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Answer to Question #39247 in Inorganic Chemistry for nader

Question #39247
hi, i broke yesterday my mercury thermometer in my bedroom i found few silver balls on bed and floor.. i took them by carton paper and put it in plastic bag.. i opened the window for fresh air.. but im very scary and panic now because i found out in internet its very dangerous.. please help me i cant take my breath now.. what should i do? sorry for my english, its not my native language .. im worry i breath that mercury toxic because i was staying in the room for 1 hour looking for the selver balls and after finished clean i opened window for few hours.. any risk ? plz help
Expert's answer
The most dangerous factor about broken termometer is mercury. Mercury has very low melting temperature (about -38.8C). A higher temperature initiates the process of its vaporization. Mercury vapour is very toxic. It enters the organism through the lungs. It is being oxidized under the ferments influence. In such oxidized state it becomes the most dangerous. The first symptoms of mercury poisoning appear durin several hours. They are: skin discolouration, swelling, shadding of skin. But such scenario is possible only when a great amount of mercury entered to the body. The mercury accumulation in the organizm is also possible.
That is why when the termometer is broken the mercury balls localization is the main aim. If the termometer is broken you are supposed to:
- open tha window to minimize the mercury concentration in the room;
- put rubber gloves and gauze bandage;
- gather mercury balls to the glass ar with water and close it by the cover;
- small balls must be gathered by the plastic syringe.

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