• EPA investigating mercury spill in public housing neighborhood

    By: Carl Willis


    FLOYD COUNTY, Ga. - A mother told Channel 2 Action News her teenage daughter got a rash and vomited after she was exposed to mercury.

    The mother told us about three weeks ago when her 17-year-old daughter was walking home on Frost Street in Rome when she found a shiny substance on the ground and played with it because she thought it looked cool. 

    She contacted poison control and now the EPA is cleaning it up. 


    "I didn't know it was mercury at the time. It just looked really cool to me. I didn't know it was harmful at all," the teen told Channel 2's Carl Willis

    Floyd County Emergency Management Director Tim Harrington said an EPA cleanup company is vacuuming droplets of the metal from the gutter and the street.

    "It's so that folks won't be walking through it tracking it back into their residences, and possibly inhaling the fumes from the mercury," Harrington said. 

    The EPA sent an emergency response unit after the teen's mother contacted poison control - when her daughter's health took a sudden turn.

    "After I put it down, and stopped messing with it. I got really tired really fast," she said. "I just had really bad splotches all over my arms, like red splotches. I felt really weak."

    An EPA official said they found about four ounces of mercury in the neighborhood operated by the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority. Officials said it's refined mercury with no natural reason to be here.

    They don't know where it came from but are investigating a couple of possible leads.

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