Re: mercury spill advisory
Posted by Mary on 7/22/04
We've discussed this before, haven't we. Tell us what you
think your own level of negligence might be.
On 7/21/04, Fred R. Dressler wrote:
> (1) Stevenson, (wa) Highschool Mercury spill
> In 1970 a one pound flask of liquid mercury was taken from
> the science lab by my brother John Dressler a juvinile
> (now deceased), at the age of 8 I ingested a significant
> amount of this material and subsequently spilled no less
> than 12 oz.s on the second floor of the "old Ziegler home"
> located on Gropper rd. directly across from the school.
> My diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning and sence of civic
> duty prompted me to contact local law inforcement, the
> epa, school dist.303, the Ska. Co. Health dept. and the
> Ska. Co. Pioneer,(sole media sorce of the county)and
> lastly, (pursuent to fedral law concerning the spill of
> one pound or more), to the National response agency.
> After consulting Bryce A. McCollum Psy. D. (county
> agent/sole psycologist) on the matter it was suggested
> that I should contact anyone spending prolonged periods of
> time in the house between 1970 and 1985 as the spilled
> mercury permiated the second floor for over a decade,
> eventually puddled between floors, seeping through the
> kitchen ceiling as it evaporated.
> After contacting no less than 15 individuals I was
> astonished to find that 100&37;, (without exception) are
> showing, not,"similar", symptoms, but rather, "Identical",
> symptoms, this number could easily double or triple.
> Feeling it a matter of public safety and awareness, I
> contacted the Ska. Co Pioneer who informed me that they
> could not print "supposition", (Although the flask was
> personally handled by no less than 8 individuals and the
> facts are irrefutable),and that the matter would have to
> go through the Ska. Co. Health dept., who were in turn,
> immediatly contacted.
> The health dept. acknowledged receiving my prior
> notification and deemed from their office chairs
> that, "since the house was destroyed by fire in 1990, it
> would no longer be a hazard", and, "Besides, that would
> require testing, and guys in suits and stuff, you know how
> it goes", needless to say I was surprised.
> It would seem to me, that due to it's proximity to the
> school, (less than 100 feet), that you would at least do a
> prelimary, (enviromental level), test prior to reaching
> that conclusion rather than reaching a conclusion prior to
> any testing.
> I then asked the Health Dept. "What about those
> individuals that spent time in the house that I'm not
> personally aware of?, don't they have a right to know that
> they may have been exposed to a known health risk?", the
> answer was "NO", I was astounded.
> I then asked, "Isn't there a way you could inform the
> public through a published advisory?", the answer was, "If
> you want to inform the public you will have to file a
> class action". I was appalled, (seems like a lot of
> trouble to go though just to do what they should be doing,
> looking out for the public's wellbeing).
> I then stated that the bottle and it's remaining content
> are still in existance today, ironically at the home of a
> retired teacher who was never made aware of the loss, I
> was merely asked, "Is the cap still on it?", and, "If so,
> don't worry about it".
> I found this last statement disconserting considering even
> after 30+ years it was still considered, "stolen
> property",and a hazardous material whose location was made
> known, there was no attempt to retrieve it,are they
> waiting for another 8 year old to open it?
> The fact that the bottle was not reported missing until 20
> years later by teachers who knew the loss, is no less than
> gross negligence, the fact that nothing was mentioned to
> the public and that there may still be enviromental or
> health consequences, to me, is continued negligence.
> Symptoms include: memory and speach difficulties,tremors
> or involuntary muscle contractions, confusion, social
> anxiety,(see EPA website/mercury).
> If you or someone you know spent prolonged periods in the
> afore mentioned house you are urged to contact me, The
> only reason I've chosen this method to inform the public
> is because of the Health Dept. and Pioneer's failure to do
> Fred R. Dressler
> (904) 710-6166
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