Mer­cury found in Chat­tanooga home

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - REGION -

A con­trac­tor wa­ter-proof­ing a base­ment in the 900 block of Oak Street dis­cov­ered mer­cury trapped in a drain last week­end.

The toxic chem­i­cal can cause mer­cury poi­son­ing. The two adults and child who live in the Fort­wood neigh­bor­hood home were ad­vised to stay away un­til the situation was cleared.

The Ten­nessee De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Con­ser­va­tion, En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, and Hamil­ton County Health De­part­ment were called in to help. The EPA, which took the lead on the cleanup, did not know how the mer­cury ended up in the home or how long it had been there, ac­cord­ing to EPA spokesman Ja­son McDon­ald.

The agency ex­pected to have the cleanup com­pleted by the end of the week. TDEC of­fi­cials are un­aware of any threats to pub­lic health associated with the event, ac­cord­ing to spokes­woman Kim Schofin­ski.

Area res­i­dents con­cerned about mer­cury ex­po­sure can con­tact the Chat­tanooga-Hamil­ton County Health De­part­ment at 423-209-8000.

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