Demercurization – what it is and signs of mercury poisoning

The content of the article

The procedure is a set of measures to eliminate mercury pollution. To do this, use mechanical and physico-chemical methods – collect the remaining substance with a plaster or syringe, carry out cleaning with demercurisers – potassium permanganate, soap-soda solution or sulfur. After measuring vapor, the procedure may be repeated..

The essence of demercurization

Cleaning the premises may be necessary after damage to the thermometer, fluorescent lamp and various household appliances. Metal escapes and falls onto exposed surfaces. The cleaning process may vary – it all depends on the volume of spilled mercury, the degree of contamination, the size of the room.

General algorithm of actions – people are brought out, the room is ventilated, the substance is manually collected, surfaces are treated with a special tool.

Demercurization solution

Liquid helps interrupt the evaporation of mercury. The solution is used to soak contaminated items or to clean rooms. It is applied with a brush, rag or spray. Sulfur powder is used in various institutions for cleaning – all contaminated areas, crevices, corners are filled up with it. When combined with a metal, a substance turns mercury into a less dangerous non-volatile substance. Solid material is easier to clean, will not fly into small balls.

At home, you can use a solution of manganese or chlorine-containing detergents. Previously, the mercury is collected by a syringe, a rubber bulb, paper tape or adhesive, then the surface is treated with bleach or potassium permanganate. It is recommended to completely fill the floor with a concentrated solution with a chlorine-containing agent..

The components of the demercurization solution

Demercurization of mercury at home is carried out with the following fluids:

  • 1 liter of “White” + 5 liter of water;
  • 1 l of a dark brown solution of potassium permanganate + 1 tbsp. l vinegar essence + 1 tbsp. l salts;
  • 1 liter of warm water + 50 g soap + 50 g soda – use after potassium permanganate.

The danger of a broken thermometer

When it enters the body, the substance is not excreted, but accumulates. Mercury is especially dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly, children, patients with diseases of the liver, kidneys, and respiratory system. The first signs of damage to the body are minor – slight dizziness, fatigue. Then mercury accumulates and complications appear:

  • persistent nausea;
  • pain when swallowing;
  • impaired kidney, liver;
  • heart problems (arrhythmia, tachycardia);
  • disorders of the nervous system (irritability, insomnia, poor memory, depression);
  • breathing problems (bronchospasm, pneumonia);
  • thyroid dysfunction.

The danger of a broken thermometer

Signs of Mercury Poisoning

A substance with dust or air enters the body through breathing or food. One type of mercury poisoning may occur:

  • Spicy – comes in a hot, cramped room, with intense evaporation of mercury. Vapors in high concentrations may occur if material enters the heater..
  • Chronic (micromercurialism) – occurs by inhalation of poisonous air in small quantities for 5-15 years. This happens if you violate the rules for collecting crashed mercury – balls can roll under the baseboard or furniture and gradually evaporate.

When inhaled concentrated vapors, the following manifestations are possible:

  • low or high blood pressure;
  • weakness, drowsiness;
  • nausea;
  • vomiting
  • bleeding, swelling of the gums;
  • cough with sputum;
  • shortness of breath, shortness of breath;
  • increased body temperature (often 38-40 degrees);
  • headache, dizziness;
  • lack of appetite;
  • pain and discomfort when swallowing;
  • taste of metal in the mouth;
  • stomach ache;
  • bloody diarrhea;
  • profuse salivation.

Signs of Mercury Poisoning

These symptoms appear 2 hours after inhalation of toxic fumes. If you do not provide first aid, the following symptoms are possible:

  • emotional instability, irritability, decreased concentration of attention;
  • trembling of fingers, lips, eyelids (“mercury tremor” develops);
  • loss of consciousness;
  • pneumonia;
  • violation of the functions of the respiratory and excretory systems;
  • decreased skin sensitivity;
  • thyroid enlargement;
  • violation of the menstrual cycle in women;
  • frequent urination
  • increased sweating;
  • coma and death.

How to detect mercury in an apartment

Measurement of the concentration of mercury vapor is carried out using:

  • Palladium or iodide-copper indicator paper.
  • Special devices – analyzers Mercury, AGP-01, EGRA-01, UKR – 1MTs, RGA-11, RA-915 + – quickly show results, help to continuously search for sources of vapor.

Mercury vapor measurement

Palladium paper

Features of indicating the degree of damage:

  • Palladium or iodide-copper indicator paper is placed at the level of human growth (at a height of 1.5 m). If after 8-10 hours the material turns pink, then the permissible vapor concentration prevails.
  • The Mercury, AGP-01, EGRA-01, UKR-1MTs, RGA-11, and RA-915 + analyzers are equipped with a mercury lamp with a wavelength of 253.7 nm. During operation, its radiation is absorbed by toxic fumes. Their concentration is determined within 1 minute or continuously, every second.

How is demercurization of premises

If the room is non-residential – start cleaning one day after the spill of mercury. So the volatility of the substance will greatly decrease and cleaning will be safer for health. In the living area, start cleaning immediately. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Do it yourself – collecting balls, surface treatment with demercurisers.
  2. With the involvement of services of the Ministry of Emergencies, SES. Complete removal of mercury is carried out in 2-3 visits with an interval of a day. Upon completion of cleaning, the presence of harmful fumes is checked by the analyzer.

The purification process is mechanical and physicochemical. Both methods are used to completely remove mercury – first they collect balls manually, then they wash surfaces with special solutions – demercurizators. The main difference between demercurization at home and in medical institutions is the use of different detergent compositions. At enterprises often use colloidal sulfur powder and soap-soda solution, at home – potassium permanganate and bleach.

Professional room demercurization

Neutralization of mercury in medical facilities

Surface cleaning is carried out according to a special scheme:

  1. People are brought out of the room.
  2. Soap-soda solution is prepared for disinfection.
  3. Mercury is collected with a plaster or syringe, placed in a glass jar, tightly closed with a lid.
  4. All used tools, accessories, a broken thermometer are placed in a container with the inscription “For demercurization”. Everything is poured with soap and soda solution, closed with a lid.
  5. Contaminated area is saturated with soap and soda solution..
  6. After 30 minutes, wet cleaning is carried out, the room is ventilated.
  7. A container with damaged items is to be disposed of by SES and the Ministry of Emergencies.

Set for demercurization in healthcare facilities

Health facilities should have a special kit to neutralize mercury. It includes:

  • 2 containers for creating a demercurization solution;
  • adhesive tape packaging;
  • 5 packs with soap chips (packs of 40 g) and soda ash (packs of 50 g);
  • bathrobe;
  • gauze mask;
  • protective rubber gloves.

Work kit

How to neutralize mercury at home

The substance can spread on the surfaces of the room under various circumstances – after inaccurate shaking of a thermometer or changing a bulb. The solutions to the problem of mercury leakage are a call from specialists or independent demercurization. Instructions for preparing for the procedure:

  1. Take people, animals out of the room.
  2. Close the doors, open the windows for at least half an hour – you need to weather dangerous fumes. In the cold season, ventilate the room until the temperature is below 15 degrees.
  3. Wear rubber gloves, a respirator or cotton-gauze dressing, synthetic clothing – it is less saturated with harmful fumes.
  4. Prepare a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, a rubber bulb, a syringe with a thick needle, or a band-aid, and tape for collecting mercury. Never collect the material with a rag, broom or vacuum cleaner. Balls can break up into smaller ones, it will be more difficult to remove them. The vacuum cleaner will increase harmful evaporation, after the procedure it will have to be thrown away.
  5. Put the soiled clothes and shoes in plastic bags, take them outside for further disposal.
  6. Take a lamp with a long cable or a flashlight to highlight damaged areas.

What to do if a thermometer crashes

Do not step on mercury during demercurization. If this happens, after the procedure, pack the shoes in a plastic bag for disposal. Demercurization at home is as follows:

  1. First, collect with a rubber bulb or tape all mercury balls – you can additionally use a metal scoop. Put them in a jar with used tools, close the lid tightly.
  2. Roll the contaminated carpet into a roll, wrap its edges with polyethylene, take it outside. Before knocking out the product, spread a plastic wrap under it. Knock mercury with strong shocks.
  3. If mercury has flowed under the baseboard, tear it off. Remove the parquet tile. Use a syringe to remove mercury balls.
  4. After demercurization, check the result with a lamp or a flashlight.. Highlight problem areas – mercury balls will shine.
  5. Treat the cleaned areas with a dark brown solution of potassium permanganate with hydrochloric acid (5 ml of acid / 1 l of solution) – this will help reduce harmful fumes from minor residues of the substance. Leave liquid on surfaces for 8-12 hours. Wet treated areas with water as they dry. Rinse the solution with any chlorine detergent..
  6. Rinse your mouth with a pink solution of manganese, brush your teeth, take a shower, put on clean clothes.

Ways to Collect Mercury Balls

After demercurization, ventilate the room daily for a month, carry out wet cleaning using chlorine-containing compounds. Collected mercury, dirty items must be disposed of at a special point or to the Ministry of Emergencies. In no case do not throw material, things into the sewers, onto the street.

Mercury Disposal Services

Consult a professional to thoroughly remove contaminants. Moscow services providing mercury disposal services:

  • MosGorLab – engaged in air testing, demercurization. For advice, calling a specialist, call 8 (495) 125-08-89, 8 (925) 974-00-21. The working hours are around the clock. Prices: checking the concentration of vapors – up to 100 square meters. m / 3000 p., demercurization – 1 sq. km. m / 3000 r.
  • Sadrin – removal and disposal of items with mercury. Call a specialist by phone – 8 (495) 926-08-36. The working hours are around the clock. The price for the removal and disposal of garbage – 8 square meters. m / from 6000 r.
  • Mos Eco-Service – profile of work – mercury decontamination, subsequent cleaning of the premises. Call a specialist by phone – 8 (800) 200-04-26, 8 (495) 363-62-21. The working hours are around the clock. The price for garbage removal and disposal is 1 sq. Km. m / 5000 r.
  • Ecotechprom – Engaged in garbage, waste, mercury disposal. For advice, calling a specialist, call 8 (499) 238-82-05, 8 (499) 238-39-12, 8 (499) 238-40-00. Opening hours – Mon-Thu from 8:00 to 17:00, Fri from 8:00 to 15:45. Specify the prices by phone.
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