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Mercury Policy

Does your school have a mercury policy?

To keep your school safe from the dangers of mercury, it’s important to have a policy in place that covers mercury in your school district.

Keep in mind that your school district may already have a policy for dealing with chemicals or other environmental dangers. But a policy specifically designed for handling mercury will go beyond these general safety steps — and help you protect your staff and students from mercury exposure and poisoning.

Make sure your school has a policy that includes:

  • Identifying sources of mercury
  • Labeling sources of mercury clearly and consistently
  • Disposing of mercury safely
  • Responding to a mercury spill
  • Purchasing mercury-free products

When you are developing your school’s policy, there are many important questions that you may want to consider. For example:

  • Is your staff educated about the dangers of mercury?
  • Do you understand how to store mercury safely before disposal?
  • Does the policy identify how to dispose of mercury?
  • Are there local resources (like a hazmat team or environmental consultants) available to help with cleanup?
  • What disciplinary action will be taken if a person brings mercury to school?

And if there’s a spill at your school:

  • Are roles and responsibilities of staff clearly defined?
  • Are there mercury spill kits available at your school?
  • Does the policy identify the right professionals to contact?
  • How will you notify parents about the potential dangers of the spill?
  • Do staff members understand how to protect children’s health?
Check out a sample mercury school policy [PDF - 100KB] to help you get started.
Show your support for the Don’t Mess with Mercury initiative and let everyone know that you have committed to keep your school safe.