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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
April 2, 2014

Mercury Exposure on School Bus

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Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2014;311(13):1283. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2863

Two North Carolina children were treated with chelation therapy last September after a schoolmate spilled mercury in their school bus.

An elementary school student brought a pound of mercury contained in a film canister onto the bus after receiving it from an adult relative who found it in a neighbor’s shed. Several students passed around the canister before the mercury spilled on the bus floor. Eight students and 2 school staff members were exposed.

Firefighters and a local hazardous materials team responded immediately to help with personal decontamination procedures for the exposed students and staff. A team from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cleaned up contamination in the home of the student who had the mercury. The EPA team also evaluated 3 schools where students were dropped off.

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