Hazmat Unit Responds to Mercury Spill by Senior Housing Complex

Emergency personnel were called to a 60-unit apartment complex operated by the Norwalk Housing Authority in Connecticut last month to respond to a mercury spill discovered under a parked vehicle. The street by the complex was temporarily closed as residents were tested for the toxic heavy metal and a hazmat team removed the mercury.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water, and soil. It exists in several forms: elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds. Pure mercury is a liquid metal that volatilizes readily, often referred to as quicksilver. It was used to make products like thermometers, switches and some light bulbs in the past. Some water-based paints even used mercury as a preservative until its use was discontinued in the early 1990s. There are also homes that were built prior to 1968 that have mercury-containing gas pressure regulators.

“Exposed elemental mercury can evaporate to become an invisible, odorless, and toxic vapor at room temperature,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Mercury is a neurotoxin so any spill needs to be handled properly by experienced professionals. At EMSL Analytical, our laboratories provide environmental, material, and industrial hygiene testing services to identify exposure risks to mercury and other heavy metals. These services are also instrumental for determining the effectiveness of cleanup efforts after a spill has already occurred.”

EMSL Analytical sponsored an educational video about mercury exposure and health effects years ago that can still be seen at: https://youtu.be/QVu5js60PWI

To learn more about mercury or other environmental, material, occupational, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email  info@EMSL.com .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC's, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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