2 children hospitalized with mercury poisoning in Connecticut

Two children were hospitalized after a mercury contamination at a New Britain home on Tuesday. (Source: WFSB)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 9:20 AM MDT
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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WFSB/Gray News) – Two children in Connecticut were hospitalized with mercury poisoning Tuesday.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said the home in New Britain had nearly 600 times the permissible limit for human exposure to mercury.

According to DEEP, a child in the home found a jar filled with silver-colored liquid and began playing with it. Another child scooped up the liquid and threw it away.

Both children were hospitalized.

DEEP said when officials conducted testing in the home following the children’s hospitalizations, they discovered the astronomically high levels of mercury.

Five other people in the home were taken to the hospital to be checked for mercury exposure, officials said. DEEP is working with city officials and the local health department to find the family temporary housing.

Officials are still investigating why there was a jar of mercury in the home and why it was easily accessible to the children.

“Exposure to mercury is extremely harmful. If you find a silvery liquid, do not play with it or handle it. Contact a professional to properly dispose of it,” DEEP said.

Mercury poisoning attacks the nervous system and can produce a variety of symptoms such as muscle weakness, loss of feeling, loss of motor skills, nausea and vomiting, kidney damage and other issues.

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