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Did you know that mercury is the substance most frequently involved in school-related hazardous incidents? Making your school mercury-free reduces the chance for spills and exposures. Mercury can be found in many common products in schools and school science labs. If spilled, mercury may cause serious health problems. Mercury spills can be expensive to clean, result in personal and school items being discarded, and can disrupt classroom activities and schedules.
To help respond to this threat, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has introduced new educational videos, infographics, and lesson plans, to help teachers and students learn about the dangers of mercury and take action for a safer school environment. The materials were developed as part ATSDR’s ongoing “Don’t Mess with Mercury” Initiative.
The videos, in English and Spanish, will help students learn to: 1) describe characteristics of elemental mercury, 2) explain health effects of exposure to elemental mercury, 3) identify objects that may contain elemental mercury, and 4) explain what to do if they find mercury.
The infographics “Make Your School Mercury Free” and “Mercury Spill Clean-Up” will help schools plan for, prevent mercury spills, and provide the necessary steps for a mercury spill clean-up.
The lesson plans, which are based on Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Language Arts Standards for grades 6-8, provide teachers with tools necessary to educate students about the dangers of mercury and keep them safe.
To ensure teachers and students are aware of the dangers of mercury, check out the Don’t Mess with Mercury website educational videos, infographics, lesson plans, and additional tips, tools, and fact sheets.