Louisiana School Closes After Student Causes Toxic Chemical Spill
Because of a chemical spill inside the school, a Lafayette Parish school will be closed April 18th for cleaning and decontaminating. The spill happened at Southside High School, and according to the Lafayette Parish School System, the student brought the chemical to the school.
When the chemical spill occurred, the school says they immediately activated their "crisis protocol" and brought in the Department of Environmental Quality. The school put out a statement explaining the details of the spill, here's some of the details they provided:
"This closure is necessary as a result of a student bringing a vial of the chemical element mercury to school that was dropped and spilled onto the floor of a classroom. Southside High School immediately enacted crisis response protocols and requested assistance from the Department of Environmental Quality and other hazmat service providers who confirmed that the spill had been properly contained and that the air quality throughout the campus was not affected."
The school is expected to reopen on Wednesday, April 19th.
Its important to not only clean the toxic chemical up, but to clean the air as well. Inhaling mercury vapor can also lead to serious medical issues. The World Health Organization says:
"Neurological and behavioural disorders may be observed after inhalation, ingestion or dermal exposure of different mercury compounds. Symptoms include tremors, insomnia, memory loss, neuromuscular effects, headaches and cognitive and motor dysfunction."
Though mercury can be found in daily household items like thermometers and batteries, structure of these items help to protect people when handling and using them.