Mercury Handling

In this section:

Mercury is an extremely toxic substance that can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes and must therefore be handled with care. In order to ensure that mercury is handled safely in your practice:

Conduct a COSHH assessment for mercury (see COSHH Risk Assessment).

Ensure premises are designed to enable the safe handling of mercury by checking that:
• there is good positive ventilation;
• the floor covering is impervious with sealed joints;
• carpeting is not used close to areas where mercury is handled;
• aspirators are vented externally, where possible (see Venting of Aspirators).

Provide in-house training to all staff who use mercury to ensure safe handling of this potentially hazardous material.

Use encapsulated amalgam to reduce the risk of mercury exposure.

  • required by Regulation (EU) 2017/852 on Mercury.

Have mercury spillage kits available and follow instructions on these kits in the event of a spillage.

Follow correct procedures for disposal of waste mercury and amalgam (see Waste Management).

Place machine for mixing encapsulated amalgam on a tray lined with aluminium foil.

Ensure the cover for the mixing chamber is closed during use.

Check machine for mixing pre-dosed encapsulated amalgam regularly for evidence of mercury contamination. If any contamination is discovered, remove from service and either send them for decontamination by a specialist or replace them.