Mercury is a toxic, volatile and often unrecognized hazardous material commonly found as a component or contaminant in many items at work, home and schools. Use of these items often results in spills that can produce hazardous levels of indoor air contamination and may be difficult and costly to clean up. Environmental emissions of pollutants containing mercury are also increasing worldwide, presenting hazards to human health and wildlife.
In 2001 we launched our Mad as a Hatter? Campaign for a Mercury Free NIH as a voluntary institutional initiative seeking to increase general awareness of Mercury Hazards, reduce them by eliminating all unnecessary uses of mercury and its compounds in NIH facilities, and encourage use of safer, mercury-free alternatives in all of our biomedical research activities. Many external organizations have adopted elements of our campaign for similar purposes and public outreach.
NIH-Wide Restrictions on Mercury
In 2008 the voluntary reduction guidelines from the campaign became mandatory and were transformed into comprehensive bans and restrictions on purchasing, use and disposal of mercury and its compounds that are applicable to all NIH owned and operated facilities and mission activities. Refer to NIH Policy Manual 3033: Procurement, Use, and Disposal of Mercury and its Compounds.
Mercury Information Resources
Health and Environmental Hazards
Uses of Mercury and Alternatives
Spill Response and Contact Information Facility Contamination Sources, Assessment and Clean Up Q's and A'sAdditional Information
For questions concerning the content of this website contact our campaign director. Please do not send communications to this website concerning personal medical or dental issues relating to mercury. Because of restrictions in the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C 552a) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, (HIPAA) (Public Law 104- 191) this website cannot receive, transmit or store protected information.