|Does my A100R Anemometer contain any mercury, and how can I remove the mercury-containing part if it does?
|A100R units with serial numbers lower than 15000 have the mercury-wetted
reed switch inside them, unless they have been repaired/converted at our
factory to the newer non-mercury design at some time.
Serial numbers of 15000 and higher/later do NOT contain any mercury.
NONE of our other products contain any mercury, older A100R anemometers (see above) are the only products of our manufacture which have ever had any mercury content.
The reed-switch only contains 40 milligrams (0.0014 Oz) of liquid
mercury - this is far, far less than the amount of mercury in something
like an old glass mercury thermometer or barometer.
Provided that the glass "envelope" of the reed-switch has not been
broken, this tiny amount of mercury will remain safely contained/sealed
in the hermetic glass envelope of the reed-switch. Reed switches only
rarely get broken, and then it is usually due to extreme physical
damage/impact to the instrument, or due to the bearings
disintegrating/collapsing due to a lack of maintenance causing the
internal rotating parts to "drop" and hit the glass reed-switch. If the
anemometer spindle still "spins fairly freely" and does not allow
"up/down movement", then the bearings are probably sufficiently intact
to have kept internal rotating parts from hitting the glass reed-switch,
so the reed-switch is probably intact and not broken.
That tiny amount of mercury contained/sealed inside glass envelope of the reed-switch is the only
potentially hazardous material contained in the A100R instrument.
A100R types with that 40 milligrams of mercury contained in their
reed-switch have the reed switch mounted vertically on the inside of a
brown "paxolin/tufnol tube" which is inside the lower/larger part of the
instrument body. If the instrument is carefully disassembled (remove the
2x nuts recessed into the base-plate and carefully withdraw the
baseplate and outer-metal body-tube), that brown "paxolin/tufnol tube"
can be carefully withdrawn, then the leads/wires of the reed-switch can
be carefully cut to remove the reed-switch from the inside of the brown
"paxolin/tufnol tube" - only the reed-switch has any mercury content and must be safely disposed of according to regulations/laws in your region/country. The rest of the instrument parts are non-hazardous (provided they have not been contaminated by mercury from a broken reed switch). Cut the reed-switch
leads as far away from the glass part of the reed-switch as possible in
order to minimize the risk of breaking the glass envelope. Non-mercury
A100R models have a horizontal, circular green circuit board inside so
can easily be identified.
Your region/Country/Government's Health and Safety / Waste-Disposal authorities should be consulted for advice on specific guidance/requirements or obligations placed on you regarding handing/disposing of mercury-containing items. As a minimum, subject to local restrictions/regulations/guidance, we suggest that you disassemble these older mercury-containing A100R instruments in a fume
cupboard/hood while wearing suitable protective equipment (e.g.
latex/nitrile gloves, safety glasses and disposable cover over clothing etc) in cases where there is any risk that the glass reed switch
envelope has been broken and may have released mercury inside the instrument
body shell. If a fume cupboard/hood is not available, disassemble
outdoors (or in some other very-well ventilated area) to allow any
mercury vapour accidentally released to dissipate. Use a tray (or
bench-cover) of some sort while disassembling to capture any tiny
amounts of liquid mercury which might be released. Store any removed reed-switches (and any parts contaminated by mercury released from a broken reed switch) in a sealed/air-tight container to prevent release of mercury vapour while they await appropriate disposal.
Warning: Always avoid skin-contact with mercury, and always avoid inhaling any
If you would prefer to continue using your A100R but without the mercury content, our sales office can
quote a price to repair/refurbish/recalibrate A100R anemometers and
convert/upgrade at our factory to the non-mercury specification while
Windspeed Limited (trading as Vector Instruments),
115 Marsh Road, RHYL, North Wales, LL18 2AB, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1745 350700 Fax: +44 (0) 1745 344206
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