Mercury is a metal found naturally in the environment. It comes is a few forms. Elemental (metallic) mercury is the shiny, silver-gray metal found in thermometers, barometers, thermostats, and other electrical switches.
- Mercury can break into droplets when spilled. The droplets spread easily and can build up in tiny cracks and spaces wherever it is spilled.
- Mercury can vaporize (evaporate) into the air. The vapor cannot be seen or smelled.
- Breathing in mercury vapors is the most common way to get mercury poisoning – and also the most dangerous.
- Mercury can be toxic to the nervous system, lungs, and kidneys