Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Recommended Posts

As Finnr said "Mercury isnt safe to mess with at all." We are unknowingly exposed to many toxins in our life. Many of those will come back to haunt us as we age. Knowing the hazards of mercury exposure, I would not even consider using it in this manner.....
Jerry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would suggest that you find a safe manner of disposal for that stuff. One kilogram would turn your shop into a bio-hazard zone if it were to spill. Here in the USA the amount of money to clean that up wouldn't be worth the risk of having it around your shop to harden a few chisels and knives. It is a central nerve system toxin, it will make your bones brittle, it will rot your kidneys!:o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Normally mercury does not have much vapor. It is the vapor of elemental mercury that is bad for you. When you breath it, it may go into you bloodstream and from there into your nerves (the mad hatter was crazy from breathing mercury for decades, yes it takes decades for the effects to show). It is also possible for the mercury to coat the insides of your lungs blocking the uptake of oxygen. If you go sticking hot steel in mercury you will dramatically increase the vapor you are breathing. Some salts of mercury and most organic compounds containing mercury are dangerous. On the other hand mercury was once drunk as a laxative. In its liquid form it isn't very dangerous. However it is not something that should just be lying around and because of the hysteria over its dangerous potential, it is hadr to find most places. You probably should safely dispose of what you have as it really has no common use today. You should dispose of it if you can not securely store it.

For what it's worth, I quench knives in used cooking oil.

ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In addition to all the above it is skin absorbable. It is extremely toxic stuff. You are right about "Mad as a Hatter" hat makers going crazy from mercury fumes and also from the mercury absorbed thru their skin while working with mercury to form the hats. Also the Dreamy Draw in Phoenix, Arizona is named so because of the gold miners who used Mercury to seperate the gold from the black sand, then boiled off the Mercury to obtain the gold. In doing so they were exposed to the Mercury vapors and since it effects the centeral nervious system, they tended to nod off all the time.

Soil contaminated with mercury is considered "Hazardous Waste" when the concentration of mercury exceeds 7.5 mg per cubic meter of soil so don't even think of throwing it out on the ground. There used to be a recycler of mercury who would send you a shipping container to ship it to them. If you like you can IM me with your email address and I will see if I can find the info on the recycler.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A gentleman in the hazordous materials industry once told me that if he dropped a thromometer containing murcury in his home and it broke he would have professionals do a hazardous materials clean up of the site. If he were to drop a second on he would move out leaving all of his belongings behind and have the house razed and the materials disposed of properly. That said, I played with murcury as a kid and the only affects I can see is that I make knives now...that has to be from brain damage I think.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To bad the stuff is over a 100 bucks a pound here, I could see some fun uses for it..... YouTube - Cannonball in mercury


I have always maintained that it is alright to be incredibly stupid as long as you are the only one who knows. The guy in this film clip has just told everyone in the world that he is incredibly stupid.

There was an incident in Phoenix, AZ a few years back where 3 young people, 2 guys and a girl, broke into a school bus that a prospector used as his prospecting vehicle. They were looking for gold but didn't find any. He had a bunch of mercury in the bus however. They took it back to the apartment that they shared and played with it. Threw it against the walls, poured it off the balcony onto the side walk and watched it bounce etc. The next day a meter reader from the gas company happened by and saw some of it on the ground by the sidewalk. Recognizing the hazard, he called the Haz Mat Team. The ensuing cleanup cost over half a million dollars. The apartment had to be stripped to the bare floors and the studs. The ground outside was scopped up and loaded into drums. Once the apartment was stripped and re-done, it was turned into a storage room and can never be used as a place that can be continuously occupied.

One of the boys and the girl was taken immediately to the hospital, stripped and decontaminated then started on chelation therapy to try to remove the mercury from their systems. The other boy went to a friends apartment and spent the night sleeping on the floor. They later were able to trace exactly where he slept with a mercury monitor. He went to Denver and then returned to Phoenix a few days later. A policeman saw him walking down the sidewalk, recognized him and detained him until the Haz Mat team could arrive and strip him and start decontamnation. He too was taken to the hospital and chelation therapy started to remove the mercury from his body. The chelation therapy was unsuccessful in all 3 cases and all three of these kids died of mercury poisoning from the mercury that was absorbed through their skin from handling it and the mercury vapors they breathed.

To have some FOOL drop a cannon ball in a tank of mercury to show that it floats and in the process splashing it all over and vaporizing mist into the air is totally stupid. Then to put video of this stupidity on the internet so that unknowing people can see it and want to emulate it goes beyond moronic.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my youth when I was working in a gun shop the gunsmith would use mercury to get the lead out of pistol barrels. Rather then scrub it out he would plug one end of the barrel and fill it with mercury. It was wonderful. The bore would be free of lead and copper fouling but it was also corrosive after awhile. I remember firing 30-06 rounds that had mercury primers and they would rust your barrels in no time. Mercury is bad stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woody, I have lived in Phoenix all my life, and have never heard of that. Mercury isn't dangerous just sitting in the tank on the video. Even the splash is't dangerous as it is not vaporizing the stuff. Yes it can be transdermally absorbed, but not that quickly. It is like asbestos in some regards. It can build up in your system over time, and once in there is a bugger to get out, but it won't kill you to be in close proximity to it. Would I let my kids play with it like I did as a kid? No, but I wouldn't panic if I saw some from a broken thermometer and move out of town either. At work they had a mercury thermometer break in a utility truck. I think the bill to have the environmental guys vaccuum it up was about $10,000.
Mercury has gotten to be such a panic button with people like asbestos, and now for pete's sake Mold (I sure do hope they don't ban Blue Cheese or I might panic and move from the country) that they call for expensive environmental cleanup when the littlest bit is discovered. Then feeling good about themselves for the good thing they just did to protect the world they stop at McDonalds and have a burger and fries, the fat, that kill millions more people every year than mercury, asbestos and mold combined, be darned. I am thankful people haven't discovered that there is lead on the tires of their car, arsenic in the water they drink, that the gassified chlorine the pool guy uses is a greenhouse gas, that they are carrying 20 gallons of expolosive fuel in the trunk of their car, and on and on.
Anyhow, that is my rant for the day. I feel better now, I think I'll go swallow some poisonous alcohol and even worse Carbohydrates!:o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a friend get mercury poisoning while in Afirca and he was one sick dude for a long time and the detox he had to go through was not pleasent he still suffers after several years of being "cured" Do not mess with it follow what these guys say and despose of it correctly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you had best check the archives of the Phoenix paper, AWalker, the apartment complex was in Tempe. I know the guy who handled the cleanup, he runs an environmental service in Phoenix, he is a retired AZHP Sgt his name is Brad Butler. Oh, and incidently I happened to live in Phoenix at the time. The incident is well documented. But then in your case ignorance is bliss, do as you like. I only spent 30 years in Safety, Hazardous Material Cleanup, and teaching Hazmat emergency response so I obviously know nothing about the subject.

Oh and my signature line is there for a reason.

Edited by Woody
add text
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...