Spilled mercury, even small quantities in the home, should be cleaned up properly so that people don't come in contact with it or breathe its vapors. Some ordinary cleanup measures such as sweeping and vacuuming can actually increase the risks.
Mercury vapor is odorless, colorless and very toxic. Even though liquid mercury evaporates slowly, a significant amount of mercury vapor can build up in indoor air at room temperature after some is spilled—it can be dangerous to breathe these mercury vapors.
What should I do if mercury gets spilled?
Call the Minnesota Duty Officer at 800-422-0798 or 651-649-5451 and report the spill. The Duty Officer will put you in touch with someone who can advise you on dealing with the spill. Or, follow the directions in the following fact sheet:
What should I do with thermometers and other items that contain mercury?
Household items containing mercury should be taken to your county's household hazardous waste disposal site. It is unlawful to place them in ordinary household garbage. Call your county's solid waste officer for the location and hours of the site nearest you.