From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ilpi.com>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Marketing the Conversion to Non-Hg Thermometers
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 17:39:40 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
The word "rationalized" is exactly correct. Hg is "professional grade", Hg is hardcore, Hg is proven. Hg must be Right because That's The Way We Always Did It™ and spirit-filled ones are like those cheap ones at K-Mart and those are no good. (roll eyes).
Without delving into the minutia differences between the two types and purported advantages/disadvantages of each, I will say that in my experience in routine and practical laboratory use, both are equally as good at measuring temperature.
Thermometers of either type can be ordered with a Certificate of Conformance & Accuracy With One Certified Point for a cost that is typically double of the regular thermometer. I'd wager that the large majority of those who complain the loudest about phasing out Hg thermometers never actually got a Certificate for theirs in the first place. Which makes the cries of protest all the more amusing as they are probably off a full degree or more.
I would put the onus on those who want to keep their Hg thermometers to document that the alternatives are NOT just as good. And that a 1/4 degree difference on (an unstandardized!) thermometer or any other perceived difference will have *any* effect on the experiment. And that this minuscule "advantage" is worth the risks and expense you already have documented.
Obviously, that's rhetorical, because no analysis would support that.
Virtually every major research facility in the US has already walked this road before you. Just two examples:
Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012
I'm looking for comparison data / recommendations I might use to assuage academic researcher anxiety with respect to swapping their mercury thermometers for spirit thermometers.
Reluctance to give up Hg thermometers is often rationalized by claiming spirit thermometers aren't as accurate or aren't appropriate for as many applications as a mercury-filled thermometer.
I would appreciate suggestions on where I might find performance-based support for spirit-filled thermometers.
I have information regarding comparisons of potential exposure health risk, spill clean-up expense and environmental contamination.
Thanks for your help in finding performance-based support for using spirit filled thermometers rather than mercury filled thermometers,
--------------------------------- Dan Blunk PhD, REA 831.459.3541 Environmental Programs Manager Environmental Health & Safety Office University of California Santa Cruz
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