Prevent Mercury Contamination

There are many items in our homes that contain mercury. Once the products listed below outgrow their usefulness, DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY! The mercury can escape if the item breaks. Take the entire item to your local solid waste management district for proper disposal.

These household items may contain mercury:

Mercury thermometers, Thermostats, Fluorescent and mercury vapor lighting, Automotive blue-tint head lamps, Pilot light sensors, switches and relays, Gauges (with silver-colored liquid), Clothes irons (automatic or tilt shut-offs), Vintage toys (mercury maze games), Batteries (primarily mercury oxide), Medicines or health care products (thimerosal or merbromin antibacterial agent in personal care products)

Take the mercury-containing item to a household hazardous waste collection site or a tox-away day. Your local solid waste management district may have a program near you. Check the Web at www.in.gov/idem/oppta/recycling/swmd/ or call 800-988-7901 for information about your local solid waste management district.

When you dispose of mercury improperly, such as dumping it down the drain, it contaminates the water and is difficult to remove. This leads to mercury contamination in the fish you eat and the water you drink. Do your part, consider the options for proper disposal, and use your brain before pouring anything down the drain!

This information was obtained from the brochure “Stop! What you pour down the drain can end up in me!” brochure distributed by IDEM.