City of Dayton first responders are working closely with Dayton ISD officials, Liberty County Hazmat and the Liberty County Fire Marshal’s Office to respond to a mercury spill in the Cedar Ridge Apartments parking lot.
At approximately 5 p.m., Dayton police received a call that students waiting on their bus may have been exposed to mercury near their bus stop on Winfree Street Monday morning.
Authorities reportedly have determined that a small amount of mercury was present in the lot near the bus stop. A county hazmat team contained the mercury and decontaminated the area. Testing of the school bus that services the location showed no mercury contamination.
According to a statement from the City of Dayton, “At this time, there is no reason to believe mercury left the site.”
The City’s Emergency Management Office is encouraging parents whose children may have seen or handled the substance to speak with them and notify the Dayton Police Department. They should also monitor their child for symptoms over the next few days and go to their family doctor if necessary.
“We’re working to determine the extent of possible exposure,” said Dayton Police Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Rob Vine. “Although the threat to the public was minimal, it is important to limit any contact with the mercury. Student safety is our top priority, so we’re being cautious and thorough in our investigation and mitigation.
Symptoms of acute mercury exposure can include headaches, eye and throat irritation, coughing and nausea. More information on symptoms or treatment can be found at poison.org or by calling the national Poison Control hotline at 800-222-1222.
Parents of children who may have been exposed to the mercury and are concerned about their clothing or shoes can place them outdoors to help potential mercury evaporate, wash the items twice in a washing machine or simply throw them away.
An investigation as to the origins of the mercury is ongoing.
For more information, contact the Dayton Police Department at (936) 258-7621.