How to Dispose of Mercury Thermometer

You can safely dispose of mercury thermometers if you have no plans to reuse it.

First, you should dispose of it through an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved method. Then, you can dispose of it in accordance with your state’s environmental standards.

So, how do you dispose of mercury thermometer safely? Mercury thermometers are very common in homes, as they’re easy to use and reliable.

However, these thermometers can be dangerous if they’re broken or thrown away carelessly. For this reason, it’s important to know how to dispose of them safely.

You should never throw them away in your normal trash, as they could contaminate the landfill. Instead, take them to your local waste disposal center and ask the staff for help.

Alternatively, you can return them to the store where you bought them or take them to a hospital or clinic for safe disposal.

Why Is It Essential To Safely Dispose Of Mercury Thermometers?

Mercury is naturally poisonous and is very toxic to humans; people who have ingested large quantities of mercury usually require chelation therapy to make their system work normally again.

This therapy helps the body get rid of mercury and other substances that harm it. Mercury disrupts the way our brains process information.

It has even been known to cause brain and other organ damage over time. Mercury can also cause all kinds of health problems if it’s inhaled, such as chronic pneumonia and brain damage.

If your mercury thermometer becomes damaged in any way, it can release its toxic vapor into the air. This can cause problems for you, your family, and the environment.

Otherwise, you run the serious risk of contaminating the environment with mercury.

It is legally forbidden to throw away any waste that contains more than a small amount of lead or cadmium in landfills in the United States.

This is because these substances can be harmful to people and the environment when disposed of incorrectly.

When Do You Need To Dispose Of Mercury Thermometers?

If you have an antique mercury thermometer in your possession and you’re planning to sell it at an auction, you need to take care of it properly before doing so.

The good news is that mercury thermometers may last for many years without showing any signs of wear and tear. This makes them very collectible items.

Every 3 to 4 years, you should take your antique collection to a company that specializes in testing antiques for toxins like lead and cadmium before selling them at auctions.

Mercury thermometers should be changed every 8 to 10 years to ensure their accuracy.

How to Dispose of Mercury Thermometer

Mercury Thermometer Collection Centers

Although this is an uncommon choice, it is a safe one if you have a lot of old or broken thermometers.

As with any other disposal method, you must be careful not to put other hazardous materials in the same container with your mercury-containing products.

Keep in mind that limiting your exposure to mercury is essential since it can cause damage to your nervous system and even lead to death if consumed in large amounts.

Local Pharmacy

If your mercury thermometer is still in working order, you can return it to the store where you bought it or to another establishment that uses the same type of thermometer.

Stores that sell thermometers usually take these back without any problems. They’ll be able to safely dispose of the thermometer for you.

It’s also possible to give back an old mercury thermometer to a doctor’s office or clinic. Keep in mind that most clinics won’t accept broken thermometers for safety reasons, but they can’t hurt to ask if yours can be returned.

Check with your pharmacist to see if there happen to be any collection points in your area for old or broken medications and medical devices.

Local Hazardous Waste Collection Site

Giving up a damaged or broken mercury thermometer at a hazardous waste disposal site is another safe way to get rid of your old thermometers.

A center that deals in hazardous waste will have a secure mailbox where you can leave your old products and wait for their technicians to come and collect them at a later date.

Remember that urine samples cannot be disposed of with mercury products. Mercury is very harmful to kidneys, bladder and urinary tract health, as well as its nervous system function.

You may look for a local hazardous waste collection site by consulting a phone book or the Internet, or by calling your city’s waste management department.

Once you’ve found one, be sure to call the center ahead of time to find out what their requirements are for the disposal of mercury-containing products.

Can Mercury Thermometers Be Recycled?

Mercury thermometers cannot be recycled at home or in a business setting. As previously stated, mercury thermometers are dangerous. As a result, it is not even safe to recycle or reuse them in any manner. If you have an old or broken mercury thermometer, you should securely dispose of it right away.

What Should You Do If Your Mercury Thermometer Breaks?

Mercury thermometers are commonly used for measuring temperatures in scientific experiments, medical offices, and kitchens.

They’re also often used to measure body temperature. Unfortunately, mercury thermometers break easily and can be dangerous if broken.

If broken, it’s important to follow specific steps to safely remove and dispose of the mercury. First, carefully remove the thermometer from the environment.

Next, wrap it in newspaper or a plastic garbage bag and place it in a sealed container. Finally, take it to a local hazardous waste facility for proper disposal.

Also Read: How to Dispose of Orbeez


It is vital to dispose of any broken mercury thermometers immediately. Whether they come from your home, clinic, or lab, they are very hazardous and can contaminate the environment if disposed of incorrectly.

To avoid the risk of mercury exposure, it’s important to keep these thermometers out of the reach of children and to dispose of broken pieces properly.