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School Policies

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 to help you get started.

For More Information The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

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