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Measuring exposure to an elemental mercury spill - Dakota County, Minnesota, 2004.
Baker BA; Herbrandson C; Eshenaur TE; Messing RB
MMWR 2005 Feb; 54(6):146-149
Elemental mercury spills can cause contamination of neighborhoods and homes and result in neurologic and kidney disorders in exposed persons who inhale mercury vapors. Often, however, difficulties exist in determining the magnitude of exposure and effectiveness of decontamination or in recognizing that reexposure has occurred. This report summarizes the response to an elemental mercury exposure that resulted in the decontamination of 48 persons and the subsequent analysis of blood and urine samples from 14 exposed youths aged 6--16 years. Data from these analyses suggest that 1) blood samples are more sufficiently acquired and can be used to evaluate recent acute exposure and 2) use of a real-time mercury vapor analyzer can help public health officials determine the magnitude of exposures and help prevent reexposures. In addition, demolition and waste-disposal firms and government agencies must take actions to ensure that elemental mercury is adequately secured before disposal.
Age-factors; Age-groups; Biochemical-analysis; Biochemistry; Biohazards; Biological-effects; Biological-function; Biological-systems; Chemical-hypersensitivity; Chemical-reactions; Children; Dose-response; Epidemiology; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Inhalants; Inhalation-studies; Quantitative-analysis; Statistical-analysis; Toxic-effects; Vapors; Vapor-volume; Waste-disposal; Waste-disposal-systems; Water-analysis
Issue of Publication
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division