Mercury Containing Equipment

A thermostat is a temperature control device that contains elemental mercury in an ampule attached to a bimetal sensing element and includes mercury-containing ampules that have been removed from the temperature control device. Other devices and equipment that contain elemental mercury includes the following: mercury thermometers, switches (tilt, float, fire suppression), sensors (flame), relays (displacement, wetted, contact), and manometers.

A used thermostat, mercury switch, or other device containing only elemental mercury as its hazardous waste constituent becomes a waste on the date it is discarded. An unused device becomes a waste on the date the handler decides to discard it.

The universal waste regulations do not apply to mercury that was removed from devices or ampules (e.g., mercury collected in a container).  Facilities will need to manage that mercury under the hazardous waste rules that apply to their generator status.

Labeling Universal Waste Containing Mercury

Universal waste mercury-containing equipment (i.e., each device), or a container in which the equipment is contained, must be labeled, or marked clearly with “Universal Waste - Mercury-Containing Equipment”, or “Waste Mercury-Containing Equipment”, or “Used Mercury-Containing Equipment”.

A universal waste mercury-containing thermostat or container containing only universal waste mercury-containing thermostats, must be labeled, or marked clearly with “Universal Waste - Mercury Thermostat(s),” or “Waste Mercury Thermostat(s),” or “Used Mercury Thermostat(s).”

Environmental Health and Safety

108 - Auxiliary Program Center
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-583-6679
Fax: 313-493-9161