UPDATE: Berry thermometer spill not mercury

Investigations into a potentially life-threatening mercury spill in Berry proved the liquid to be harmless.

Fire fighters from Fire and Rescue NSW Berry and a Hazmat Unit from Shellharbour were called to what was thought to be a dangerous mercury spill after a thermometer had exploded after being placed in an oven.

The crews were called to the home in Galls Lane, off Beach Road, on Thursday morning.

Responding to calls of the thermometer containing mercury, fire personnel donned hazardous material spillage suits and breathing apparatus to remove the liquid from the oven and place it in a safe container.

Investigations by the crews, including consultation with Hazmat chemists and the company that produced the thermometer, revealed it contained an alcohol-based paraffin and not mercury.

The company informed crews that after 1980 it had used the alcohol-based liquid in its thermometers.

The recovered material was coloured, with Hazmat chemists confirming it could not be mercury as that liquid cannot be coloured.

The Hazmat crew disposed of the recovered liquid, with Berry crew members cleaning the family’s oven to ensure it was safe.


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