Mercury Flooring Removal


What is Mercury Flooring?

In the early 1960’s, a new style of flooring was developed to replace wood floor gyms and running surfaces. This new rubber-like polymer flooring was as durable as wood but had a softer texture and greater traction. To achieve this effect, manufacturers used mercury as a catalyst to assist the polyurethane to retain the rubber-like softness; as mercury is the only common metal that remains a liquid at room temperature.

So what are the potential issues mercury flooring?

According to the EPA, “Elemental Mercury and all of its components are toxic, exposure to excessive levels can permanently damage or fatally injure the brain and kidneys” and “pathways of exposure can occur through inhalation, absorption or ingestion.”

The release of mercury vapors from the flooring can cause inhalation concerns if the floors are deteriorated or they are poorly maintained. The continual release of mercury vapor can be of concern if it exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) or your state’s guidelines.

The product itself can become of concern when the flooring is removed for replacement because of disposal regulations, thus causing disposal issues.

Where do I start?

If you believe that you may have a mercury-catalyst polyurethane floor in your school or facility, or your floor was installed prior to 1990, it is recommended to have the floors tested by an independent, certified lab. Be aware that the EPA provides testing standards for both the vapor levels and amount of mercury present in the floor itself, should it need to be removed.

Please note that every floor and environment offer different challenges and state laws vary.

If you have questions about the type of flooring in your school or facility, contact us TODAY!


Environmental Management Specialists, Inc. has a highly experienced Team of experts with a shared focus of safety, quality, and value. Since 1990, we continue to dedicate our resources to the training and state of the art equipment for all of your environmental remediation and industrial cleaning needs!