Instruments and products: mercury in hospitals

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Instruments and products used in hospitals that may contain mercury:

  • Thermometers:
    • Body temperature thermometers.
    • Clerget sugar test thermometers.
    • Heating and cooling system thermometers.
    • Incubator/water bath thermometers.
    • Minimum/maximum temperature thermometers.
    • National Institute of Standards and Technology calibration thermometers.
    • Tapered bulb (armored) thermometers.
  • Sphygmomanometers.
  • Gastrointestinal tubes:
    • Cantor tubes.
    • Esophageal dilators (bougie tubes).
    • Feeding tubes.
    • Miller Abbott tubes.
  • Dental amalgam.
  • Pharmaceutical supplies.
  • Contact lens solutions and other ophthalmic products containing thimerosal, phenylmercuric nitrate.
  • Diuretics with mersalyl and mercury salts.
  • Early pregnancy test kits with mercury-containing preservative.
  • Merbromin/water solution.
  • Nasal spray with thimerosal, phenylmercuric acetate or phenylmercuric nitrate.
  • Vaccines with thimerosal (primarily in haemophilus, hepatitis, rabies, tetanus, influenza, diphtheria and pertussis vaccines).
  • Cleaners and degreasers with mercury-contaminated caustic soda or chlorine.
  • Batteries (medical use):
    • Alarms.
    • Blood analyzers.
    • Defibrillators.
    • Hearing aids.
    • Meters.
    • Monitors.
    • Pacemakers.
    • Pumps.
    • Scales.
    • Telemetry transmitters.
    • Ultrasound.
    • Ventilators.
  • Batteries (non-medical use).
  • Lamps:
    • Fluorescent.
    • Germicidal.
    • High-intensity discharge (high pressure sodium, mercury vapor, metal halide).
    • Ultraviolet.
  • Electrical equipment:
    • Tilt switches.
    • Float control.
    • Septic tanks.
    • Sump pumps.
  • Thermostats (non-digital).
  • Pressure gauges:
    • Barometers.
    • Manometers.
  • Vacuum gauges.