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Presentations May 23 – 25, 2005 Portland, Maine For related information visit:

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1 Presentations May 23 – 25, 2005 Portland, Maine For related information visit:

2 Cleaning Up Small Liquid Mercury Spills Terri Goldberg NEWMOA/IMERC

3 Background 2001 found high number of reports on small mercury spills Found inconsistency in guidance on cleaning up small household & “business” spills of liquid elemental mercury initiated project to develop consistent guidance on small spill cleanup 2003 published guidance on NEWMOA’s website

4 Small Spill Clean-up Guidance Coordinated effort of CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, & VT environmental agencies Reviewed guidance available from all of the participating states & consulted with officials with experience cleaning up spills Could not address every possible situation Focused on spills of a few drops of liquid elemental mercury, such as a typical thermometer breaking

5 Guidance (continued) Guidance urges users to contact environmental authorities if the spill exceeds the states’ reportable quantities or if the spill occurred on a porous surface or the droplets are widely dispersed Provides state specific advice & contacts Does not address lamp breakage & cleanup

6 Clean-up Steps Evacuate the spill area if people are in the room Lower the temperature Turn off central ventilation or air conditioning Close interior doors Assemble clean-up supplies

7 Clean-up Steps (continued) Dress appropriately Contain the spill Pick up all visible mercury droplets If available, sprinkle elemental sulfur or “flowers of sulfur” or fine powder zinc if available on the spill site to bind remaining mercury

8 Clean-up Steps (continued) Place broken product & all materials used to clean up the mercury in a sealed plastic container or airtight, sealable bags & dispose according to state or local requirements

9 Steps to Take After Spill Clean-up Ventilate the room or spill zone with outside air for a minimum of two days, if feasible Wash humans & animals that came into contact with the mercury Replace the broken mercury device with a non-mercury alternative

10 Final Step to Take After Spill Clean-up If there is uncertainty about whether all of the spilled mercury was recovered & the room is frequented by small children or pregnant women, it may be prudent to test the room for residual mercury using a portable Jerome Meter or Lumex Meter Analyzer. Some state agencies have this capacity.

11 For More Information Small spill guidance document available at the following: Summary of data on spill reports available at the following: Terri Goldberg, (617) x302

12 Summary of Spill and Consumer Roundtable is included in the “Roundtable Summaries” folder


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