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Journal Article

Citation

Langley R, Hirsch A, McDaniel J, Lott V, Shehee M, Migit S, Dulaney AR, Negron J, Fleischauer A. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 2014; 63(6): 131.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2014, (in public domain), Publisher U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

24522097

Abstract

On September 16, 2013, the North Carolina Division of Public Health was notified of an elemental (metallic and liquid) mercury spill on a school bus. An elementary student boarded the bus with approximately 1 pound (454 g) of elemental mercury contained in a film canister, which the student had taken from an adult relative who had found it in a neighbor's shed. The canister was handled by several students before the contents spilled on the bus floor. Ten passengers aboard the bus were exposed, including eight students and two staff members. Although elemental mercury is not readily absorbed from skin contact or ingestion, it does vaporize at room temperatures and inhalation of the vapor can be harmful. The bus driver promptly notified school officials. Firefighters and a local hazardous materials team directed decontamination procedures (i.e., changing clothes and washing hands and shoes) for the 10 exposed passengers. The bus was immediately taken out of service and sent for disposal because of its age and the cost of decontamination.


Language: en

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