Hello Karen and group,
I have just disposed of a whole load of these because of the safety concerns of mercury. I attach some of the guidance I gained from other colleagues when I first squeaked "help!". I also attach our current risk assessment - please treat this confidentially as it is an internal document. See also the Collections Link website.
From our past experiences however, we are moving towards no longer accepting such items since if you are left with it is fearfully expensive to dispose of contaminated material. Personally I would remove and treat the silver balls as mercury just in case, and treat the whole items as if it is contaminated. The advice is common sense - nitrile gloves and no direct handling but I would be tempted to get expert advice since mercury will evaporate at room temperature and is a definite nasty.
I'm not sure how much help I'm being but want to extend the hand of friendship since I've been helped so much by others in the past on this and similar subjects.
Assistant Keeper (Industry)
Museums and Galleries
Education, Culture and Sport
Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Aberdeen AB11 5BY
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Direct Dial: (01224) 337719
Direct Fax: (01224) 213066
Visit www.aagm.co.uk to search Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums Collections.
Visit www.aberdeenquest.com for our young persons' guide to the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums
Please do not print this e-mail or any attachment unless absolutely necessary.
>>> Karen Reeds <[log in to unmask]> 11/10/2009 01:11 >>>
An antique collector just gave me the remains of a G. Pilling and Son
"Special Sphygmomanometer" for possible use in a history of medicine
exhibition. The cuff and hoses are gone, the short rubber hose
connection to the glass tubing is broken. There are a couple of tiny
silvery balls--not liquid--rolling around the wooden case. I can see
a dark gray coating on the inside of the glass tubing, but no liquid
Presumably the mercury spilled or was drained off long ago. What
safety precautions should we take in handling, displaying, storing
the thing? Anything else to take into consideration?
Karen Reeds, Ph.D., FLS, Project Director
New Jersey Medical School--The First Half-Century: An Oral History Project
Curator, "A State of Health: New Jersey's Medical Heritage"
For information about hosting the exhibition: (973) 972-7830.
Exhibition catalogue available from Rutgers University Press, (800) 446-9323
[log in to unmask]
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
"IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment
to it) is confidential, protected by copyright and may be
privileged. The information contained in it should be used
for its intended purposes only. If you receive this e-mail in
error, notify the sender by reply e-mail, delete the received e-
mail and do not make use of, disclose or copy it. Whilst we
take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are
free from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses
transmitted with this e-mail and recommend that you subject
any incoming e-mail to your own virus checking procedures.
Unless related to Council business, the opinions expressed in
this e-mail are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless
we expressly say otherwise in this e-mail or its attachments,
neither this e-mail nor its attachments create, form part of or
vary any contractual or unilateral obligation. Aberdeen City
Council's incoming and outgoing e-mail is subject to regular