Inhalation, Skin Contact, and Ingestion

Coal-burning power plantsThese three routes of exposure are common with broken thermometers or other exposures to raw liquid mercury. While all three routes are extremely dangerous, inhalation is the most dangerous. From the lungs, mercury can enter the blood and will eventually end up in the kidneys and brain.

Mercury Collage



There are many household items that may contain elemental mercury:

  • Mercury Thermometers
  • Florescent bulbs
  • Thermostats
  • Watch Batteries
  • Tilt Switches


How to become mercury-free and to use mercury-free alternatives:

Mercury Products:

Mercury in FishFish - Liquid mercury eventually turns into methyl mercury, a much more dangerous form, and attaches to the muscles of fish. For this reason, the EPA has issued a warning to eat less large predatory fish such as tuna, salmon, and shark. Many native Oklahoman fish also fall into the same category. Examples are flathead catfish, walleye, and several species of bass. It is best to eat these fish no more than once a week. Choose fish low in mercury.

Oklahoma's fish advisory can be found at: