MDCH Launches New Mercury Vapor Poisoning Prevention Web site

Contact: James McCurtis, Jr. (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

December 12, 2007

LANSING - In response to the dangers of vaporized mercury, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has created an informative Web site that not only explains the risks of exposure, but also the resources available in response to a mercury spill.

When mercury is exposed to the air, it gives off a vapor that can cause physical or mental health effects that can be detrimental to those that breathe it in. The vapor is especially harmful to young children and the fetuses of pregnant women. Broken fever thermometers are the most common cause of mercury spills. Other items found in homes - old glass thermometers, barometers, antique clock pendulums, and blood pressure cuffs - also contain mercury. By acting immediately and following proper procedure, people can clean up and dispose of spilled mercury safely.

The Web site, http://www.michigan.gov/mercury, gives residents instructions on what to do when a mercury spill happens at home. The Web site also provides cleanup guidelines, procedures for testing after a mercury spill, and sample public information documents to schools, businesses, and mercury spill responders.

For more information about mercury or the new Web site, please contact Brendan Boyle at (517) 335-8138 or 1-800-MI-TOXIC.