Other liquids, such as kerosene or ethanol , may also be used in these types of thermometers. However, they present many safety and environmental hazards. Mercury thermometers may be used in many applications, including chemical experiments, water and acid baths, blood banks, ovens and incubators. It’s enclosed in an airtight capillary. It consists of a bulb containing mercury attached to a glass tube of narrow diameter; the volume of mercury in the tube is much less than the volume in the bulb. I know the hospitals use some digital ear thermometers that are supposed to be rated very high for accuracy, and as a consumer you can buy these models yourself. This type can be used either orally, which is to say slipped under the tongue, or rectally. If you have a mercury thermometer in your home and you want to get rid of it, you need to safely dispose of it as hazardous waste. The functionality of the bulb is to store the mercury and is usually made of stainless steel, but can be made of glass as well. The ear thermometer is cleaner and less invasive than an oral thermometer, which is what it has going for it, but if I can’t be sure that the temperature is accurate it’s not much use. A thermometer is a device that measures temperature or a temperature gradient (the degree of hotness or coldness of an object). If you have a mercury thermometer, don't throw it in the trash. Wikibuy Review: A Free Tool That Saves You Time and Money, 15 Creative Ways to Save Money That Actually Work. I have found that the digital thermometers that you press against your forehead are absolutely terrible. It is also known as mercury-in-glass thermometer. The disposable "hat" of an ear thermometer can be replaced, and do not need to be soaked and disinfected. The accuracy of alcohol thermometers is less than mercury thermometers as alcohols are more prone towards evaporation, capillary separation and, polymerization potential, whereas the measurement of mercury thermometer is more accurate as mercury is susceptible to sufficient expansion to observation regarding temperature changes from 0.1° which helps graduate the thermometer. The mercury-in-glass or mercury thermometer was invented by physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in Amsterdam (1714). There are a number of different model types, sizes, and specifications, but the general operating principle is about the same in all cases. The small silvery ball in a mercury thermometer can be dangerous if the glass breaks and the mercury is not cleaned up properly. Collectible mercury thermometers on eBay come in many shapes, sizes, and transduction methods. The alternative to the mercury thermometer is the digital thermometer, which measures temperature by monitoring changes in electrical properties voltage and resistance of metals inside the device. As part of a partnership EPA developed with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NIST no longer provides calibration services for mercury thermometers. The space above the mercury may be filled with nitrogengas or it may b… United States Environmental Protection Agency. The American Academy of Pediatricians and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, have each suggested alternative temperature-measuring devices for personal use in order to reduce the risk of accidental exposure. The purpose of the restriction is to to keep any given reading visible on the thermometer … Although currently there are digital thermometers this form of temperature measurement is still very much in demand, in addition to being very simple to use. Mercury is a liquid metal that has been used in thermometers for many years, but it is toxic if swallowed or inhaled. The basic instrumentality is usually pretty simple. Mercury can be toxic if consumed, and it can also cause skin and eye damage if touched or respiratory distress if inhaled. Fold the paper towel and place in a zip locking bag. With the strips you stick on you no longer have to worry about any of that. Glass Oral Temperature for Fever Test, Oral Temperature for Adult or Baby, Rectal Axillar Temperatur… The thermometer usually has a small reserve of liquid mercury in its base, which is most often pressurized; above it is usually a glass or synthetic tube with a calibrated temperature scale. Mercury thermometers tend to be much more durable under duress. Many of these tools are used in medicine and around the home to gauge body temperature, though they can also be used outside and in more professional meteorological situations. A mercury thermometer is a tool used to measure temperature. I have always preferred mercury thermometers because of how easy they are to use. I remember using them in every lab science class I ever took in high school and college. Mercury thermometers can be used to determine body, liquid, and vapor temperature. A maximum thermometer is a medical mercury-in-glass thermometer that features a carefully designed restriction in the mercury column directly ahead of the reservoir bulb. Out of all the liquid-filled Thermometers, the mercury-filled ones are the most accurate. You can use Earth911's Recycling Locator Exit to find a mercury recycling center near you. It is at the bottom and is cylindrical or spherical depending on the artifact. Accuracy Because of sensitivity of temperature, high thermal conductivity, low thermal capacity, good visibility and non-wetting of the internal capillary walls of the thermometer, mercury is typically a very accurate gauge of temperature. Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem. In the past, mercury (MER-kure-e) thermometers were used. For broader coverage of this topic, see Temperature measurement. The accuracy of a mercury thermometer varies depending on many thing. An exception is on the high end of the temperature scale. Learn more about how to tell if there is mercury in your fever thermometer. This has led some people to question the wisdom of having mercury so readily accessible in homes. I'm pretty sure I remember when they started phasing out mercury thermometers for at home use. With changes in temperature, the mercury expands and contracts, and the temperature can be read from the scale. When heat rises, the liquid expand s from a bowl or bulb into the empty area, climbing up the tube. I remember when I was very little we used a mercury thermometer and my mom always warned us to be very careful with them. These are similar to mercury thermometers in both price and use. Glass Oral Temperature for Fever Test, Oral Temperature for Adult or Baby, Rectal Axillar Temperatur… There are usually a number of different options and models available depending on the intended use. If you break a thermometer while using it or if you improperly dispose of it, the thermometer will release mercury vapors that are harmful to human and ecological health. Mercury is a toxic and hazardous chemical. Mercury thermometers are inexpensive, durable and accurate. The mercury in mercury thermometers is poisonous if the thermometer breaks. This allows temperature readings to be kept until mercury is forced back into the tip by centrifugal force, or shaking the thermometer with the head pointed toward the floor. It is also difficult to purchase mercury thermometers for home use in many of these countries. Thallium reduces the freezing point to -78°F (-61.1°C). The mercury will evaporate and can contaminate the surrounding air and become toxic to humans and wildlife. Mercury thermometer (mercury-in-glass thermometer) for measurement of room temperature. I think as long as you are careful there is no need to drop $50 or more on a digital thermometer. A mercury thermometer broke: what to do? If the liquid in your thermometer bulb is silver, then the liquid might be: a non-toxic compound that looks similar to mercury. Metallic mercury in its liquid state is relatively harmless when confined. High thermal conductivity, high sensitivity to temperature, and good visibility make mercury the best for liquid-filled Thermometers. Each thermometer contains about.5-1.5 grams of mercury. It is obvious that when the mercury thermometer is broken - it's a disaster, since the impact of mercury on the stems and develops into small … They are common in many households, schools and medical facilities. Within the confines of the thermometer there isn’t usually any safety risk, but should the glass break, exposure is likely. The silver color in the bulb normally indicates the presence of mercury. The oldest technology is the mercury-in-glass thermometer. Using mercury thermometers is … The bulb is the basis of mercury thermometers. Spilled mercury can be very challenging to clean, since the loose liquid often forms rounded “balls” that can bounce and scatter across a floor or room. At home I’ve taken different temperature readings when using the ear thermometer and got different results each time, usually off by a degree or two – sometimes within the same hour. The mercury thermometer is a classic design for temperature measurement still used by many families. Some of these thermometers do not have replaceable batteries. The German physicist Gabriel Fahrenheit is credited with inventing the first mercury thermometer in 1714, which he made with a glass tube attached to a small well of mercury. What to do if a mercury thermometer breaks. 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