NIOSH ALERT: "Exposure to Mercury Vapor During the Use of Mercury Carburetor Synchronizers" (WISHA Cover Letter)

February 4, 2000

TO: Owners, Operators, and Employees of Motorcycle or Outboard Engine Repair Shops

This letter is to inform you of potential health hazards related to your industry. The attached information (click here to view the NIOSH Alert) could be helpful in protecting yourself and employees from serious dangers on the job.

Specifically, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is warning shops that repair small engines with multiple carburetors of the hazards associated with the use of mercury containing carburetor synchronizers. The use of mercury containing gauges can result in exposure to mercury vapor under accidental conditions or improper use.

We encourage you to read and share the information with employees, and follow the recommendations for prevention should this equipment be used in your shop.

If you have questions, please contact an L&I safety and health consultant at your local L&I service center. When contacting your local office, please ask to speak with someone in WISHA Consultation Services. A WISHA consultation industrial hygienist can assist you in obtaining ventilation specifications and identifying suppliers of mercury spill kits.

If you have specific questions about this letter, please feel free to contact Dan Locke @ 360-902-5162 or email at


Michael A. Silverstein, MD
Assistant Director for WISHA Services


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