in which you collected the mercury should be tightly lidded and kept away from heat sources. Don't throw it away! Call the Ministry of Emergency Situations or a special mercury disposal company and they will take it away from you.
After the collection of mercury is completed, it is necessary to treat the accident site with a solution of potassium permanganate or bleach. It is better to use lime, as chlorine interacts much better with mercury.
Errors in demercurization
Many people collect mercury incorrectly and endanger not only themselves but also their neighbors. Never use a vacuum cleaner to pick up droplets of mercury! In most cases, it only increases the evaporation area. Even if you have an ultra-modern vacuum cleaner with the latest generation filters, some of the mercury will still settle on the hose.
Never flush mercury down the toilet. This is the most common mistake made by amateur demercurizers. Just a few grams of mercury can contaminate huge amounts of water.