Baumanometer - Baum

MSDS - Clarification of Mercury Vaporization Rates

Every Baumanometer® Instrument contains approximately one quarter (1/4) pound - less than 2 teaspoons - of triple-distilled, American Dental Association grade (99.999% pure), elemental mercury. The Reportable Spill Quantity (RQ) of elemental mercury is 1 pound.

SECTION II, SECTION III of the enclosed MSDS lists the Vapor Pressure of elemental mercury at 0.0012g / 100g. At room temperature (78-80 degrees) elemental mercury vaporizes slowly. So slowly, that there is no need to add elemental mercury to our instruments even after decades of constant use.

SECTION IV refers to an Acute Overexposure condition which occurs when high concentrations of mercury vapor are inhaled. High concentrations of mercury vapor result when large quantities of elemental mercury are heated and the resulting vapor remains in a small, confined space with little or no air circulation. By contrast, our instruments contain a small quantity (two teaspoons) of elemental mercury, approximately 1/4 of the reportable spill quantity. The boiling point of elemental mercury is 674 degrees F. Our instruments are not used in extremely small, abnormally hot, confined spaces with little or no air circulation. In fact, there are rules governing the number of times that the air must be turned over in a patient room.

SECTION IV also refers to Chronic Overexposure which occurs when low concentrations of mercury vapor, 0.05 mg/m3 (TWA), are inhaled over a long period of time. The Time Weighted Average rules refer to the amount of time an employee can safely work (5 days per week, 8 hours per day, for 40 years) in an environment where the vapor level regularly reaches 0.05 mg/ m3 (TWA). It is a mistake to apply the principle of Time Weighted Averages (long term exposure) to an acute situation (short term exposure) to mercury vapor. It is also a mistake to assume that any exposure, to any level of vapor constitutes a health hazard.

In an article published in, The American Society of Hypertension, titled, "THE HEALTH RISKS OF REMOVING MERCURY MANOMETERS FROM THE HOSPITAL AND CLINIC", Dr. C. E. Grim states, "We have reviewed the world's literature on Hg toxicity and could not find a single instance in which anyone has been harmed by the Hg from a manometer used in a health care setting".

Note: Elemental mercury should not be discarded. It should be recycled, never incinerated.
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