What to Do if a Mercury Spill Occurs



When liquid mercury spills, it breaks into small drops. Any disturbance causes the mercury to break into even smaller droplets. As the droplets become smaller, the mercury vaporizes and can be easily inhaled. Mercury spilled in a room may produce vapor concentrations that are dangerous to human health. Small amounts of mercury - like from a broken fever thermometer or the new CFL style bulbs, for example - may pose only a nominal hazard and be relatively simple to clean up safely.

Please read the EPA mercury spill guidance webpages for metallic mercury and for broken CFL light bulbs.

Any spill beyond two tablespoons (one pound) must be reported by calling the National Response Center number 1-800-424-8802

Who to Call if Assistance or Advice is Needed

For Homes, Apartments, Businesses and Non Government Health Care Facilities:

In Kansas, Call the local EPA Spill Line at 1-913-281-0991.

EPA will provide guidance and oversight for spills in homes and businesses in Kansas. If a response is needed, they may respond with EPA personnel, their contractor, and/or possibly with the Kansas Fire Marshall Hazmat Division. If the spill has already been called into the National Response Center number, 1-800-424-8802, the local EPA will already be notified and they will likely be calling the person reporting the spill.

For Schools, County or City Owned Buildings, and Other Publically Owned Facilites:

In Kansas, Call the KDHE Spill Line at 1-785-296-1679.

KDHE will provide guidance and oversight for spills in public schools and other publically owned places in Kansas. If a response is needed, KDHE will respond with their personnel and possibly with the Kansas Fire Marshall Hazmat Division. The state responders may be able to clean up small spills but if the spill is large or complex the management of the facility may have to hire a clean up contractor.