Thermometers measure temperature, by using materials that change in some way when they are heated or cooled. The first thermometers were called thermoscopes and while several inventors invented a version of the thermoscope at the same time, Italian inventor Santorio Santorio was the first inventor to put a numerical scale on the instrument. Galileo Galilei invented a rudimentary water thermometer in 1593 which, for the first time, allowed temperature variations to be measured. In 1714 Gabriel Fahrenheit built mercury thermometer with the scale named after him-Fahrenheit Scale.
Unfortunately, mercury has been targeted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the top Persistent Bio-accumulative Toxic (PBT) chemicals to be reduced on a global level.
We may remember, as a child, playing with the ball of mercury that was rolling around on the floor after the glass fever thermometer broke. We were sad when it finally got lost somewhere. Now that we know how toxic mercury is to practically every organ system of the body, including the brain.
The old-fashioned thermometer contains about 1 gram of mercury, which is enough to contaminate a 20-acre lake and require fishing advisories, according to environmental activists. When a mercury thermometer is broken, it forms miniscule droplets that emit dangerous vapors which can harm the human nervous system. Improper disposal of thermometers is a major source of mercury emissions, according to Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition concerned about the environmental impacts of health care. Once mercury enters the environment, microorganisms in lakes and rivers convert it to the more toxic methyl-mercury, where it builds up in fish and wildlife. ... Most human exposure to mercury comes through eating fish. Pregnant women, women of childbearing age, and young children are particularly at risk from mercury exposure.
In fact, the National Academy of Sciences noted in a recent report that more than 60,000 children annually may be at risk for learning disabilities because of mercury-contaminated fish eaten by their mothers during pregnancy. Luckily, mercury thermometers are on their way out.
A Senate panel approved a bill that would ban mercury thermometers and provide $20 million for a program to encourage families to trade in their old thermometers for new ones that are safer for the environment. Many big pharmacy and retail chains now sell only mercury-free thermometers.
Several types of non-mercury thermometers are available commercially. These include:
- Digital electronic thermometers
- Glass gallium-indium-tin (galin-stan) thermometer
- Flexible forehead and ear canal thermometers
A recent statement by the American Medical Association indicated that non-mercury fever thermometers are adequate diagnostic tools.
Advances in electronic and detector technology have resulted in a variety of non-contact Infrared Thermometers(IRT) for industrial, scientific and home use. Forehead and ear canal thermometers are also belong to IRT. All objects emit measurable infrared energy. The IRT uses special optics to gather infrared energy from a target surface and focuses this energy onto a detector. At that point, the detector will convert the infrared energy into an electrical signal proportional to the temperature of the target surface. For the detail infrared technology, please refer to the Infrared Tutorial section of the website.
IRT may replace most of the mercury thermometer in may application field such as industry, laboratory and medical. In fact, because of the IRT's instant and non-contact type measurement, it has been widely used for AUTOMOTIVE, FOOD, ELECTRONICS, PLANT, PLASTICS, TEXTILES, PHARMACEUTICALS, ENERGY, PAPER and HOME USES.
Traditional IRT is large, heavy and expensive. Calibration of IRT is extremely sophisticated especially on the ambient temperature compensation, that's why IRT were so expensive. (not any more!)
RII develop his own proprietary CCE(Continuous Calibration Equipment), which can calibrate 128pcs of IRT at the same time, at different temperatures, in a continuous, high throughput operation.
The Cycle time is also reduced by a special prediction algorithm. RII are ISO9001 certified.
Our Infrared Ear Thermometer(IET) can conform with the ASTM E1965's stringent requirement: +/-0.2degC. Our IRT can retain its accuracy at wide target and operation temperature range.
In 2002, Radiant Innovation designed the most compact; most long battery life (70hours continuous use) and the most affordable IR Thermometer by the proprietary SoC(System on Chip) & Infrared Technology, MEMS based advance Thermal Sensor. Traditional IRT may be large, but ZyTemp is as small as the "battery of some large IRT". For the elimination of the mercury thermometer and protection of the health of all the creatures on the earth, RII would like to introduce one of the most accurate, compact and affordable IRT in the world, the ZyTemp Infrared Thermometer. That's why we propose the brilliant name on this revolutionary product, the "Mercury Terminator".Flexible forehead and ear canal thermometers