Oregon Oregon Department of Education

Rule Rule 581-021-0023
Mercury Elimination Policy




“Mercury-added instructional material” means an item or product containing intentionally added elemental mercury or mercury compound(s) used for educational purposes.


“Mercury compound” means a substance consisting mercury chemically combined with another element or combinations of elements, e.g. mercury oxide (HgO).


“Elemental mercury” means the silvery-white liquid metal with atomic number of 80 and an atomic mass of 200.57 represented by chemical symbol Hg.


All Oregon school districts must:


Prohibit the purchase of elemental mercury, mercury compounds and mercury-added instructional materials;


Eliminate all elemental mercury and mercury compounds that are maintained for education purposes, for example, vials of liquid mercury and samples of mercury compounds contained in chemistry class;


Eliminate the use of mercury-added instructional materials; and


Eliminate the use of items and products containing elemental mercury or mercury compounds, as those items and products are replaced at the end of their normal useful lives with cost-effective mercury-free alternatives.


As instructional materials, items and products containing elemental mercury and mercury compounds are replaced; school districts should work with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in the proper disposal of materials, items and products.

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021