Solid Science Practical Solutions


Mercury Hazards from Rubber-Like Floors

September 3, 2019


The presence of mercury in rubber-like polyurethane floors continues to be an important issue in 2019.  While many schools districts have tested suspect materials, surprisingly, many have still not. In some cases, budgetary limits are an issue, while in other cases we suspect competing priorities as a possible factor.


Mercury exposures are likely worse if the floors are damaged or have deteriorated, or are located in hot rooms with poor ventilation.  Exposure to mercury vapors may be a serious health hazard to both students and school employees, such as custodians who clean this flooring material.  Some floors have been shown to contain enough mercury to create significant airborne exposures and require disposal as hazardous waste.


This link summarizes some 2019 school district efforts to identify and control this problem.  Or open this link to see GSE’s ADVISOR from December 2017 for more background information on this critical issue.