Question about mercury spill and my watch.
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  1. #1
    Member elusious's Avatar
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    Question about mercury spill and my watch.

    Hello everybody : ) I wasn't quite sure where to post this, so I'm sticking it here.

    I had an unfortunate accident- I went to shake down an old mercury thermometer and hit my watch. This caused the thermometer to break, and mercury ended up mostly on my watch. This was a few days ago. I have bagged the watch per mercury spill cleanup guidelines. Now, my question is whether or not this watch must be disposed of- or if I can save it by cleaning the mercury off with tape? Or, does mercury bind to the metal and make cleaning of the watch impossible? I do know that mercury binds to gold, and when googling for help that is about all I could find.

    The watch is a Citizen BM6400, so although this is an affordable watch that I can probably replace, it may be a little difficult since it is discontinued.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and hopefully some of you can offer advice. : )
    Last edited by elusious; October 18th, 2015 at 01:27.

  2. #2
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    Re: Question about mercury spill and my watch.

    It looks to be gone, other than maybe eBay...one can always show up there from time to time. Listed as sold out or discontinued on newegg, amazon, and rakuten. There are several similar, tho, like the BM-8180, or the VERY similar AW1410. The 1410 is quite a bit larger, tho.

    I'd worry whether any mercury got into, say, the strap, even if it didn't bond to the steel. Or the spring bars...slipping into the gap there. Spring bars get a little grungy to begin with, so there's natural absorptive/adhesive surfaces.

  3. #3
    lvt
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    Re: Question about mercury spill and my watch.

    Don't worry, at least the crystal will survive mercury.
    Ball - Casio (G-shock) - HMT - Longines - Parnis - Seagull - Steinhart - Tissot - Victorinox - Yema

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  5. #4
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    Re: Question about mercury spill and my watch.

    Given the health hazard and the fact that the watch is affordable. I'd say dispose it properly (not selling).
    noregrets and Legion681 like this.

  6. #5
    Ard
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    Re: Question about mercury spill and my watch.

    If you are serious about what the thread says then you need to contact your local HAZMAT office and ask them. I'm a registered member on an online watch talk forum like everyone else here. I wouldn't have a clue as to whether or not your watch is a lethal hazard. However the next time I'm shaking down an antique thermometer I will be careful not to hit myself so thanks for the heads up on that :)

  7. #6
    Member SethThomas's Avatar
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    Re: Question about mercury spill and my watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Veda View Post
    Given the health hazard and the fact that the watch is affordable. I'd say dispose it properly (not selling).

    Unless he plans on licking his watch clean, he will be fine. Mercury is in fish, and for a few decades, in fillings. Whatever trace amounts are left after wiping the watch clean will not be harmful. It takes prolonged exposure or ingestion of visible amounts to experience any heavy metal poisoning symptoms.

    Note: as kids my mom and sisters would play with mercury from broken thermometers; They tuned out fine and are healthy and sharp as whips in their 60's to 80's. The whole RUN FROM MERCURY; Evacuate the school, a thermometer broke!!! stuff is nonsense.
    Last edited by SethThomas; October 18th, 2015 at 06:28.

  8. #7
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    Re: Question about mercury spill and my watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by SethThomas View Post
    Note: as kids my mom and sisters would play with mercury from broken thermometers; They tuned out fine and are healthy and sharp as whips in their 60's to 80's. The whole RUN FROM MERCURY; Evacuate the school, a thermometer broke!!! stuff is nonsense.
    And the BPA we've been drinking as babies? :)
    noregrets likes this.

  9. #8
    Member Camguy's Avatar
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    Re: Question about mercury spill and my watch.

    I played with mercury as a kid too, it's really quite fun, and other than an unfortunate compulsion to hang out on watch forums I turned out fine.

    I used carbon tetrachloride in my darkroom, played in the insecticide fog billowing out of my dad's tractor...stop worrying about the mercury and focus on the healthy dose of ionizing radiation you're going to get when you fly home for the holidays.

    Seriously, don't sweat it.
    dandylion and OH Redhawk like this.

  10. #9
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    Re: Question about mercury spill and my watch.

    Google msds material safety data sheet maybe that would help


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  11. #10
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Question about mercury spill and my watch.

    The amount of mercury in a thermometer is small. I would imagine most of it was either wiped off the watch. And the rest of it ended up on the floor in tiny impossible to see droplets. Wipe your watch once more running the edge of a paper towel into crevices and get back to wearing it. The risk is negligible.

    At one time kids toys had loose mercury in them and mercury light switches were common.
    Last edited by John MS; October 18th, 2015 at 15:05.

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