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Mercury Spills in Schools and Businesses

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It is best to get rid of mercury in your office or school before it spills. Visit Operation Clean Sweep or or Michigan Energy Options to learn how to get rid of mercury safely.


Before transporting any item with mercury in it, be sure to package it inside two zip-top plastic bags or a sealable non-glass container (Rubbermaid, old paint can) to prevent a release while transporting the item.


However, despite our best intentions, mercury spills do still sometimes happen at businesses and schools, places where a large number of people can be exposed to mercury vapor.  



In the event of a mercury spill at a school or business:

  • Limit access to and from the spill area as soon as possible to avoid tracking the mercury outside the area of the spill.

  • Call your local health department or the Michigan Department of Community Health at 1-800-648-6942 for advice regarding how to handle isolating the spill and cleanup.


The following fact sheets can help you learn more.  There are also letter templates that you can use in the event of a spill:

  • Michigan laws that limit the use and sale of mercury
  • Hiring a Cleanup Contractor - A fact sheet discussing how to select a cleanup contractor for mercury spills in schools and businesses is in progress.  In the meantime, please refer to our homeowner's fact sheet and call MDCH for additional guidance. 

For Schools

For Business & Trades


For mercury spills inside your home, go to:
MDCH's page on Mercury Spills 

Do you need more information? 
Call your local health department or the Michigan Department of Community Health at 1-800-648-6942.

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