Mercury is a hazard when it is released into the environment, for example, through a broken thermometer or thermostat. Long-term exposure to mercury may affect the brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver. The amount of mercury in a single household thermometer can destroy the ecosystem of a 20-acre lake.
Disposal and Replacement of Mercury Thermometers
Mercury thermometers are prohibited in University Housing. If you have a mercury thermometer, call OSEH at 734.936.5238 for pickup and disposal. You can get a non-mercury-containing thermometer for a modest fee.
If your mercury thermometer breaks, or if you suspect a mercury spill, DO NOT TOUCH THE MERCURY. Please contact FIXIT immediately. They will contact OSEH’s Hazardous Materials Department for cleanup.
Devices Containing Mercury
Mercury-containing devices (such as thermostats) in University Housing are being replaced with non-mercury-containing counterparts.
Housing also participates through OSEH in the University’s fluorescent light bulb reclamation program. Under this program, discarded fluorescent light bulbs, which contain mercury, are directed to a facility that captures and sorts the component materials for recycling and re-use.
To learn more, visit the U-M OSEH website.
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