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Author Topic: Mercury Switches: How many should one have in their design kit?  (Read 1184 times)
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the land of sun+snow
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Makes one wonder,
http://www.kake.com/news/headlines/63780737.html
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"Like virtually all hazardous material, mercury is not mailable".
http://uspsnotices.lettercarriernetwork.info/not107.pdf
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"Hazard Classes
For purposes of transportation and shipping, federal regulations assign each hazardous material to one of the following nine hazard classes. The following list provides examples of items that are subject to mailing restrictions or prohibitions.
........
Class 8: Corrosives Chlorine bleach, ammonia, batteries, drain cleaners, acids, mercury"

Joe, I wouldn't be surprised if your package was mailed by some dweeb going to school in the USA, and not knowing much in addition to nothing at all.
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Dubuque, Iowa, USA
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My understanding is that elemental mercury isn't really that hazardous.  It's the compounds that are so very toxic and also I guess vapor.  But I don't think that at room temperature vapor is really a problem, only in industrial settings in the past where hot mercury was used, mercury compounds, or other compounds that were simply contaminated with high levels of mercury products.  Like a lot of hazards, it's probably overblown, assuming you don't try messing with it in a chemical way and end up with organomercury compounds.

Agree, it's not really that hazardous in an elemental form. You can find medical reports where individuals ingested or injected mercury into their skin; it can take weeks or months for inflammation to start and after removal the toxicity treatments are relatively straightforward.

I dunno if anyone really cares about that, and if I were a conspiracy person I'd say it's a cover story. What they do care about is what mercury does to an aluminum airplane -- note that they list it as a corrosive. See: http://periodictable.com/PopSci/2004/10/1/index.html.




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My understanding is that elemental mercury isn't really that hazardous.  It's the compounds that are so very toxic and also I guess vapor.
Yes, it's the compounds that are of concern.
Us old guys have some in our teeth.


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More Cowbell
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Joe, I wouldn't be surprised if your package was mailed by some dweeb going to school in the USA, and not knowing much in addition to nothing at all.

It was China Post->USPS->Joe.  I think we have determined they are not particular about US regs.
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Vexatious Sampler

the land of sun+snow
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My understanding is that elemental mercury isn't really that hazardous.  It's the compounds that are so very toxic and also I guess vapor.
Yes, it's the compounds that are of concern.
Us old guys have some in our teeth.

Of course, my dentists always swore the mercury-silver amalgam was safe. Silver being a precious metal [even if it does tarnish like the dickens] apparently nullifies the mercury poisoning, duh.
http://www.google.com/webhp?source=search_app#fp=54b78a9b0d3b5366&q=mercury+silver+amalgam+safety

After all, sodium and chlorine are each nasty business alone, but put them together and you got the salt of life, double-duh. [this is yer brain on the wonders of modern chemistry].
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Valencia, Spain
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I dunno if anyone really cares about that, and if I were a conspiracy person I'd say it's a cover story. What they do care about is what mercury does to an aluminum airplane -- note that they list it as a corrosive. See: http://periodictable.com/PopSci/2004/10/1/index.html.

Yep, it wrecks aircraft.

The biggest hazard from Mercury is when it forms water-soluble compounds. That's nasty. Apart from that, well...

A few switches isn't going to hurt anything compared to the vast amounts of mercury released by burning coal (which ends up in the water).
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Denver
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I used to be cavalier about elemental mercury too, until I saw .
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 06:35:21 pm by bHogan » Logged

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Valencia, Spain
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I used to be cavalier about elemental mercury too, until I saw

That looks scary, but looking at that you'd imagine that blob of mercury would completely evaporate in 24 hours, which obviously isn't true. I'm guessing it's made by somebody with an agenda.

This is probably more accurate: http://www.heracliteanriver.com/?p=246

Anecdote: My grandad used to work at a chemical plant and my grandma used to find blobs of mercury in the washing machine after she washed his overalls...

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