Historically mercury thermometers have been used for nearly all temperature measurements because of their accuracy and low cost. Their use is increasingly being restricted to industrial and scientific applications, as safety and environmental issues are demanding stricter laws on the disposal of products containing mercury.
Thermometers are typically constructed of a hollow glass tube with a reservoir at one end to hold a liquid, which is sensitive to temperature fluctuations within a specific range.
Mercury thermometers present many safety and environmental hazards. Mercury in thermometers, if introduced into the environment can eventually enter the water ecosystem, where microorganisms break it down to methylmercury components. Fish and sea animals at the top of the food chain of the ocean, lakes and streams consume these compounds in their diets , this causes our seafood to be highly contaminated. Mercury is the most potent neurotoxin known to man. Meaning, there are no other known chemicals which affect your brain as drastically. And worse mercury does not break down in your body, or in the environment.
Mercury is gradually being faded out of most industries and banned from most countries.
A broken mercury thermometer should be handled as an emergency situation requiring immediate attention . A broken blue ASTM liquid thermometer can be disposed of in an ordinary fashion, being careful of any broken glass.
Our blue ASTM thermometers are manufactured according to the official ASTM standard ( standard specifications for liquid-in-glass thermometers with low hazard precision liquids ). The thermometers are filled with a special blue organic liquid, a lot less hazardous than mercury.