Kings County, CA

01/12/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/12/2018 22:04

HEALTH OFFICIALS INVESTIGATE SUSPECTED MERCURY EXPOSURE

Contact:
Nurse of the Day
Environmental Health
Kings County Health Department
Phone (559) 584-1401

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 12, 2018


HANFORD, CA - Kings County Environmental Health Officers have recovered a bottle of mercury from a home in Hanford. The bottle was discovered in late 2017 by a resident at the home. It is possible that 6-8 ounces of mercury may have been shared in unknown smaller quantities, potentially between middle school-aged students. The exposure may have occurred as early as October 2017.

Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that has several forms. The metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white, odorless liquid. Mercury is a heavy substance. If a container of liquid weighs more than you might expect, it may contain mercury.

If you have not touched or had contact with mercury, there should be no risk of exposure. If you have touched or had contact with mercury and are not experiencing severe symptoms, please do the following:

  • Remove clothing and place into a sealable bag, and then into a second sealable bag, sealing both.
  • Take a shower with soap and water.
  • Call Kings County Health Department at 559-584-1401 to make arrangements for someone to come and test the clothing.

Signs and symptoms of mercury exposure include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increases in blood pressure or heart rate
  • Skin rashes
  • Eye irritation

Mercury exposure is easily treatable. If you experience any of the above symptoms, seek testing and treatment from your regular care provider AFTER you have bagged and sealed your clothing and taken a shower.

The Health Department asks parents to talk to their children about the dangers of handling unknown substances, and to remind children to alert adults to any unknown substances.

Call the Kings County Health Department for additional information at (559) 584-1401.