Assorted Items That May Contain Mercury

Many mercury-containing items are found in the home. Surprisingly, the list includes toys and children's wear:

  • Chemistry sets.
  • Old mercury maze games.
  • Pre-1997 LA Gear tennis shoes with light-up soles.
  • Batteries in some children's books and watches.

These children's items do not pose a threat until mishandled or broken. For safety's sake, recycle these items and purchase non-mercury replacements.

Mercury may also be found in latex paint made before 1990, mercuric oxide and old alkaline batteries, tools, archery bows, fishing tackle, darts and clock pendulums. Replace these with non-mercury substitutes.

Certain first aid antiseptics and contact lens solutions contain mercury compounds, such as thimerosal and merbromin, in their list of ingredients. Use of these products gives mercury a direct route of entry into your body and may cause mercury poisoning with frequent or prolonged use. Replace these antibacterial products with mercury-free substitutes.

Dental amalgams (used to fill cavities) contain mercury. Ask your dentist for more information.

Assorted Mercury Items Disposal Guidelines

Identify all the assorted items that contain mercury.
  • Use the Mercury Search [PDF] to locate mercury containing items in your home.
  • Use stickers or some other form of identification to mark them, and replace as necessary.
  • Contact IDEM for free mercury stickers:
Properly dispose assorted mercury items - recycle them!
  • Once you've gathered all the outdated mercury-containing toys, shoes, paint, batteries and antibacterial products from your home, place them in a sealable, plastic container and mark it "Mercury for Recycling." 
  • Take it to your local mercury recycling site, such as your local solid waste management district, or in Marion County, contact the ToxDrop [JPG] at (317) 327-2234.
Before you buy, check what's inside.