Mercury-containing devices can be found in households, commercial settings and in healthcare facilities and many other unsuspecting places. The use of these devices may presents health and safety hazards to residents of homes, industrial workers and healthcare providers, as well as their patients if not handled properly. Exposure to mercury vapor can cause nausea, vomiting and even blood poisoning, with children and older people at highest risk. Long-term exposure can cause central nervous system damage among a host of other health issues.
To take better care of patients in these settings, their caregivers and the environment, many healthcare providers have taken steps to reduce the use of mercury-containing devices and tools, including:
- Replacing sphygmomanometers with digital blood pressure cuffs.
- Switching out mercury thermometers with digital or alcohol thermometers.
- Swapping mercury-containing thermostats with digital thermostats.
Here are some additional products in healthcare facilities that may contain mercury:
- Blood Analyzers
- Hearing Aids
- Electron Microscopes
As the owner or operator of a healthcare facility, be prepared to handle a mercury spill if any of the aforementioned mercury devices are on site. It is not good enough to assume personnel would be able to recognize mercury and what to do in case of a spill if they are not trained. If you’re interested in training your staff on how to mitigate mercury spills, contact Rader Environmental at 419.424.1222.