/policies/,/policies/administrative/,/policies/administrative/uwmf/,/policies/administrative/uwmf/uwmf-wide/,/policies/administrative/uwmf/uwmf-wide/safety/,/policies/administrative/uwmf/uwmf-wide/safety/hazardous-material--waste---materials-hazmat/,

/policies/administrative/uwmf/uwmf-wide/safety/hazardous-material--waste---materials-hazmat/118008.policy

20170389

page

100

UWMF,

Policies,Administrative,UWMF,UWMF-wide,Safety,Hazardous Material & Waste - Materials (HAZMAT)

Mercury Spill Policy (118.008)

Mercury Spill Policy (118.008) - Policies, Administrative, UWMF, UWMF-wide, Safety, Hazardous Material & Waste - Materials (HAZMAT)

118.008

J:\OEIP\Nu-Connect\Content Migration\Policies\Policies\UW Medical Foundation\Safety\Hazardous Material
& Waste - Materials (HAZMAT)\mercury spills 5 1 01.doc

1
UWMF SAFETY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Subject: Mercury Spill Policy
Effective Date: 5/1/01 Approved: Mike Holman, Safety
Supersedes Policy Date: Revision #2
Distribution: Safety Manual

Reviewed


PURPOSE:
The purpose of this policy is to promptly clean up any reported mercury spills at
UW Medical Foundation sites.

DEFINITIONS:
Large Mercury Spills means that a blood pressure cuff or Lab thermometer bulb
broke and mercury is not contained.

Mercury Spill Kit means a clean up kit that includes a mercury vacuum pump,
air sampling pump with tube detectors, absorbent, recovery bags, safety glasses,
mercury respirator, gloves, scoop and wash bottle.

POLICY STATEMENT:
In the event of a mercury spill, the site supervisor will make immediate
arrangements to clean up the mercury to control potentially harmful exposures.
The Facilities Department may participate if the spill involves a Lab thermometer
or blood pressure cuff. After the clean up, the site supervisor will forward an
Incident Report Form to the Safety Coordinator and replace the broken device
with a mercury-free one.

PROCEDURES:
I. Patient Thermometers
The breaking of thermometers causes a majority of mercury spills in the clinics.
A broken thermometer can be cleaned up by doing the following:
1. Wear the green nitrile gloves if free mercury is noted
2. Scoop and sweep broken glass and mercury onto a sheet of paper
3. Fold the paper to trap the glass and mercury
4. Place in a specimen jar with a tight fitting lid
5. Send specimen jar to the Facilities Department
6. Forward an Incident Report Form to the Safety Coordinator
7. If more than one thermometer breaks, follow the procedures for large
mercury spills


II. Lab Thermometers


J:\OEIP\Nu-Connect\Content Migration\Policies\Policies\UW Medical Foundation\Safety\Hazardous Material
& Waste - Materials (HAZMAT)\mercury spills 5 1 01.doc

2
If a Lab thermometer breaks and the bulb is still intact, do the following:
1. Protect the bulb portion which contains most of the mercury
2. While wearing nitrile gloves, scoop and sweep any spilled mercury
onto a sheet of paper and place into a specimen jar with a tight fitting
lid
3. Scoop and sweep broken glass into a sharps container
4. Send the mercury to the Facilities Department
5. Forward Incident Report Form to Safety Coordinator
6. If the Lab thermometer bulb breaks, follow the procedures for large
mercury spills

III. Large Mercury Spills
If a blood pressure cuff or Lab thermometer bulb breaks, do the following:
1. Remove patients and staff in the immediate area
2. Close off room, if possible
3. Post a sign alerting staff not to enter
4. Call the Facilities Department
5. Forward Incident Report Form to the Safety Coordinator.

IV. Clean Up of Large Spills
The Facilities Department or Safety Coordinator will respond to large mercury
spills in the following way:
1. Upon arrival to the spill site, personnel will don personal protective
equipment and test mercury vapor levels
2. Further evacuation and/or additional ventilation may be necessary if
exposure levels near the spill site are at or above 0.1 mg/m(3)
3. Using the mercury spill kit, clean up all visible mercury and its original
container (see Attachment A).
4. After clean up, test mercury vapor levels. If levels are at or above 0.1
mg/m(3), seal off the area and continue ventilation until levels are
below this threshold (may take up to 24 hrs).
5. When the room is safe for entry, notify the site supervisor and forward
all mercury sampling tubes to the Safety Coordinator.












J:\OEIP\Nu-Connect\Content Migration\Policies\Policies\UW Medical Foundation\Safety\Hazardous Material
& Waste - Materials (HAZMAT)\mercury spills 5 1 01.doc

3
ATTACHMENT A
Mercury Spill Cleanup Procedures

REQUIRED PERSONAL PROTECTION:
1. Nitrile gloves
2. Safety glasses
3. Half mask respirator with mercury vapor cartridges

LARGE SPILLS:
1. Inspect air-sampling pump for leakage.
2. Use air-sampling pump to determine mercury vapor levels.
3. If possible, tape off air return vents, open windows and use a fan to enhance
ventilation.
4. Use vacuum pump to pickup mercury. For most efficient operation, keep
pump low at spill site.
5. Use stainless steel adapter tube to pickup mercury in cracks.
6. Discard mercury into specimen jar with a tight-fitting lid and return jar to
facilities.
7. Take additional air samples to ensure levels are below 0.1 mg/m3.
8. Wash hands.

small droplets:
1. Place sponge rough side up on a level surface.
2. Dampen rough side of sponge with about 2 ml of water. Spread water evenly
with a gloved finger.
3. With the rough side down, slowly wipe up the droplets.
4. Additional mercury absorb powder can be applied to the sponge to increase
its capacity.
5. Discard sponge in specimen jar with a tight-fitting lid and return jar to facilities.

carpeted areas:
1. Use vacuum pump to pickup all visible particles.
2. If pump cannot pick up all particles, the mercury absorb powder should be
used directly.
3. Pour a quantity of powder in a small container.
4. Add water to dampen powder. (Too much water may slow the neutralizing
process.)
5. Stir and let stand for 2 minutes.
6. Drain off any extra solution.
7. Apply to contaminated area, working powder into the rug so it can react with
the mercury.
8. Use vacuum pump to pickup remaining mercury/powder.
9. Discard mercury into specimen jar with a tight fitting lid and return jar to
facilities.