September 16, 2019, 08:45:20 PM
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Topic: Broke a thermometer in cooking oil while cooking, ate food  (Read 218 times)

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Offline legomyrego

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Broke a thermometer in cooking oil while cooking, ate food
« on: September 09, 2019, 12:59:52 PM »
Hey everyone. I wanted to check the temp of my food in oil and put in a thermometer inside. It broke due to the temp and I ate the food. It was silver on the bottom of the pot and dont know if mercury can spread in the food or not. It just stayed in the bottom. Dumb move on my part. Wondering if any of you chemists know the reactions to this stuff.

Thank you!

Offline Babcock_Hall

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Re: Broke a thermometer in cooking oil while cooking, ate food
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 03:05:01 PM »
We cannot provide medical advice beyond the obvious, which is to talk to your physician at the earliest possible time.  I would also try to save a sample of the material in the thermometer, if that is possible to do.  That way one might be able to confirm the identity of the substance.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Broke a thermometer in cooking oil while cooking, ate food
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 10:58:23 AM »
Even if the metal was not mercury but Ga-In-Sn, reactions occur at the pan temperature to create unsound compounds. So just as said Babcock_Hall
(1) Try to keep samples of the thing
(2) Medic!
Maybe you know the model of the thermometer and can find on the Web what metal it contains.

The liquid metal has probably dissolved metal from the pan and their alloy will stay there for long. Throw the pan away, after making it unusable so nobody will collect it. Hammer.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Broke a thermometer in cooking oil while cooking, ate food
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 12:35:50 PM »
legomyrego, are you there?

Please don't waste time. If you have ingested mercury, it goes first on your blood, from where it can be removed by chelation. But within days, it will pass to your bones and brains, where it stays indefinitely and makes you disabled.

So check if, where you live, a doctor is really necessary before making an analysis of mercury, gallium, indium, tin in your blood. This may save one day. If your doctor takes you in a week, go to an other more early. If the analysis finds Hg, have it removed quickly - I suppose in a hospital, as the procedure must resemble a dialysis.

Offline legomyrego

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Re: Broke a thermometer in cooking oil while cooking, ate food
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 01:42:24 PM »
Hey guys,

Thank you so much for the responses. I appreciate it. Also, this happened about like 15 years ago, when I was like 12 or 13. I just rememebered that this happened, and realized I never knew if I had any symptoms after this, because I never really thought about it and was afraid to tell my parents. What kind of disabilities are we talking about? Im not dead so thats good, but what other potential issues could there be?

Thank you

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Broke a thermometer in cooking oil while cooking, ate food
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2019, 06:32:54 PM »
If it happened 15 years ago and you're alive, obviously the exposure wasn't so bad. Given the scenario you relate, the metal was more probably Ga-In-Sn.

Besides ingestion, a potential exposure route was inhalation of the vapour, more so if the metal was hot in the pan. This would be significant with mercury (0.01atm vapour pressure at 170°C), rather not with gallium and indium.

Gallium and indium are little harmful by themselves, but their compounds can be, and in a hot pan they would make products little predictable.

Mercury is toxic in itself. The symptoms are vague, so they bring a big risk of believing to observe them without reason
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_poisoning

Offline legomyrego

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Re: Broke a thermometer in cooking oil while cooking, ate food
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2019, 02:09:28 PM »
If it happened 15 years ago and you're alive, obviously the exposure wasn't so bad. Given the scenario you relate, the metal was more probably Ga-In-Sn.

Besides ingestion, a potential exposure route was inhalation of the vapour, more so if the metal was hot in the pan. This would be significant with mercury (0.01atm vapour pressure at 170°C), rather not with gallium and indium.

Gallium and indium are little harmful by themselves, but their compounds can be, and in a hot pan they would make products little predictable.


Mercury is toxic in itself. The symptoms are vague, so they bring a big risk of believing to observe them without reason
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_poisoning


thank you so much for the answers!

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