Mercury (Hg) is a common element found naturally in a free state or mixed in ores. It may also be in rocks and released during a volcanic eruption. Mercury is very dense, expands and contracts evenly with temperature change and has high electrical conductivity, which is why mercury is used in so many applications.
Identify Mercury in the Home
Mercury is commonly identified in the household by a silver line in a fever thermometer or a capsule of mercury in an electrical switch. Mercury is in fluorescent light tubes; thermostats; barometers; and fever, basal, candy, deep fry and oven thermometers. Mercury filled thermometers are made of glass and have a silvery-white liquid inside, which is the mercury. Other home thermometers with a red or blue line commonly used to measure outdoor temperature are alcohol based and do not contain mercury.