Mercury is a naturally occurring toxic trace element found in air, water, soil and rocks. Mercury, a silvery-colored liquid, is used in thousands of household and commercial products and industrial processes. Mercury can be converted in the environment by microorganisms into the organic form, methyl mercury, which is especially toxic.

Spills

Never use a vacuum cleaner to clean up mercury. The vacuum will put mercury into the air and increase exposure.

Never use a broom to clean up mercury. It will break the mercury into smaller droplets and spread them.

Never pour mercury down a drain. It may lodge in the plumbing and cause future problems during plumbing repairs. If discharged, it can cause pollution of the septic tank or sewage treatment plant. Never wash clothing or other items that have come in direct contact with mercury in a washing machine, because mercury may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage. Clothing that has come into direct contact with mercury should be discarded. By “direct contact,” we mean that mercury was (or has been) spilled directly on the clothing, for example, if you break a mercury thermometer and some of elemental mercury beads came in contact with your clothing.

Never walk around if your shoes might be contaminated with mercury. Contaminated clothing can also spread mercury around.

Michigan Energy Options

Maintains a list of state-wide mercury thermostat collection points

Website

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Regional Poison Control Center
616-391-9000

State of Michigan Toxics Hotline
800-648-6942

Mercury Spills

Thermostat Recycling Corporation
888-266-0550

Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) is the extended producer responsibility program for mercury thermostats.  They handle intact mercury switch thermostats.  TRC’s program is facilitated through regional locations whom act as a collection point.  The program is free for any generator of a mercury thermostat to drop off at a collection location.

Website

Johnstone Supply
4757 Clyde Park SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49548
616-532-8188

Mercury-containing thermostats only. Do not remove mercury vial from fixture. No broken thermostats, please.

Website

Michigan Department of Community Health

Mercury Spills

Website

Kent County Health Department Environmental Health Division
700 Fuller Ave
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616-632-6900

Website

MI Temperature Supply
3323 Lousma Drive SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49548
616-452-8741

Mercury-containing thermostats only. Do not remove mercury vial from fixture. No broken thermostats, please.

Website