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Environmental Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 4/14/2023
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Manufacturer Faces Nearly $200K in Penalties for Exposing Workers to Airborne Elemental Mercury
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides environmental and industrial hygiene testing services to identify mercury and other heavy metals to protect workers and help companies comply with health and safety regulations.

Cinnaminson, New Jersey, April 14, 2023

Last month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that safety inspectors had cited a thermometer manufacturer for exposing their employees to mercury at a facility in New York. OSHA alleges workers were overexposed to airborne elemental mercury in August of last year while they worked to distill and purify elemental mercury, fill thermometers, blow glass, and during calibration and engraving of thermometers and hydrometers.

OSHA reports its inspectors found the company willfully exposed and severely sickened workers by allowing the airborne concentration of the toxic metal to exceed the 8-hour, time-weighted average based on biological exposure indices. OSHA inspectors identified 18 serious violations, 1 willful violation and 2 other-than-serious violations by the manufacturer and have proposed $195,988 in penalties.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water and soil. It exists in several forms: elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic mercury compounds and organic mercury compounds. Pure mercury is a liquid metal that volatilizes readily, often referred to as quicksilver.

“Exposed elemental mercury can evaporate to become an invisible, odorless and toxic vapor at room temperature which acts as a neurotoxin,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL Analytical, our laboratories provide environmental, material and industrial hygiene testing services to identify exposure risks to mercury and other heavy metals. These services can be instrumental for not only safeguarding workers and the public, but also for helping to keep companies in compliance with health and safety regulations to avoid costly penalties.”

EMSL sponsored an educational video about mercury exposure and health effects years ago that can still be seen at: https://youtu.be/QVu5js60PWI 

To learn more about mercury or other environmental, material, occupational, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOCs, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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