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Published: Thursday, 11/10/2005

Mercury spill in Point Place garage being investigated

Authorities are investigating the spread of mercury from a spill last week in the garage of a Point Place home.

About 5 p.m. yesterday, the fire department, the city's environmental services division, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responded to a report of a spill at 5417 Edgewater Drive.

About a pound of mercury - about two tablespoons - was spilled last week when a group of about 10 youths played with it, fire Capt. Dave Fought said. Authorities were contacted about the spill yesterday and found there was still some of the liquid metal visible in the garage and tracked into the home of Fred Rogacki.

He could not be reached for comment.

Captain Fought said it is unlikely there is any hazard from the spilled chemical because any that has spread has probably broken down and evaporated during the week. But to be sure, authorities are looking into where the chemical might have been tracked so that they can measure its quantity in those areas.

A professional cleaning company will need to clean the Edgewater home and any others with high concentrations.

By this time, it is unlikely any traces would still be found on any of the youths who came into contact with the chemical last week.

Mercury, which is considered a hazardous metal, is harmful if exposed to high amounts. According to the U.S. EPA, symptoms can include skin, eye, and airway irritation, increased blood pressure and heart rate, nausea, weakness, fever, and more.

Nobody has come forward yet with health concerns in relation to the spill, Captain Fought said.

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