Serving Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and 27 Tribal Nations
Mercury in Schools in Region 8
- Mercury Home
- Basic Information
- Where You Live
- Frequent Questions
- Spills, Disposal and Site Cleanup
- Fish Consumption Advisories
- Power Plant Emissions
Links & Resources
- Environmental Effects
- Consumer Products
- Data & Publications
- Grants & Funding
- International Actions
- Laws & Regulations
- Science & Technology
- En español
- Site Map
- Related Links
- Information for...
- Health Care Providers
- Business & Industry
- Case Studies
- Mercury in Schools State Removal Programs
- Mercury in Schools Web sites
- EPA Contacts
Mercury has been used in school laboratories, thermostats and nurses stations. Although mercury performs some useful functions in schools, it is toxic and can impair our health. Mercury slowly evaporates at room temperature when exposed to air. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, meaning that it interferes with the way nerve cells function. Mercury poisoning causes a decreased ability to see, hear, talk and walk. It can cause personality changes, depression, irritability, nervousness, and the inability to concentrate. It can also cause damage to the brain, kidneys and lungs. Spills of liquid mercury in schools are a potential health risk. Mercury has been found in Region 8 schools and programs are in place to minimize potential health impacts to schoolchildren.
Please visit the featured Superfund News Articles section on Mercury in Schools for more information. Ballou High School, a case study linked below, is specifically mentioned.
This page includes case studies of typical problems, incidents and cleanups found in schools throughout the United States. It is designed to help educate teachers and administrators about the different kinds of mercury spills that have occurred in schools and to encourage elimination of the use of mercury in schools, promote proper management and disposal of mercury and mercury containing products, and prevent mercury spills.
- Burlington, Massachusetts Public School System
- Ballou High School, Washington DC
- Hancock High School, Kiln, Mississippi
- Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School, Gardnerville, Nevada
- Saylor Avenue, Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada
Additional case studies are available at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's Metallic Mercury Exposure national alert Web site.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
Customer Technical Assistance Line, 303-692-3322
Fred Dowsett, Hazardous Materials, 303-692-3342
Barbara Hruska, Consumer Protection Program, 303-692-3639
The Customer Technical Assistance Line, provides consultation and technical guidance for cleanup and disposal of chemicals including mercury. The Hazardous Materials program responds to imminent hazard or risks and assists emergency response groups. The Consumer Protection Division requires schools to eliminate free elemental mercury from classrooms.
Tom Ellerhoff, Montana Department of Environmental Quality
Brian Spangler, 406-444-5307
Provides consultation and technical guidance for cleanup and disposal of chemicals, including mercury. Conducting surveys of chemicals in schools.
North Dakota Department of Health, Environmental Health Section
Division of Waste Management
Provides consultation and technical guidance for cleanup and disposal of chemicals including mercury.
Provides consultation and technical guidance for cleanup and disposal of chemicals including mercury. General outreach is given to schools for toxic chemical pollution prevention and risk minimization.
Sonja Wallace, Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ), 801-536-4477,
Provides consultation and technical guidance for cleanup and disposal of chemicals including mercury. Presently, the UDEQ is considering implementing an education, outreach and inventory program for schools. A recent statewide mercury collection program was very successful. The collection program was not focused on schools.
Steve Roseberry, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ), 307-777-6105
Joe Hunter, Spill Response Coordinator, 307-777-5885
Bruce Hayes, Wyoming Department of Education (WDE), 307-777-6198
Two years ago the Wyoming legislature allocated $100,000 for the removal of hazardous chemicals in schools. Mercury was included in the list of hazardous chemicals. The Wyoming Department of Education administered the program with assistance from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. This program required matching funding from school districts. The program also included outreach, education, and inventory measures. A similar program has been continued through a grant from the U.S. EPA.
Schools and Mercury
Provides information for school administrators, faculty, staff, local health jurisdictions, and parent groups on how to reduce the hazards of mercury on children's health, avoid chemical liabilities, develop planning tools, and establish collection programs for mercury.
Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3)
In summer of 2004, EPA provided initial funding to the ten regions to support Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) programs. Each region is using this money to fund former, current or newly developed school cleanout programs in schools with a self-identified need for assistance. Find out about Region 8 and the Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign
Montana Department of Environmental Quality's School Labs Web Site
Provides resources and helpful information on proper management and disposal of hazardous chemicals, related school science lab links, and chemical information for schools in Montana.
EPA Headquarters Contact for Mercury in Schools
Matthew Langenfeld, 303-312-6284
EPA Region 8 Contact for Mercury in Schools