Vacuumed mercury forces school evacuation

Oct 13, 2006

School officials in Rockford, Ill., learned that vacuuming mercury, while fast, isn't healthy.

District school officials said they plan to meet with county health officials to review what happened when after a middle school teacher found mercury leaking from an old thermometer in a closet, the Rockford (Ill.) Register-Star said. School personnel vacuumed a carpet where some of the potentially toxic metal was found, possibly putting mercury vapor in the air.

The leak was discovered Tuesday when teachers reported, but students did not, the Register-Star said. A school district environmental specialist was not available, the newspaper said, but school personnel cleaned the area properly.

When more mercury was found on a hallway carpet and vacuumed Wednesday, the district environmentalist was involved and the school contacted the Environmental Protection Agency and county health officials, the newspaper said.

The school on Wednesday evacuated about 750 students, who left their shoes behind for testing. School was back in session Thursday, after officials determined air quality was normal and students' shoes tested negative for mercury contamination.

About a tablespoon of liquid mercury leaked, officials said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: New research demonstrates benefits of national and international device registries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sickness stalks India village with toxic water

Nov 11, 2014

Through his bloodshot, ruined eyes, ten-year-old Roshan Singh struggles to read his favourite comic book before readying for school in this remote and desolate village along the Indian-Pakistan border.

Google X: Secret lab for 'moonshot' research

Mar 12, 2014

In a rare public speech, Google Inc. CEO Larry Page once suggested the tech industry needs "safe places where we can try out new things" without rules or interference. Some people thought he was describing ...

Australian heatwave set to worsen as fires rage

Jan 16, 2014

Australians sweltering through a severe heatwave were warned on Thursday that the worst Is yet to come, with hundreds of fires raging in several states and temperatures nearing record highs.

Modern relationships made, marred, mended by technology

Nov 29, 2013

Lia MacDonald sat down at her laptop and clicked on Facebook. There he was, her old flame, asking for her. It had been years since their last encounter, long before she met her husband, started a family and moved across the ...

Clean energy least costly to power America's electricity needs

Sep 17, 2013

It's less costly to get electricity from wind turbines and solar panels than coal-fired power plants when climate change costs and other health impacts are factored in, according to a new study published in Springer's Journal of ...

Recommended for you

New approach to particle therapy dosimetry

15 hours ago

Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in collaboration with EMRP partners, are working towards a universal approach to particle beam therapy dosimetry.

Supplement maker admits lying about ingredients

Dec 17, 2014

Federal prosecutors say the owner and president of a dietary supplement company has admitted his role in the sale of diluted and adulterated dietary ingredients and supplements sold by his company.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.