Spills happen. When they do, we have some recommendations. 

You have a spill

  • If you break a glass thermometer or fluorescent light, in Massachusetts call MERCURY (1-866-963-7287) for expert advice on safe clean-up methods. Notify the local health department and ask if they have a mercury spill kit. DEP staff will advise you on further actions.

  • Turn off heating and air conditioning systems until the clean-up is complete as they will circulate the mercury vapors.

  • Keep people and pets away from spill area.

  • Use a medicine dropper to collect the liquid mercury. Place all items used to collect the mercury in an air tight jar.

  • Contain the spill with towels. Keep mercury out of drains, cracks and crevices.

  • Do not vacuum a mercury spill. This will contaminate the vacuum cleaner and will circulate more mercury in the air.

  • Do not use a broom or brush, they just break up the mercury into smaller beads.

  • Gather all towels, jars and anything contaminated with mercury and place in a trash bag, seal tightly and bring to a hazardous waste drop off center.

  • Never pour products containing mercury down the drain.

  • Never throw mercury in the trash. It is best to use the services of a qualified and licensed contractor.

  • Take a shower if you came in contact with mercury.

  • Inform your doctor and ask about further medical attention.