Do thermometers have mercury in them nowadays?

@Lore2009 (7390)
United States
October 12, 2010 3:41pm CST
Today, I broke a teeny thermometer. I became really worried and paranoid since the red stuff got on my finger and it smelled pretty bad. I immediately washed my hands and ran it under water for awhile. So I went researching about it and it said that mercury is silver, but mine was just liquidy red stuff... supposedly it's only alcohol. And many people would play with mercury.. and have videos of it uploaded on youtube! But how do you know for sure... if thermometers contain mercury in them now... I'm still a little worried, any experts on this?
9 responses
@asyria51 (2870)
• United States
12 Oct 10
Mercury is silver. it is technically a metal, but behaves like a liquid. Most thermmometers are not make with mercury any more.
@Miner49r (569)
• United States
13 Oct 10
I miss the old mercury thermometers. Mercury thermometers are not sold in the US anymore, I don't know about other countries. I have worked with mercury a number of times, as long as you washed your hands right away I don't think you have too much to worry about. The biggest danger with mercury is it will evaporate at room temperature and the fumes are what will get you the worst.
@savypat (20248)
• United States
13 Oct 10
Some still do but you would know it if you broke it. mercury breaks into many tiny balls. Don't play with it use a turyky baster to pick it up and dispose of it in a container in the trash. Make sure no kid or pet gets a hold of it.
@Lore2009 (7390)
• United States
13 Oct 10
Yeah, I didn't find any silver in it.. it's all clear red stuff that smells very bad.
@de_toya (2434)
• Indonesia
13 Oct 10
Actually, mercury is a metal. Mercury is liquid metal and the color is silver. Mercury has a higher cohesion properties of the adhesion so that it will not make other things wet. Even though you touch it, your fingers won't be wet. I don't know whether it's now not available anymore because I don't have analog thermometer anymore since my son broke it last year than I bought the digital one. Digital thermometer doesn't use mercury . I think digital thermometer is better since it can read the temperature faster and I think it's more accurate and precisions.
@Lore2009 (7390)
• United States
13 Oct 10
Yah, mine was just a room thermometer that came on a little refrigerator magnet. I got it like a few years ago when I went to SF so I think it's the safer type.. I didn't find any silver in it.
@junrapmian (2172)
• Philippines
13 Oct 10
I heard that mercury in thermometer and other medical stuffs have been banned years back because it was proved that it can poison anyone in any way. When my children were younger, my eldest son broke our thermometer and he got curious with that silver thing that rolls on the floor, he was like 5 yr-old then. I was not alarmed because I didn't know that mercury is that poisonous. I just took the broken glass out of it and let him played with the mercury, good thing that nothing happen to him. It was only recently that I have known how bad it is for human. Thank God!
@Lore2009 (7390)
• United States
13 Oct 10
Oh wow! I'm glad he wasn't affected by it.
• Philippines
13 Oct 10
Mercury thermometers can still be found in the Philippines, however, they are not advisable to be made of use anymore. It's dangerous, especially with children since they have tendencies to bite these off or move about and break them.
13 Oct 10
Hi Lore2009, Please go to this website address: http://www.suite101.com/content/is-mercury-from-a-thermometer-dangerous-a191545 i hope this will help you :)
@o0jopak0o (6409)
• Philippines
13 Oct 10
well it is banned in most countries because of the toxic effects of it.
@HfJono (9)
• Australia
13 Oct 10
A few years ago, they used to use it, but nowadays, they don't due to the potential harm that the mercury can cause, if the thermometer breaks.
@junmae (1562)
• Philippines
13 Oct 10
Here in our country, the Department of Health releases new policy that glass thermometer with mercury should be banned because of its effects in our body. I suggest that you should go to the nearest hospital to check if you are not infected by mercury because it will go to your blood stream quikcly and ruin your system. It is safe to use the digital thermometer however, glass thermometer is more affordable and accurate.