EPA Offers Mercury Safety Fact Sheets to Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors

EPA 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 (http://www.epa.gov/region07/mercury/#contractors) were created to help prevent mercury releases, which present a serious environmental and health problem. 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.

An increasing number of residential mercury releases have been reported to EPA. 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 such as Honeywell heat generators and also mercury gas regulators.

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