Elemental mercury is found in health care, schools, industrial, commercial, and residential facilities. Mercury containing items include: electrical equipment, thermometers, blood-pressure monitors (sphygmomanometers), mercury vapor lights, barometers, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, thermostats, mercury switches, aviation instrumentation, laboratory reagents, flooring with mercury containing catalysts, barometers, coal fired power plant stack emissions, and dental fillings.
Elemental mercury sublimates from a solid to a vapor causing toxic exposure to skin, respiratory system and targets the nervous system, lungs, kidneys, brain, and may damage developing fetuses. Other health effects include irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems.
Elemental mercury has no warning properties, is invisible, and heavier than air. Principal concerns are to eliminate ingestion and inhalation of vapors and prevent exposure to infants. Mercury vapor adsorbs to porous materials like carpeting, paper, concrete, vinyl flooring, and combines with metal by amalgamation requiring removal.
Remedial measures include direct capture of elemental mercury with mercury vacuums equipped with mercury traps, conversion of elemental mercury to less toxic mercuric salts with sulfur containing reagents like HGX, using amalgamation agents like Mercsorb to coalesce attract elemental mercury, and thermal desorption.
Recommended elemental mercury cleanup levels are less than 1 ug/cm for residential areas and 3 ug/cm for commercial facilities.
Remtech's mercury remediation programs include:
➢ area evacuation, isolation and ventilation, setup airlocks
➢ shut down HVAC systems
➢ prevention of tracking
➢ lumex meters to measure ng/cm concentrations
➢ direct mercury recovery with mercury vacuums
➢ conversion of elemental mercury to mercuric salts, HGX
➢ level C protective gear with mercury rated cartridges
➢ recycling and disposal of mercury spill cleanup residues
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