July 27th, 2007

forget me nots

mercury is scary

Anyone know anyone who's some sort of expert when it comes to mercury exposure & contamination? The more I read on google, the more paranoid I get. Go head. Google "mercury exposure" or "broken thermometer" and see the kind of scary results you get.

So what I'm wondering now is:

If you were in the same room with a broken thermometer that wasn't dropped hard so there was no huge wide scattering of droplets and you didn't to the best of your knowledge touch any droplets, are your clothes still considered contaminated?

If mercury from a thermometer isn't readily absorbed through the skin, is it the same with broken skin? And how would that change if the skin in question was broken *by* the broken thermometer?

Is there still danger of mercury contamination with a kitten that had a droplet of mercury on it's butt, which was flushed away, if the kitten's runny poop got on it's fur?

If the kitten was contaminated and then on a towel and that towel was washed, is the washer then contaminated (this goes back to the first question I think)? I have read that if your clothes are contaminated then you shouldn't wash them in the washing machine as the machine can then be contaminated.

And probably the most important question: is whatever exposure we may have gotten something to worry about, particularly for the kitten (and to an extent, both of them since they share the enclosed box, nesting together)?

I'm having a hard time finding what I'm looking for here. If I can't find it on google, who would be best to call that would be the most knowledgeable?