In a mercury thermometer, a glass tube is filled with mercury and a standard temperature scale is marked on the tube. The basic concept of each different type of thermometer is the same, but the style differs. A variety of accurate and reliable mercury-free fever thermometers are available at your local pharmacy. Glass Oral Temperature for Fever Test, Oral Temperature for Adult or Baby, Rectal Axillar Temperatur… Mercury thermometers may be used in many applications, including chemical experiments, water and acid baths, blood banks, ovens and incubators. They are common in many households, schools and medical facilities. It is at the bottom and is cylindrical or spherical depending on the artifact. I know the hospitals use some digital ear thermometers that are supposed to be rated very high for accuracy, and as a consumer you can buy these models yourself. I am not sure if it was just the brand that was being used on us at work, but it never got a reading correct without multiple tries, and even that final reading was questionable. You can read more about the impact the decision will have in NIST’s February 2011 press release announcing the change. It is also known as mercury-in-glass thermometer. Medical doctors often use a version known as the maximum mercury thermometer to measure human body temperature. Mercury thermometers are used in households, laboratory experiments, and industrial applications. An exception is on the high end of the temperature scale. Place all broken objects on a paper towel. In place of mercury thermometers, hospitals will use the ear thermometer to take body temperature. If you have a mercury thermometer, don't throw it in the trash. Higher temperatures cause mercury to grow longer, while low temperatures cause it to fall or shrink back down. There are a number of different model types, sizes, and specifications, but the general operating principle is about the same in all cases. Collectible mercury thermometers on eBay come in many shapes, sizes, and transduction methods. Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem. The mercury thermometer is a classic design for temperature measurement still used by many families. United States Environmental Protection Agency. These sorts of thermometers are most commonly used in medicine and meteorology. Most thermometers hold between 0.02 ounces (0.5 g) and 0.1 ounces (3 g) of mercury. Broad categories of reasonably priced thermometers. Most modern thermometers are made of much stronger glass then their original counterparts, and the amount of mercury contained in each is quite low in any event. The American Academy of Pediatricians and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, have each suggested alternative temperature-measuring devices for personal use in order to reduce the risk of accidental exposure. When the tool is placed outdoors or in the body, the metal tip heats and mercury stretches along the length of hollow space within the tube. View a list of the updated ASTM standards. Just the same, due to the dangers associated with mercury poisoning, many countries around the world, most notably in Europe, have banned mercury-based thermometers for medical use. Mercury thermometers are inexpensive, durable and accurate. Metal is usually regarded as a good conductor of heat, and Fahrenheit noticed that when that tip was placed into liquids of varying temperatures, the mercury rose and fell in the glass chamber. It is obvious that when the mercury thermometer is broken - it's a disaster, since the impact of mercury on the stems and develops into small … It is also difficult to purchase mercury thermometers for home use in many of these countries. Mercury thermometer is a type of thermometer that uses a bulb filled with mercury as the temperature sensor. You should choose a thermometer that is easy to use and read. They are painless to use and disposable so you don’t have to worry about cleaning anything. There are four broad categories of thermometers to be aware of: I remember when I was very little we used a mercury thermometer and my mom always warned us to be very careful with them. With changes in temperature, the mercury expands and contracts, and the temperature can be read from the scale. Spilled mercury can be very challenging to clean, since the loose liquid often forms rounded “balls” that can bounce and scatter across a floor or room. As part of a partnership EPA developed with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NIST no longer provides calibration services for mercury thermometers. The battery is a button-cell battery and may contain a small amount of mercury, so it should be recycled with a hazardous waste collection program. Most people use the word “accuracy” loosely, lumping in lots of meanings that are not technically included and would be better stated as “overall accuracy”. In a mercury thermometer, a glass tube is filled with mercury and a standard temperature scale is marked on the tube. The mercury-in-glass or mercury thermometer was invented by physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in Amsterdam (1714). In a thermometer, the color helps determine the type of liquid. There are two general types of mercury thermometers that measure body temperature: Alternatives to mercury fever thermometers, Cleanup and disposal after breaking a thermometer, Learn more about how to tell if there is mercury in your fever thermometer, NIST’s February 2011 press release announcing the change, final rule incorporating updated ASTM International (ASTM) standards into EPA regulations (PDF), View a list of the updated ASTM standards, Phasing Out of Mercury Thermometers Used in Industrial and Laboratory Settings page, specific state laws, resolutions and declarations, What to do when a mercury fever thermometer breaks/spills, How to recycle and dispose of mercury products, Oral/rectal/baby thermometers, containing about 0.61 grams of mercury, Basal temperature thermometers (used to track slight changes in body temperature), containing about 2.25 grams of mercury. To date, multiple ASTM standards have been updated to approve the use of mercury-free alternatives for temperature measurement. Mercury can be toxic if consumed, and it can also cause skin and eye damage if touched or respiratory distress if inhaled. Mercury thermometers are designed utilizing the idea that mercury expands with heat. Thallium reduces the freezing point to -78°F (-61.1°C). Many of these tools are used in medicine and around the home to gauge body temperature, though they can also be used outside and in more professional meteorological situations. If the liquid in your thermometer bulb is silver, then the liquid might be: a non-toxic compound that looks similar to mercury. Mercury is a toxic and hazardous chemical. Mercury thermometer is a glass thermometer filled with mercury as the measuring liquid. Metallic mercury in its liquid state is relatively harmless when confined. I remember using them in every lab science class I ever took in high school and college. Some of them will deliver temperature readings within two to three seconds rather than forcing you to wait for almost a minute as with other consumer grade digital thermometers. This thermometer is a thin glass tube with a silver tip and line inside. It consists of a bulb containing mercury attached to a glass tube of narrow diameter; the volume of mercury in the tube is much less than the volume in the bulb. Mercury expands as the temperature increases, thus raising the reading, while decreasing temperatures contract the mercury, lowering the reading. If mercury freezes, nitrogen can be caught behind the metal causing the thermometer to stop working. For daily use, despite prices, a digital thermometer is the best choice. Nitrogen gas is what usually holds the mercury in place, and usually has to be inserted during the manufacturing process. Accuracy Because of sensitivity of temperature, high thermal conductivity, low thermal capacity, good visibility and non-wetting of the internal capillary walls of the thermometer, mercury is typically a very accurate gauge of temperature. For broader coverage of this topic, see Temperature measurement. Some of these thermometers do not have replaceable batteries. For more information about phasing out industrial mercury thermometers, visit EPA's Phasing Out of Mercury Thermometers Used in Industrial and Laboratory Settings page. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that the use of mercury thermometers be avoided and that existing mercury thermometers be properly retired. The alternative to the mercury thermometer is the digital thermometer, which measures temperature by monitoring changes in electrical properties voltage and resistance of metals inside the device. The purpose of the restriction is to to keep any given reading visible on the thermometer … First of all, if the thermometer broke, we recall its physical properties and … Mercury is a neurotoxin, and if you are exposed to it outside of its typical glass thermometer tube, it can cause you to go deaf, experience tremors, memory loss, and partial blindness, among other awful permanent side effects. Fold the paper towel and place in a zip locking bag. The mercury will evaporate and can contaminate the surrounding air and become toxic to humans and wildlife. A mercury thermometer is a tool used to measure temperature. There are usually a number of different options and models available depending on the intended use. Due to these facts, it is also obviously a substance that is difficult to clean up if ti spills. The ear thermometer is cleaner and less invasive than an oral thermometer, which is what it has going for it, but if I can’t be sure that the temperature is accurate it’s not much use. The thermometer usually has a small reserve of liquid mercury in its base, which is most often pressurized; above it is usually a glass or synthetic tube with a calibrated temperature scale. A mercury thermometer broke: what to do? Although many people commonly associate thermometers with a mercury filling, the dangerous properties of mercury have spurred manufacturers to use other liquids inside the glass gauges. Mercury-driven thermometers may also be used by meteorologists to measure air temperature. Each thermometer contains about.5-1.5 grams of mercury. I have always preferred mercury thermometers because of how easy they are to use. A mercury thermometer is a tool used to measure temperature. That mercury was secured in a metal tip. When heat rises, the liquid expand s from a bowl or bulb into the empty area, climbing up the tube. A thermometer is a device that measures temperature or a temperature gradient (the degree of hotness or coldness of an object). The small silvery ball in a mercury thermometer can be dangerous if the glass breaks and the mercury is not cleaned up properly. Wikibuy Review: A Free Tool That Saves You Time and Money, 15 Creative Ways to Save Money That Actually Work. polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste disposal. Some thermometers may still contain mercury but many typically contain less toxic liquids. If you have a mercury thermometer in your home and you want to get rid of it, you need to safely dispose of it as hazardous waste. EPA has launched an effort to reduce the use of mercury-filled non-fever thermometers used in industrial settings where suitable alternatives exist. Thermometers use a variety of technologies to measure body temperature. Learn more about how to tell if there is mercury in your fever thermometer. At home I’ve taken different temperature readings when using the ear thermometer and got different results each time, usually off by a degree or two – sometimes within the same hour. Mercury thermometers can withstand boiling and freezing temperatures, while digital thermometers may break in extreme conditions. The accuracy of a mercury thermometer varies depending on many thing. Although currently there are digital thermometers this form of temperature measurement is still very much in demand, in addition to being very simple to use. Mercury thermometers can be used to determine body, liquid, and vapor temperature. The thermometer usually has a small reserve of liquid mercury in its base, which is most often pressurized; above it is usually a glass or synthetic tube with a calibrated temperature scale. Better accuracy for temperature measurement results. The most similar alternatives to mercury fever thermometers are battery- and solar-powered digital thermometers. The silver color in the bulb normally indicates the presence of mercury. I think as long as you are careful there is no need to drop $50 or more on a digital thermometer. This is to help remove the threat of thermometer breakage and the subsequent release of mercury vapor indoors. Mercury is one of the most familiar materials used in liquid thermometers. Newer technologies include non-mercury liquids-in-glass as well as digital and electronic devices that use sensors to measure temperature. What to do if a mercury thermometer breaks. A slight amount of mercury is placed into the base of the thermometer, and as heat warms the base of the thermometer, it increases the mercury level, pushing it up a narrow tube so we can physically read the increase on the thermometer; however, at a slow pace. There are non-mercury thermometers with temperature and accuracy ranges equal to most mercury thermometers. Glass Oral Temperature for Fever Test, Oral Temperature for Adult or Baby, Rectal Axillar Temperatur… At least 13 states -- California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Washington -- have passed such laws. There are a number of different model types, sizes, and specifications, but the general operating principle is about the same in all cases. But, in fact, a crashed thermometer with correct and well-adjusted actions is nothing more than an unpleasant situation that can be resolved on its own. If there is no liquid in your thermometer, for example, if it uses a metallic strip or coil to measure temperature (like most meat thermometers do), it is not a mercury thermometer. In the past, mercury (MER-kure-e) thermometers were used. Everyone knows that mercury is one of the most powerful poisons, thus, have toxicity even mercury vapor. A laboratory thermometer is recognizable by its long stem with a silver bulb at the end. A maximum thermometer is a medical mercury-in-glass thermometer that features a carefully designed restriction in the mercury column directly ahead of the reservoir bulb. Contact your local trash collection program to see if there's a … In order to measure temperatures below this point, meteorologists will often mix mercury with thallium alloy. I think you can get them for under $50. The oldest technology is the mercury-in-glass thermometer. Mercury thermometer (mercury-in-glass thermometer) for measurement of room temperature. I have found that the digital thermometers that you press against your forehead are absolutely terrible. I really loved the idea of plastic strip thermometers because with mercury thermometers I was always worried about my children dropping the glass vial and breaking it. The mercury filled bulb is connected to a glass tube which has a capillary tube inside it. Within the confines of the thermometer there isn’t usually any safety risk, but should the glass break, exposure is likely. The mercury in mercury thermometers is poisonous if the thermometer breaks. The functionality of the bulb is to store the mercury and is usually made of stainless steel, but can be made of glass as well. The basic instrumentality is usually pretty simple. These thermometers work exactly like bandages and you stick it to your child's skin for a few moments and it gives you a temperature reading. 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