Switch Out Resources

Switch Removal Guide 1012 KB
List of vehicles that may contain mercury convenience lighting switches 120 KB
List of vehicles that contain mercury ABS sensor modules 100 KB
Detailed removal instructions for mercury convenience light switches 208 KB
Detailed removal instructions for mercury ABS sensor modules for specific vehicle types 176 KB
Zero mercury scrap purchasing policy brochure 580 KB
Examples of what to include in Switch Out collection containers 1.2 MB
Switch Out Mercury Clean Up Instructions 112 KB
Switch Removal Quick Reference Poster 1.7 MB
Switch removal demonstrations are available on the Video page  


What to Do if a Glass Convenience Light Switch Containing Mercury Breaks

If a mercury-containing glass convenience light switch breaks in your facility, use the following procedure for clean-up.

  • Have everyone else leave the area and don't let anyone walk through the mercury on their way out. Make sure all pets are removed from the area. Open all windows and doors to the outside, and shut all doors to other parts of the building.
  • Do not vacuum or sweep the mercury – this will increase exposure and spread the mercury.
  • Place all materials used during the clean-up in a double-lined plastic bag, label it as containing mercury and contact your municipal waste authority for proper disposal options.
  • Ventilate the spill area for at least 24 hours after the clean-up.


Mercury Spill Guidelines

Because most of the mercury contained in convenience light switches and ABS sensor modules is encased in metal capsules, the potential for a mercury spill to occur during switch collection is very low. However, precautions should still be noted when handling any potentially dangerous material.

All mercury spills should be cleaned up immediately. In general, small mercury spills on hard, non-porous surfaces can be cleaned up with paper towels and duct tape, and by ensuring that all material used during clean-up is sealed in a double plastic bag. This bag must then be disposed of properly, as directed by the municipal waste authority. Mercury spill kits are available at laboratory safety supply stores.

For information about cleaning up mercury spills from other products (i.e., compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or thermometers), visit www.epa.gov/mercury/spills or www.ec.gc.ca/mercure-mercury/default.asp?lang=En&n=D2B2AD47-1.