agency for toxic substances and disease registry's don't mess with mercury initiative. - chemical spill kit
Mercury has long been regarded as an environmental and occupational health hazard by the public health community.
In October 2013, the United StatesS.
The International Water min Convention was signed and ratified.
Once fully ratified, this global treaty will require countries to reduce emissions and releases of mercury in products, processes and industries to protect human health and the environment (
United Nations Environment Programme, 2014).
While many public health policy efforts focus on the exposure of elemental mercury in the air emitted by fish or coal --
Recent Registry of Toxic Substances and diseases (ATSDR)
Take the initiative, don't mess with Mercury (DMWM)(Figures 1 and 2)
Designed to prevent exposure to harmful mercury leaks.
Elemental Mercury is a dense silver metal that is liquid at room temperature.
When overflowing, its high surface tension leads to the formation of tiny drops of water.
These unique physical features attract children and teenagers who are observed playing with Mercury, sharing Mercury with friends, decorating hair with mercury, and smoking on school buses and schools --
Mercury can be found in various household items including thermometers, fluorescent bulbs and electronic switches.
Unstable Mercury containers for refining metals, folk medicine and some practical practices have been preserved (
Registry of Toxic Substances and diseases [ATSDR], 1999).
Elemental mercury evaporates at room temperature;
Steam is more odorous and heavier than air and accumulates in the lower part of the room.
Heating mercury or dispersing mercury drops by vacuum or cleaning increases the concentration of mercury in the air.
Water droplets can go deep into cracks and gaps, making it difficult for spills to remedy and to expose continuously.
Inhalation of mercury vapor is the main route of exposure and toxicity;
There is a slight absorption of the skin or intestines and stomach.
Once inhaled, Mercury enters the blood and is distributed to all tissues, but mainly accumulates in the kidneys and brain.
Elemental mercury through the blood
Brain and placenta barrier (ATSDR, 1999).
There is no known physiological demand for mercury in the human body.
The nervous and renal systems are sensitive targets for acute and chronic mercury vapor exposure.
Exposure can lead to tremor, personality change, irritability, loss of memory, insomnia, mood swings, weakness and feelings --
Motor peripheral neuropathy
The range of renal effects ranged from transient hematuria to acute tubular necrosis.
High concentrations of steam in acute inhalation can cause cough, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia.
Skin manifestations exposed to mercury vapor may include red, itchy rashes, or limb pain (
Rare non-allergic reactions seen in some children).
In general, children are more sensitive to the health impact of mercury than adults (ATSDR,1999).
Unfortunately, many people, especially children, are not aware of the risk of mercury exposure, which is common throughout the country.
On 2008, Congress directed ATSDR to characterize elemental mercury exposure in children across the United StatesS.
The report, "children's exposure to elemental mercury", summarizes many other sources of mercury leakage exposure and sexual exposure of children to Mercury (ATSDR, 2009).
While there is no comprehensive monitoring system for elemental mercury leakage, many sources are used to record hundreds of leaks, from the broken thermometer reported to the poisoning control center (
1,825 calls in 2012)
Mercury Spills of 1 pound or more (
Two tablespoons by body)
This must be transplanted to the United States. S.
National Response Center of the Coast Guard (
At least 50 schools
6-related overflow recorded inyear period)(ATSDR,2009;
Murray, Spyker, lyric, Bailey, Ford, 2013).
The consequences of mercury spills range from minor inconveniences to potentially harmful exposures that are difficult to remedy.
Cleaning up the initially poorly managed, even relatively small spills cost thousands of dollars and caused unplanned schools to close for a day to a few months.
On 2003, a massive leak occurred at the aWashington DC Regional High School, causing the school to close for 35 days and the repair cost was about $1. 5 million (U. S.
Environmental Protection Agency, 2013).
In this incident, a student took the mercury from the science lab and distributed it to other students.
In 2013, when two children developed symptoms consistent with mercury exposure and elevated blood mercury levels, they needed chelation treatment.
They got mercury from their neighbor's cabin and spilled it on the house and school bus.
Blood mercury levels in 4 other family members also exceeded the health risk threshold of 50 [people]micro]g/L(ATSDR, 1999;
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014).
ATSDR launched the DMWM plan after the United States. S.
Environmental Protection Bureau (U. S. EPA)
Health education outreach activities were requested in Region IX in 2008.
Emergency staff in the area responded to multiple mercury leaks caused by exposure of mercury to adolescents and adolescents found in homes, garages, schools or abandoned buildings.
ATSDR created 30-
The second DMWM public service bulletin in English and Spanish to raise awareness of mercury among middle school students and encourage them to change their behavior.
The public service announcement was posted on a joint website in the United States. S. EPA-ATSDR Web site.
Atsdrrecognize, however, recognizes the need for additional educational materials in schools, as well as outreach to administrators, teachers and staff to further reduce the number of spills and exposures and improve on the true
ATSDR launched an extended DMWM website (www. atsdr. cdc.
Gov/dontmesswithmercury)in late 2013.
The goal of the site is to prevent the occurrence of mercury leaks and minimize hazards when they occur.
For primary prevention goals, the website provides teaching materials on eliminating mercury in schools, finding alternative products for school science classes and facilities, and developing a school Mercury Policy.
Interactive educational materials for students include the network
Interactive charts based on video games and Mercury effects on the human body.
The DMWM website also provides step-by-
Step instructions for properly cleaning and handling leaks, including how to create a leak kit for small leaks.
Support materials include talking points to communicate with parents and media about exposure issues, as well as fact sheets for health providers who consult patients.
While the materials are intended for the education system, most of the information is applicable to other sites such as ashomes, clinics and offices.
In efforts to eliminate mercury spills, ATSDR is not alone.
Many state health departments in the United StatesS.
The Environmental Protection Agency and other non-profit organizations have produced educational materials to prevent mercury leakage.
These initiatives will give schools the knowledge to leak response plans and education and emergency contacts.
Ultimately, the reduction in the number and extent of Mercury leakage incidents in schools will reflect the success of public health outreach.
With education, this health hazard can be classified as a footnote to history.
Don't mess up if you see Mercury.
Mercury is cool.
Corresponding author: Michelle Waters, medical officer, Division of Community Health Surveys, Registry of Toxic Substances and diseases, 77 WJackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604. E-mail:aax6@cdc. gov.
Editor's note: As part of our innovative approach to continuous efforts to improve community health and the environment, the Wall Street Journal is pleased to publish a column from the United States every two monthsS.
Registry of Toxic Substances and diseases (ATSDR).
TheATSDR in Atlanta, Georgia is a federal public health agency. S.
Department of Health and Human Services and share with the National Centre for Environmental Health a common office of the director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
ATSDR serves the public by using the best science, taking responsive public health actions and providing credible health information to prevent harmful exposure and diseases related to toxic substances.
The purpose of this column is to introduce readers to the activities and initiatives of atsdrr to better understand the relationship between exposure to harmful substances in the environment and their impact on human health, and how to protect
We believe that compensation will provide our readers with valuable resources by helping to understand the vast amount of resources and expertise ATSDR provides to communities, states, and provide good environmental health practices for all.
The findings and conclusions of this paper are the findings and conclusions of the Author (s)
Does not necessarily represent the views of CDC/ATSDR.
Michelle Watters is a medical officer at the ATSDR Community Health Survey. Dr.
Watters provides regional offices, state and local public health and environmental agencies, and community members with public health issues of medical experts related to exposure to biological, chemical and radioactive substances.
Jamie Raymanis is a health educator in the Community Health Survey Department of the ATSDR area 9 office (San Francisco). Ms.
Raymandevelopment develops health education and exchange materials for community members affected by hazardous waste.
Reference body for registration of toxic substances and diseases. (1999).
Toxicology Profile of Mercury. Atlanta, GA: U. S.
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Reported by Toxic Substances and Disease Prevention Agencies and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MercuryWorkgroup). Atlanta, GA: U. S.
Department of Health and Human Services.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014).
Precautions from the site: elemental mercury leakage in school buses and homes-
North Carolina, 2013.
Weekly Report on incidence and mortality, 63 (60), 131. Mowry, J. B. , Spyker, D. A. , Cantilena, J. R. , Jr. , Bailey, J. E. ,& Ford, M. (2013).
National poisoning data system of the American Association of poisoning control centers 2012 report (NPDS)
Annual report 30.
Clinical Toxicology, 949-1229.
United Nations Environment Programme. (2014).
Mercury in water.
Retrieved from tionorg U. S.
Environmental Protection Bureau. (2013).
Mercury in school research.