Safer Products

We are working toward Safer California households, workplaces and products

Is Mercury in Your Home?

Mercury Containing Products Commonly Found in Homes

Effective January 1, 2003, the California Mercury Reduction Act banned the sale of many products containing mercury. Even though they are banned from California’s marketplace, these mercury containing products still are frequently found in homes.

  • Thermometers
  • Thermostats
  • Button Cell Batteries
  • Fluorescent light bulbs (tubes and CFLs)
  • Mercury switches (in automobiles and appliances)
  • Barometers
  • Blood pressure gauges
  • Mercury-Added Novelties. This category includes practical jokes items, figurines, jewelry, toys, games, cards, ornaments, yard statues, and figures, candles, holiday decorations, and foot-wear that contain mercury or mercury batteries. Effective January 1, 2003, the California Mercury Reduction Act banned sale of mercury-added novelties in this state, but some people still have them in their homes.
  • Some cosmetics (e.g. skin lightening creams)
  • Banned pesticides and latex paint

How Do You Know if a Product Contains Mercury?

Look for the mercury symbol, Hg, on the product or product packaging, such as fluorescent lamps. Some products, such as cosmetics, may actually list mercury in their ingredients label. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned mercury from cosmetics except for products intended to be used around the eyes.

Click here to view the U.S. Food and Drug Administration list of mercury in drug and biologic products.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) helps identify products containing mercury. Visit: