You should NEVER:

  • Vacuum a mercury spill. It will contaminate the vacuum cleaner and will circulate more mercury in the air.
  • Use a broom or brush, they just break up the mercury into smaller beads.
  • Pour products containing mercury down the drain.
  • Throw mercury in the trash. It is best to use the service of a qualified and licensed contractor.

If you do it yourself:

  • Contain the spill with towels.
  • Keep mercury out of drains, cracks and crevices.
  • Use a medicine dropper to collect the liquid.
  • Place all items used to collect the mercury in an air tight jar.
  • 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.
  • Gather all towels, jars and anything contaminating with mercury and place in a trash bag, seal tightly and bring to a hazardous waste drop off center.
  • Wash the area to remove any residue.
  • Take a shower if you came in contact with mercury.
  • Inform your doctor and ask about further medical attention.
  • Once mercury contaminates clothes, carpet floors, furniture and walls, it is very difficult to remove.

Mercury in Products

Many common household products contain mercury. Click on the images below to find out more about each one. And if you have one of these items, please don't toss them into the trash! Please dispose of them properly at a drop-off location or as instructed by your municipality.