Mercury poisoning is a serious matter. It can cause major, and long-lasting, neurological problems such as depression, memory loss, anxiety and mood swings. On top of this it will also eventually affect the victim physically, causing nausea, muscle weakness, numbness and difficulty walking and breathing. In short, it is something you want to avoid.
When a barometer was knocked over in a garage at a residential property in Altrincham the occupier knew that he needed to act quickly.
Barometers are scientific equipment that are used to measure the pressure of the air, and they have been used to predict the weather since the 17th century. Similar to a thermometer, they often have a thin tube of liquid which is used for a reading – and that liquid is mercury.
Once the fire brigade had been to remove any immediate risk, the occupier was advised that he would need an expert cleaning company to clear up the mercury spill – he called Ideal Response.
The Ideal solution
Once onsite for the mercury cleaning in Altrincham, our team quickly assessed the damage. The mercury had affected the concrete floor of the garage and a hostess trolley that the barometer had fallen onto, as well as some clothes that had been bagged up by the fire brigade. They set to work.
The first phase of the cleanup was to use a syringe to collect and contain as much of the spilt mercury as possible. Once this had been done, the syringe was carefully disposed of into one of our spill kit containers.
The remaining mercury was collected together using specialist ‘push cards’, before being covered with our specialist amalgamating powder (phase 2) – with extra care taken to ensure all grooves and floor joints were checked thoroughly for contamination.
This was then sprayed with cold water and left to get to work, with warning notices around the affected area, before being wiped up with dampened sponges. All of the items that have been used in the cleanup were then transferred to the spill container, which was sealed safely with mercury hazard tape and transferred offsite for safe disposal.
To check that all of the mercury was cleared up. We then used our Mercury Vapour Indicator (MVI) to detect traces of mercury within the treatment area. In the event of any mercury being detected, phases 1 and 2 would have been repeated.
The reading from the MVI showed our team that the affected areas had been restored to “safe and acceptable levels”, as prescribed by the World Health Organisation. With all of the mercury cleaned and all items safely disposed of, a potentially hazardous situation with serious health risks had been completely neutralised. With the mercury cleaning in Altrincham a complete success, our customer could rest easily, knowing he was free from risk.