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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
PUBLIC GOVERNMENT BUSINESS A to Z LIST

Sources of Mercury in Healthcare Facilities

Reduction of mercury containing products in healthcare facilities would significantly decrease mercury emissions released to the environment. For any existing mercury-containing products, proper disposal is very important. A listing for mercury disposal options and mercury spill kit vendors for New England has been compiled by EPA-Region 1.

Possible sources of mercury in healthcare facilities include:

  • Mercury thermometers
    The restricted use of mercury thermometers (available by a physician’s prescription) became effective in January 2001 (RSA 149-M:51 through 149-M:57). Replace your mercury thermometers with digital thermometers.
  • Mercury sphygmomanometers
  • Mercury oxide/Mercury zinc batteries
    These are generally the small button batteries. They should be recycled, or disposed as a hazardous waste.
  • Mercury lamps (fluorescent bulbs)
    ALL fluorescent bulbs contain mercury.
    They are energy efficient and are recommended for use, but they should be recycled!
  • Mercury weight esophageal dilators
    Mercury weight Cantor tubes
    Mercury weight Miller-Abbott tubes
    Mercury weight feeding tubes
    All dilators and tubes are available in non-mercury weighted varieties.
  • Mercury dental amalgams
    Amalgam is 50 percent mercury! If non-mercury alternatives are not being used, waste amalgam should be recycled. For more information, please visit NHPPP web page Pollution Prevention for Dental Offices.
  • Thermostats with mercury switches
    Many thermostats contain mercury. For old thermostats being replaced, see if the manufacturer has a take-back program, or recycle. For more information on the location of recycling bins, please visit the NHPPP Mercury Thermostat Recycling Program.
  • Gauges with liquid mercury
  • Equipment with mercury switches
  • Displacement/Plunger Relay
  • Flame Sensor/Safety Valve
  • Hitachi Chem Analyzer
  • Electron Microscope
  • Mercury Barometer
  • Many laboratory chemicals
  • Many cleaning products





NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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