Mercury spill closes Ohio clinic

By: December 14th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A mercury spill closed down a medical clinic in Oregon, OH, reported FoxToledo.com, December 13.

Hazmat responders were called to the scene after a blood pressure cuff fell from a cart and mercury leaked onto the carpet.

The facility’s was evacuated and closed for the remainder of the day by the Toledo Environmental Services, according to FoxToledo.com, which also reported that “the clinic has hired a private company to clean up the spill and is expected to reopen tomorrow.”

The “Self-inspection notes” from the October issue of Medical Environment Update addressed small and large mercury spills in healthcare facilities. Here is the section of the checklist for large mercury spills (more than 2 tablespoons) such as blood pressure device breakages or leaks:

❏ Call 911 or the Emergency Response Hotline (open 24/7) at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at 770/488-7100.

❏ Close off the area immediately to people and animals.

❏ Turn down the temperature or lower the thermostat. The temperature should be kept below 65ºF.

❏ Open windows and ventilate the area.

❏ Surround and contain the spill. Prevent liquid mercury from running into nearby cracks, crevices, drains, and surface waters. Never pour mercury down the drain. Mercury is heavier than water and may get trapped in the plumbing system.

To assess the potential mercury hazards in your healthcare facility, download the Mercury Elimination Checklist from the Tools page.

Comments

Well, at least they did the right thing and did not just ignore it. I am sure once they get the bill for the cleanup and the loss of revinue for the day that they will take a serious look at replacing all their mercury devices.

Removing mercury is probably a good article for Dave to revisit.

 

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