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Mercury Management & Exposure Prevention - Summary

Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that is found in every school. Mercury may be present as a laboratory reagent, in maintenance materials, or in a building component. As a result, the total elimination of this material is not likely. However, it is important to remember that mercury and its compounds may be readily absorbed and accumulated by the body and can be extremely toxic. Therefore, it is imperative that we identify and properly manage all mercury bearing materials present in a school in order to prevent an accidental release and exposure to this potentially harmful material.

This section provides a discussion of how the Burlington Board of Health (BOH) attempted to identify mercury bearing materials present in local schools. This section also describes the BOH response actions initiated as a means to reduce the risk of an accidental exposure or the improper disposal of mercury containing articles. Training, identification and planning are critical to ensure the proper handling of these materials.

prepared by Todd H. Dresser, Environmental Engineer
(formerly of)
Burlington Board of Health, 29 Center Street, Burlington, MA 01803

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