Fairbanks haz-mat team responds to mercury spill

Associated PressJuly 19, 2012 

FAIRBANKS -- A spokesman for the Fairbanks Fire Department says its hazardous materials team responded to a clinic to deal with drops of mercury that had spilled from a commercial blood pressure monitor.

Deputy Fire Chief Ernie Misewicz tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that the spill consisted of two drops that were about the size of fingertips.

No one was hurt.

Mercury vapors are dangerous when breathed. Short-term exposure to the liquid metal can cause irritation or burns to skin and eyes. The Environmental Protection Agency website says fetuses, infants and children are susceptible to impaired neurological development from exposure to mercury.

The spill occurred at the Resource Center for Parents and Children in south Fairbanks.

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