The Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7 has developed fact sheets to inform plumbing, heating and cooling contractors who repair or replace mercury-containing gas regulators, pressure gauges, heat generators and thermostats about the health risks and liability issues associated with a mercury release.
The fact sheets were created to help prevent mercury releases. The information describes to contractors how to properly dismantle, contain and dispose of mercury-containing units. The fact sheets also provide information on how to clean up mercury releases, health effects of a mercury release, who to contact if there are questions, and how to report a release.
According to EPA, an increasing number of residential mercury releases have been reported. Mercury releases have occurred from mercury pressure gauges used to test gas lines and from some types of home thermostats. Other mercury releases, which have required significant cleanup efforts, have resulted from plumbers working on old heating systems, heat generators and also mercury gas regulators.
EPA's goal is for mercury-containing units to be properly disposed of after removal from residences. Plumbers, contractors, home inspectors, or anyone else who encounters these devices should be aware that they contain mercury, a hazardous material.
Learn more about mercury at www.epa.gov/mercury/spills.