House declared safe after mercury spill
Mercury is a chemical element that is toxic when touched or ingested. It's most commonly found in thermometers and fluorescent light bulbs.
Fire and rescue units responded to the home at 10:31 a.m. Dec. 3 after mercury leaked out of a broken antique mirror. Units from Arcola, South Riding and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority came to the home, which is located south of Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, in between Route 15 and Evergreen Mills Road.
Crews found mercury residue in a bedroom, which they then sealed off to prevent exposure. The residents of the home, two adults, a child and a dog, were all evaluated for possible exposure. A second child, who attended school after the mirror was broken, was evaluated at school. No one suffered exposure.
The house was then turned over to homeowners to have the spill professionally cleaned.
Mercury should not be swept up or vacuumed, as that merely increases dispersal of the element.
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