Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 104, Issue 1–3, pp 147–154 | Cite as

Mercury Vapor Determination in Hospitals



The measurements of metallic mercury vapor were carried out in seven local hospitals, where mercury-containing products are widely used, as well as in one residence to check effectiveness of decontamination after mercury spillage. Hopcalite as a solid sorbent was used in active and passive sampling methods, and mercury was analyzed by CV-AAS technique. Good agreement was found between results of mercury measurements using active samplers (pumped hopcalite adsorption tubes) and passive (diffusion) monitors applied in indoor atmosphere. The results indicated the presence of metallic mercury vaporization sources in the assessed hospital rooms but in the majority of cases mercury levels did not exceed 1 μg/m3 i.e. Polish permissible concentration for residence. However, in some of the hospital rooms, elevated concentrations of mercury vapor were found and airborne levels of up to 13.9 μg/m3 were recorded. Higher concentrations of mercury vapor were observed in autumn season when compared to summer.


mercury vapor hospitals hopcalite 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR): 1999, Toxicological Profile for Mercury (Update), U.S. Dept. Of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Vol. 185, p. 229.Google Scholar
  2. Bickis, U.: 2001, ‘All that glisters is not gold: Mercurial spills, chills,... and learning?,’, Chem. Health Safety 7, 19–24.Google Scholar
  3. Brosset, C. and Lord, E.: 1991, ‘Mercury in precipitation and ambient air: A new scenario,’, Water Air Soil Pollut. 56, 493–506.Google Scholar
  4. Choi-Lao, A. T. H.: 1979, ‘Mercury vapour as a contaminant of the hospital environment,’, Sci. Tot. Environ. 11, 287.Google Scholar
  5. Houeto, P., Sandouk, P., Baud, F. J. and Levillain, P.: 1994, ‘Elemental mercury vapour toxicity: Treatment and levels in plasma and urine,’, Hum. Exp. Toxicol. 13(12), 848–852.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Linberg, S. E., Turner, R. R., Meyers, T. P., Taylor, G. E. Jr., Schroeder, W. H.: 1991, ‘Atmospheric concentrations and deposition of mercury to a deciduous forests at Walker Branch Watershed, Tennessee USA,’, Water Air Soil Pollut. 56, 577–594.Google Scholar
  7. Marek, K. and Wocka-Marek, T.: 1994, ‘Beta-N-Acetyloglucosaminidase in urine as a sign of kidney damage in workers exposed to metallic mercury,’, Med. Pracy XLV (2), 101–105.Google Scholar
  8. Mniszek, W.: 2001, ‘Exposure assessment to mercury vapor in chloralkali industry,’, Environ. Monit. Assess. 68, 197–207.Google Scholar
  9. Moszczynski, P. and Moszczynski, P. Jr.: 1990, ‘Current views on biotransformation and metabolism of mercury,’, Post. Hig. Med. Dosw. 44(1–3), 153–180.Google Scholar
  10. Ratcliffe, H. E. and Swanson, G. M.: 1996, ‘Human exposure to mercury: A critical assessment of the evidence of adverse health effects,’, J. Toxicol. Environ. Health. 49, 221–270.Google Scholar
  11. Rennie, A. C., Mcgregorschuerman, M., Dale, I. M., Robinson, C. and Mcwilliam, R.: 1999, ‘Mercury-poisoning after spillage at home from a sphygmomanometer on loan from hospital,’, Br. Med. J. 319, 366–367.Google Scholar
  12. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation: 1989, Report to Congress on Indoor Air Quality, Volume II: Assessment and Control of Indoor Air Pollution, pp. I, 4–14. EPA 400-1-89-001C.Google Scholar
  13. Wide, C.: 1986, ‘Mercury hazards arising from the repair of sphygmomanometers,’, Br. Med. J. 293, 409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental HealthSosnowiecPoland

Personalised recommendations