Local News

Clinton High Closed Thursday Following Mercury Scare

Posted April 3, 2008

— Clinton High School was closed Thursday, a day after a student brought was what believed to be a container of mercury to school, authorities said.

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to test for mercury at the school and perform any clean-up measures.

So far no one has shown any symptoms of mercury poisoning or exposure.

The area where the student went on Wednesday was immediately isolated so no other students would come in contact with the toxic metal, authorities said.

Authorities said they believe three other students handled the bottle the material was in, but none came in contact with the mercury.

All four students met with Sampson County Health Department officials, and all Clinton High students and faculty were told about the symptoms of mercury poisoning so they could seek medical help if needed.

There was no word Thursday on possible charges against the student who brought the material to school, nor was there information about what the student planned to do with the mercury.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • doodad Apr 3, 2008

    Don't some of us have mercury fillings?

  • tbfromnc Apr 3, 2008

    When i was a kid back in the 50's, we would play with mercury all the time. You could rub it on a coin, with your finger, and it would make it really shiny. We got mercury from broken thermometers, kept it in a little glass jar. Maybe I got poisened but i'm still here.
    I agree with shadow213, I also think the school and the authorities overreacted. Maybe thier hazmat team needed the practice.

  • rogers922 Apr 3, 2008

    And WHERE did the student get this stuff???

    First, we have to determine "what" the container was. Was is a 55 gallon drum of the stuff or was it a small vial like what a blood sample is contained in?

    As to where to get mercury, all you have to do is look in your home and you can come up with quite a bit. The temperature guage for your AC unit has it if it is one of the older models, you probably have it in your bathroom medicine cabinet if you have the oral or rectal thermometers. It's not an uncommon substance.

  • Shadow213 Apr 3, 2008

    I'm sorry but this is stupid. When I was in middle school, even, our science teacher brought in some mercury so we could see it. Pretty cool looking stuff- even if it is toxic. Anyway, canned tuna is known to contain trace amounts of mercury. Yet we dont get upset when someone brings tuna to school. Sad this school has to overreact to this since they'd probably face a big lawsuit otherwise....

  • CestLaVie Apr 3, 2008

    And WHERE did the student get this stuff???