Laboratory Mercury Contamination

The Challenge:

During renovation works at a laboratory in Port Melbourne, a large thermometer was damaged, resulting in Mercury leaking and contaminating the works area. Staff attempted to clean, but upon further testing, Steamatic was engaged to decontaminate the area of the spill, as well as, the transit area out of the building where staff had cross contaminated during the initial clean up.

 

Mercury has severe health and safety implications, so gearing up with the correct PPE was required. Another challenge was the area to be decontaminated due to the attempted clean of the sites staff. This included the sites waste skip from the renovations.

Solution Provided: 

In agreeance with the hygienist, it was devised that all visible mercury would be captured and put in an airtight container. To solidify the liquid mercury, sulphur powder was dusted over the area, whilst also targeting the corners of the room and crevices in the concrete floor. After the sulphur powder, a sulphur solution was then spread over the floor to target any remaining mercury. This was then wet vacuumed and the process repeated two more times.

All remaining mercury, PPE, air scrubber filters and the wastewater were disposed as contaminated waste.

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