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    Re: mercury spill advisory

    Posted by Mary on 7/22/04

    Hey Fred:

    We've discussed this before, haven't we. Tell us what you
    think your own level of negligence might be.

    Best Regards,


    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
    > so.
    > Fred R. Dressler
    > (904) 710-6166

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