Mercury is classified as a persistent bioaccumulative toxin (PBT). Additionally some forms of organic mercury readily absorb through gloves and skin. Laboratories utilizing mercury must be prepared with an appropriate cleanup kit. Kits are available through laboratory and safety supply companies.
When more than ten milliliters (10 ml) of mercury has been spilled:
- Alert others in the area.
- Mark off the area.
- Contact the OEHS immediately.
Procedure for use with commercially available mercury clean-up sponge:
- Dampen the sponge with water and wipe the contaminated area.
- Perform the procedure slowly to insure complete absorption of mercury onto the sponge.
- Place the sponge in a plastic bag, tie shut, and fill out an appropriate waste label. Call the OEHS for disposal.