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Thread: Mercury Thermometer

  1. #1
    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Default Mercury Thermometer

    I geuss my head has been in the sand on this issue, but did you guys know that mercury thermometers are no longer available? My daughter spiked a temp yesterday, and our digital one of course didn't work. So I went to several stores/pharmacies and none of them sold them because they are now "illegal" They said too many kids swallowed the mercury after biting the thermometer, which I suppose is possible, but I haven't heard of it. So I got another digital and it tells you a different temp every time you use it consecutively. So my thought is the EPA and other government "experts" believe it is better for every sick child to be subject to technology defects and innaccurate information to base their health upon instead of every half billionth kid being dumb enough to bite glass and suffering the consequences.

    I might have found a source for some mercury thermometers, I hope. If so, i'm creating a stash!


  2. #2

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    If the kids are small or dumb enough to bite on a thermometer, you stick it in their other end!!! Every parent knows that.

    We still have some old style as well as electronic and those strips you put on their head. Those strips seem to work pretty well.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    It's all part of the grand plan of the government protecting us from ourselves. They have our best interest at heart and of course they know better.
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    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    There is little need for a Mercury thermometer -the real reason for them back in the day was working with high temperatures of cooking chemistry with a high accuracy. Hense you cans still find science sources - the digital work just fine and are safe...
    "Never work against mother nature"--Caesar Milan.

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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    Considering Mercury Toxicity I prefer non mercury.
    Karl

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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    There is little need for a Mercury thermometer.........digital work just fine and are safe...
    I must disagree. Growing up, my family had two mercury thermometers. In fact, my mom I know still has at least one of them. I am on number four digital in six years. They are crap. When you need it, the battery is dead, or part of the screen doesn't work, or it beeps and reads "63.8F". If my daughters temp was "63.8F", she wouldn't be feverish, she'd be dead! I don't remember having any of these issues with the mercury style growing up. We don't get sick too often either. Most of the thermometers were used once or twice and then quit. That is not my definition of "work just fine".

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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gryffynklm View Post
    Considering Mercury Toxicity I prefer non mercury.
    It's only toxic if you break the glass. And it can't be too bad, they put it in CFL light bulbs. I don't know about you, but I've broken alot more light bulbs then thermometers. Just sayin.

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    Super Moderater RangerXanatos's Avatar
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    I would think you should be able to find the alcohol thermometers. They are the ones that have the red bar to read.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Take the batteries out of the thermometer when it's not being used. And read the instructions. It will tell you that you have to wait between consecutive readings. It probably will specify how long as well. We live in a disposable society so it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that an item you pay $8.00 for isn't going to last very long.

    Most of you are probably not old enough to know how terrible the Japanese had it because of mercury ingestion. That had a whole generation affected and many had terrible disabilities because of mercury poisoning. Better to be frustrated over a plastic item than doesn't work than to have your child poisoned. At least that's my view.

  10. #10
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I have an instant ear thermometer so I grabbed the instructions.

    Please wait at least five seconds between successive reading.

    To store:
    Remove the battery if the thermometer will not be used for an extended period of time.

    I'll bet our thermometers get used 2 or 3 times a year at most.

  11. #11
    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    Natertot, Yes I agree, However........

    The amount of mercury released by a broken CFL is slight in comparison to a thermometer. In ether case the mercury needs to be collected properly to avoid contamination. Mercury contamination is cumulative because it doesn't degrade. Break all the CFL you want I'm not telling not to do it.

    The contents of a mercury thermometer has caused some families to become very Ill because of improper disposal. The use of a vacuum to pick up mercury only breaks it up and atomizes it into the atmosphere. DON"T vacuum mercury.

    I have spent over 20 years in quality control and hazardous waste management and disposal. I'm not telling anyone what to do or not to do. My experience allows me to choose not to use a non toxic thermometer containing mercury because I don't have to.

    I do use CFL's because when installed properly they do not have the same risk of falling every time they are put to use.

    If anyone feels comfortable with their knowledge of mercury and the potential hazards then you are doing what you should.

    Just sayin.
    Last edited by gryffynklm; 10-03-2011 at 06:58 PM.
    Karl

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Rick you didn't say why they had murcury poisoning - Tuna or swordfish consumption - mild quantities are safe... Bck then they ate it every day.


    Natertot- we are on the same page... those early ones were made in China from workers who had no idea why they showed up other than to get PAID.

    One hopes they have a clue now.... Can you say TAIWAN?
    "Never work against mother nature"--Caesar Milan.

  13. #13
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    WOO - I wasn't trying to whitewash anything. Mercury, as Karl said, is cumulative. Once in the tissues it doesn't break down. I remember as a kid playing with mercury in school. Not a drop but a blob about 3 or 4 tablespoons large. Rolling it in our hands and making little drops bump into big ones. The whole school would be contaminated today and probably torn down.

    The Japanese eat seafood as a primary food source because they have to. I was just offering up a worse case scenario. I still won't mess with the stuff today and I won't be looking very hard for a thermometer containing mercury. It's toxic stuff.

  14. #14

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    But the govmint says CFLs are safe.
    Look, here's the cleanup procedure for a broken one.
    www.epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup.html
    This is what we are giving up incandescents for...
    Far more of these will be going into the landfills than old mercury thermometers...
    People don't even know you aren't supposed to throw them in the trash.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    We aren't giving up incandescents you silly. They are being pried from our cold dead hands.

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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    We aren't giving up incandescents you silly. They are being pried from our cold dead hands.
    I'll revert to candles before I buy CFL. Incandescents cost me around 35 cents each, whereas CFL run $5.50 each and haven't saved any noticeable $$$$ on the energy bill.

    I also agree that Mercury is toxic stuff. But it is also safe when used and handled properly. My biggest appeal to Merc thermometers is you grab it, shake it and use it. The digital is more along the lines of, is it turned on? Is the battery dead? The instructions told me to remove the battery and now I lost it. Great, the screen isn't readable any more. And so forth. I just want an item that is quick, simple, reliable, and accurate. If my kid has a temp of 101.5, great. Giver her tylenol, motrin, and fluids. If she has a temp of 103.0, crap! Let's get to the ER. Without an accurate and reliable tool, I'm guessing on how to treat my daughter and with the amount of faith she has in me, she deserves more than a SWAG on my part. Just my outlook.

  17. #17
    Ed edr730's Avatar
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    There probably is more mercury in one of your "silver" fillings than in the thermometer. This, we are assured is safe. We still inject mercury into our bloodstreams with 25% of our vaccinations. We are assured it is safe also. Although taken out of many household items, it still remains in the fish we eat, the light bulbs we use, and items most of us are unaware of. Some think it's reason for concern, at times, and others don't. I'm all for each person making his own decisions with the information he has. I just think that the information should be without gag orders that make it illegal or difficult to inform the public of scientific studies about a lot of things. Since mercury made the mad hatter mad, I think it's worthy of some notice.

  18. #18
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    You sort of stretched your argument there natertot. I did get a chuckle though. Here's how it goes with those blasted mercury thermometers. You have to find it then is it upside down or right side up. You have to shake it to get the mercury back down and when you do it goes sliding across the floor and probably breaking. And so forth. I just want an item that is quick, reliable and accurate. You stick the digital in, it beeps and I read the temp. Easy. (snort, chuckle)

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    You sort of stretched your argument there natertot. I did get a chuckle though. Here's how it goes with those blasted mercury thermometers. You have to find it then is it upside down or right side up. You have to shake it to get the mercury back down and when you do it goes sliding across the floor and probably breaking. And so forth.
    If I may add, a critical step was omitted. Someone has to taste it or otherwise determine whether it's an oral or anal thermometer.

  20. #20
    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BScout View Post
    If I may add, a critical step was omitted. Someone has to taste it or otherwise determine whether it's an oral or anal thermometer.
    Now thats's funny!

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