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MERCURY EXPOSURE IN LARUE COUNTY - NOVEMBER 2004. ASHOKA INDUKURI Senior Epidemiologist Lincoln Trail District Health Department. NOVEMBER 10 TH 2004. 15yr old student brought a vial of mercury onto the school bus and into the Larue county high school.

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mercury exposure in larue county november 2004

MERCURY EXPOSURE IN LARUE COUNTY- NOVEMBER 2004

ASHOKA INDUKURI

Senior Epidemiologist

Lincoln Trail District Health Department

november 10 th 2004
NOVEMBER 10TH 2004
  • 15yr old student brought a vial of mercury onto the school bus and into the Larue county high school.
  • School officials notice around 15 students playing with Liquid Mercury in the Cafeteria.
  • Mercury secured by school officials.
november 10 th 20041
NOVEMBER 10TH 2004
  • Cafeteria closed immediately.
  • Basic cleaning procedures performed on Exposed students.
  • Local Health Department, EPA and Emergency Management notified.
  • EPA officials secure the school and school closed for next 2 days for cleaning and to limit exposure.
november 10 th 20042
NOVEMBER 10TH 2004
  • Education material about Mercury exposure, health effects and treatment sent Local health director Joyce Walsh.
  • School officials notify the parents and advice them to seek medical attention if their child needs any testing for mercury exposure.
november 11 15 th 2004
November 11-15th 2004
  • US EPA, KDEP perform testing and cleaning of school, school buses and other facilities.
  • District health department contacts state for advice regarding testing the exposed students and family members.
  • Kentucky Regional Poison center informed about the spill.
november 11 15 th
NOVEMBER 11-15TH
  • Initial investigation of the 15yr old boy reveals that the Mercury has been stolen from a Dentist’s office on November 9th .
  • Blood and Urine samples has been ordered for all the family members living in a mobile home.
  • Close contacts include Three adults and

6 children (14yrs-5 yrs)

  • Family members relocated to a motel in Elizabethtown to facilitate clean up of the mobile home.
mercury spill investigation
Mercury Spill Investigation
  • Further questioning of the boy reveals that he had mercury with him for more than an year( Taken from the Dentist’s office in August 2003 visit).
  • Several children in the family experienced headaches, itchy rashes and mild tremors.
mercury spill investigation1
Mercury Spill Investigation
  • One of the family members(13yr old girl) has experienced several months of mysterious illness (unexplained tachycardia, hypertension , rashes, muscle pain, tremors, insomnia desquamatization of soles and palms) in Late 2003 and admitted to hospital in Louisville for 30days.
  • Mercury exposure was not on differential diagnosis at that time.
mercury spill investigation2
Mercury Spill Investigation
  • Boy admits spilling some of the mercury in the family car of a close friend in October / November 2003
  • Investigation of the “Close friend’s” family confirms the incident. Four family members potentially exposed.
  • All four contacts ordered testing for Blood and Urine samples.
  • Additional 12 people who spent substantial amount of time in the mobile home interviewed and advised to contact their health care provider.
mercury spill investigation lab results
Mercury Spill Investigation- Lab Results
  • The blood an urine samples reveal substantial mercury exposure in family members.
  • Blood mercury levels ranged from

32 – 72 micrograms/liter (normal:0-10ug/l)

  • 24hr Urine mercury concentrations ranged from 28-496 micrograms/liter

(normal:0-19ug/l)

mercury spill investigation lab results1
Mercury Spill Investigation- Lab Results
  • Lab tests reveal direct relation between Time spent in the mobile home and Mercury levels in blood and urine.
  • The 15yr old boy has highest Mercury concentrations in both blood(72ug/l) and urine (496ug/l).
  • All other contacts tested negative.
mercury spill investigation epa investigation results
Mercury Spill Investigation- EPA Investigation Results
  • Family’s mobile home and possessions were destroyed(ambient mercury was >50,000ng/m3 initially and 11,550ng/m3 later)
  • NORMAL--<3,000NG/m3)
  • Family van and vehicle cleaned and returned to family.
  • Additional car (family of Boy’s friend) destroyed
mercury spill investigation treatment
Mercury Spill Investigation-Treatment
  • All children treated with chelation therapy with Succimer.
  • Three adults in the family treated by multiple chelation sessions.
  • All contacts are advised to take the advise of their healthcare provider if they develop any signs and symptoms.
mercury spill investigation agencies involved
Mercury Spill Investigation-Agencies involved
  • Larue county health department
  • Larue county Emergency Management
  • Lincoln Trail District Health Department
  • Kentucky Department of Public Health
  • Kentucky Regional Poison Center
  • US EPA and KDEP
conclusion
CONCLUSION
  • Increase awareness of school and local public health officials (including ERRT members) about mercury exposure.
  • Continue to increase coordination and communication between all agencies.
useful links
This Article published in MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) August 19, 2005 / Vol. 54 / No. 32

Link: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5432a2.htm

Mercury information links:

http://www.epa.gov/mercury/

Useful links