Mercury spills can take place at any time, and you need to be ready in case one arises in your facility. After dealing with a spill, there’s also the task of handling the leftover mercury waste. Both the addressing of the spill and handling of mercury waste will require you to follow the proper procedures so that people can be safe. Today, we’ll go over how you need to handle mercury spills and what you should do with the remaining mercury waste.
Proper Handling and Transporting of Your Mercury Waste
Mercury can be a dangerous substance, both to the environment as well as people. Because of the dangers this substance poses, the Department of Transportation has rules in place for how mercury needs to be transported.
Containment is the biggest factor because you don’t want mercury going anywhere it isn’t intended to go. Use containers that have been approved by the DOT and UN whenever you’re trying to contain mercury spills. UN containers are built so that they can handle strong impact, and they are made with secure lids. This lowers the likelihood of any mercury leaking out of the containers during transport. If you’re getting containers from a vendor, ask them if they are both UN and DOT-approved. Also, see if the containers have a UN symbol on them.
What to Avoid Doing When Cleaning Up Mercury Spills
Mercury needs to be handled delicately, and that means following specific procedures. There are plenty of improper ways to handle mercury spills, which can make people, your facility, and the environment less safe.
To begin, you shouldn’t use the wrong tools to clean up mercury spills. Such tools you should avoid using include vacuum cleaners and brooms. Vacuum cleaners put mercury in the air, which can raise the amount of exposure people get. Brooms break mercury down into tiny droplets, which makes spreading mercury easier.
You also never want to pour mercury down the drain. Mercury can pollute septic tanks, and it can also lodge itself inside of your plumbing system.
Lastly, you should refrain from walking in shoes that have possibly been contaminated with mercury. Mercury can stick to shoes and other articles of clothing, which makes it easier for you to spread mercury throughout a building when you’re walking around. If you have clothes that could be contaminated with mercury, don’t try washing them. Instead, discard those clothes because it’s not safe to put mercury into a washing machine.
Call AEG Environmental for Mercury Remediation Services!
AEG Environmental has the skills, resources, and training to take care of any mercury spill. Our team has 20+ years of expertise transporting and disposing of non-hazardous, hazardous, infectious, and universal wastes. For more information about our mercury remediation services, please contact us today!