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Vacuum Gauge Safety for Dairy Farmers

Some dairy gauges, or manometers, contain mercury. Mercury is a shiny, silver-colored liquid metal. When spilled, mercury breaks up into tiny beads and can contaminate air, water, and soil. Mercury can also be tracked by humans and animals around the farm and into the home. Once released, mercury continues to evaporate into the surrounding air and can be inhaled. Exposure to mercury can cause significant health effects. Even the small amount found in your gauge can be hazardous. If you use mercury dairy gauges, protect them from damage or leakage. And if you have unused gauges or liquid mercury supplies, store them in closed containers for proper disposal. Remember, a mercury spill increases the chance that health effects will occur and a spill is also costly to clean up.

Farms items containing mercury include:

  • thermometers
  • thermostats
  • barometers
  • vacuum gauges (dairy manometers)

Exposure to mercury vapor affects the brain and can cause:

  • irritability
  • tremors
  • memory loss
  • hypertension
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
For questions about: Call:
Mercury Disposal NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC): 1-800-462-6553 or 518-402-8792
Spilled Mercury NYSDEC: 1-800-457-7362
Health Effects NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH): 1-800-458-1158

Any comments or questions?
Contact us at: 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1750;
518-402-9469 (phone); 518-402-9168 (fax)

This page was last modified April 11, 2011

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