Weather Slows Mercury Contamination Cleanup

By: Lori Dougovito Email
By: Lori Dougovito Email

Crews worked throughout the weekend at two Jackson apartments, but the weather didn't cooperate. It could be a couple of more days before residents are allowed back in.

Last Friday, two apartments on Moorman Drive were evacuated after someone called the Health Department reporting children playing with mercury. The children found it on a chair several days before and had been playing with it and spreading it around.

Crews Monday were bagging items not directly contaminated and putting them in makeshift warming stations, really just rented trucks. The heat was on and so were fans to evaporate the vapors and blow them away.

"The easiest way to deal with this is to put it (items) in the sunlight and let the sun bake off the fumes," says on-scene EPA Coordinator Jeff Kimble.

Some residents complained of mercury exposure symptoms like headaches and nausea. Saturday, about two dozen people gave blood and urine samples to be tested.

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