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#148338 08/06/04 08:05 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 156
rad74ss Offline OP
I was at a thrift store yesterday looking through the books while my wife shopped for clothes. Needless to say I was there awhile. My son (8) was playing with an old maze toy. It was a disk about 10" wide and a quarter of an inch thick. the cover was cracked but you could still see the maze. While keeping an eye on him I could see that there were several balls rolling around in it.

I quessed you had to get them all into the center. Finally he got the largest one in the center and asked if I wanted to try. I took the toy and slanted it to get the balls to roll to the bottom. They did, and then formed one big ball of Mercury!

I remember having one of those as a kid, but I thought they had all been gotten rid of since then. I went up to pay for it 79 cents, and my wife asked me why I was buying it. I told her that Mercury was toxic and that one of its compounds can be used to trigger explosives. "So?" said she. I said that if I didn't buy it someone who didn't know what it was would buy it for their toddler, the kid would break the already cracked cover and play with and/or eat the toxic substance.

Between that and pointing out to an employee at a major fashion clothing store that there was a receptacle 2 feet off the floor with no cover and no tape on the device should give enough karma for the rest of the year. The guy didn't seem to care until I pointed out that little kids could easily put their hand in there and they would pay thousands instead of the half dollar for a cover from Wal-Mart.

Does anyone else have an obsessive-compulsive need to point out safety issues to store or home owners? Does having children make you notice them more?


Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools
#148339 08/06/04 08:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
twh Offline
Now that you are the proud owner of a ball of mercury, how are you going to dispose of it?

Corrected for reely bad spelling.

[This message has been edited by twh (edited 08-06-2004).]

#148340 08/09/04 08:28 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 156
rad74ss Offline OP
I haven't really looked into getting rid of it yet. Right now it is in a sealed container as a curiosity. I need to see what the options are for disposing of it properly. Getting it out of rotation was my primary goal.

I just know some kid would have gotten sick from it. I have problems not playing with it. Ooohhh, look at the pretty quicksilver.

I might contact the local school and see if their science teacher wants to use it to teach kids how to identify it and what to do if they ever find any. After talking to people about it all week I found that if you didn't live through the seventies you probably haven't encountered too much Mercury. Unless you are into electricity and what makes your thermostat work.

I used to turn the lights off and cycle our thermostat to watch the arc when the mercury slid back and forth.


#148341 08/25/04 05:49 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
Good spotting Robert,
Man I would have thought that someone would have picked that up, before you?.
Lord knows what would have happened if some child had ingested the Mercury!. [Linked Image]
Does anyone else have an obsessive-compulsive need to point out safety issues to store or home owners?
Well if that's what it's called, I suppose I am.
Other side of the coin, Robert, it's also called using Common Sense!. [Linked Image]

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