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So I'm feeling pretty anxious about the way I handled a broken thermometer a few weeks ago. It was an old mercurcy candy thermometer, the kind that has a glass thermometer set in a metal frame. I found it in my kitchen drawer with the glass part broken near the top. No mercury had spilled, and all the glass was there -- it had just cracked and split, but there weren't any glass shards or anything -- so I assumed it was OK. I just double-bagged it in plastic and put it in the garage to be discarded at the next haz-mat collection.<br><br>
So, DH saw it today and asked what the plan was for dealing with it, and I looked up mercury disposal online. And now I'm freaking out, because I saw all sorts of terrible things about the toxicity of mercury vapors that can escape when a thermometer breaks. I had no idea! This was weeks ago. Have I unwittingly exposed my little one to toxic levels of mercury? I didn't think to do any particular cleanup besides getting rid of the thermometer -- I didn't wash all the utensils in the drawer or anything. By now, we've already used several of them. Would putting everything in the dishwasher make a difference at this point? How concerned should I be? Is there a mercury-level test I can do for DD, like a lead-level test???<br><br>
Any advice for me?
 

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Not, that I am completely OK or normal. I'll probably be the last to know if I'm not.<br><br>
But, growing up, my dad and grandfather would bring home beakers of mercury for my brother and I to play with. We would play with it until it disappeared into the cracks of the floor. I am sure we were exposed to litterally two gallons of mercury. We held it, pushed it, blew it through a straw.<br><br>
In the early 70s, our science teacher had a jar full of it. He allowed the students to play with it.<br><br>
As far as I know, my brother and I are fine. (it's been almost 40 years)<br><br><a href="http://heartspring.net/mercury_poison_symptoms.html" target="_blank">http://heartspring.net/mercury_poison_symptoms.html</a> Here is a site I found. I have no idea if it is a real source, or just someone writing what they think is true. I only skimmed it.<br><br>
It does say that mercury thermometers are unsafe. But, apparently, we have a higher exposure from every day items that you wouldn't think contained mercury.<br><br>
I don't think it says what to do about it after it's already broken.<br><br>
I would think that if you put everything in the dishwasher, and also put the drawer outside for a few days, it should be safe. It says mercury evaporates over time. (which is good, cuz there's a house in chicago with a bunch of it in the basement floors)
 

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This thing happened recently and I feel like so careless because haven't noticed it inside the drawer in our room. It's our old first aid kit and it was not used for so long. My mom says it should be disposed properly, but then I am afraid what it causes in our environment. Is it still safe for my daughter to go inside our room, I mean for my whole family?
 

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Air it out, thoroughly clean the glass up without touching, and all in the area of it. They say try and pick up any microscopic bits with tape. I've broken CFL bulbs before a couple times and simply cleaned the area well and aired it out, tried not to be too concerned otherwise. There's more in thermometers but same principle applies. Heck they used to give mercury as medicine to people, not care overmuch if thermometers broke, and apparently let students play with it. It's not good for you but don't get anxious either, no need to call in a hazmat team over common household items.
 
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