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River Oaks Mercury Spill

All POLREP's for this site River Oaks Mercury Spill
River Oaks, TX - EPA Region VI
POLREP #7 - and Final (includes Air Sampling
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On-Scene Coordinator - Jhana Enders 11/8/2006
Emergency - Removal Action Pollution Report (POLREP) #7
Start Date: 10/12/2006
Site Description
On 11 October 2006, the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) in Austin, Texas requested the assistance of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to screen a house in a residential neighborhood where a mercury spill had occurred. The National Response Center (NRC # 814395) was notified by the EPA R6 Phone Duty Officier, OSC Brescia, on October 11, 2006.  Residents of the home included a husband, wife (pregnant) and three children. The owners made an inital attempt to clean up the spill by sweeping the material from the master bedroom (initial spill location) through the house and out the back door.  The TCHD official stated he had seen small beads of mercury on the floor in the kitchen while in the house.  He also stated from information he gathered from the property owner, the mercury had come from a blood pressure kit that used a mercury monometer.  The family was advised by the TCHD official not to occupy the residence until a clean up was performed and further testing was done to verify the residence was below acceptable levels for exposure.    

Current Activities
On 8 November 2006, START contractors collected confirmation air samples at the breathing area level with low flow sampling pumps in 5 areas around the home.  These samples are being sent to the laboratory and analyzed for Mercury contamination.  Additional Lumex monitoring was done at the breathing area level at these locations and all readings were below 0.4 µg/m3.  START also remonitored certain areas of concern in the kitchen area at the floor level where sealant paint had been used.  At these areas, no reading above 0.8 µg/m3 were identified.  Air samples were sent to the lab for analysis, and results are expected back from the lab by the afternoon of 13 November 2006.

Key Issues
11/15/06:  All air samples came back below 1 ug/m3.

11/15/06:  Final signature on manifest