Another Mercury Question

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Dave Coatsworth, Mar 29, 2020.

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  1. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Senior Administrator
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    Feb 11, 2005
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    Found these sealed glass vials of mercury in an estate that I bought a couple of months ago. They are sealed glass vials, so seem safe as long as I don't drop them. Is there a safe way of disposing of them? Are there places that take in mercury?

    MercuryVials.jpg
     
  2. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I personally would keep them and wait for a crystal regulator to come around with broken or missing vials. These are hard to find.

    When I worked in a chemical lab we use to treat mercury spills with copper powder, which forms a solid amalgam with mercury (the stuff that has been used in teeth cavity fillings). I guess that's not what you intend to do. I think a city recycling center would take them for a fee.

    Uhralt
     
  3. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Just google hazardous waste disposal mercury and you should come up with some options near you… Unfortunately, they’re probably closed, like the one here in the bay area. When they reopen they will take the stuff that I used to filter and re-pour the mercury in the pendulum of my jewelers regulator but did say that everything should be double-bagged and then put in a sealable 5-gallon container.
     
  4. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    John

    Sometimes cities or areas have annual collection of hazardous materials. Obviously, right now is not a good time to inquire about hazardous material collection.

    Andy Dervan
     
  5. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I have a friend in the HVAC industry. They are replacing all those mercury tilt switches in thermostats due to changes in building codes and fire restrictions. The issue was that in a house fire the little mercury tilt switches would break creating the most dangerous form of mercury in vapor form. He has cans of the little switches and says he is required to keep them in fire proof containers - preferably sealed. Your local codes may vary, but if you decide to keep them make sure they are somewhere they cannot fall and break or could cause vapor issues in a fire.
     
  6. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Senior Administrator
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    Good point. Yes, I think I would just as soon not have them here. I'll look for some place to take them when things return to normal.
     
  7. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    this was a tad over 4lbs of mercury...

    IMG_7724-1.jpg
     

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