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Ward Mercury Response

Site Contact:
Paul Peronard


Site Location:
741 Ranch Road
Ward, CO 80481
NRC#: 1365449

On the morning of Sunday, April 23, 2023, a representative of the Boulder County Health Department (BCHD) made a report to the NRC requesting EPA assistance to a address a potential release of mercury.  A resident of Ward, Boulder County, Colorado had called the Health Department to report the discovery of an old “chemistry set” in the home.  It was unclear where the set had come from, but possibly purchased at a flea market by a young resident of the home.  The kit was also reported to have small vials labelled as containing arsenic as well the mercury.  The homeowner also reported some medical symptoms that could be ascribed to mercury exposure.

BCHD had contacted the resident and advised them to secure any containers of suspect chemicals and await EPA assistance.  Boulder County Sherriff met with EPA at the residence during the course of the response to assist in communicating with the homeowner and other residents at the house.  BCHD also made arrangements for follow-up medical evaluations.

OSC Shun-Ping Chau mobilized to the property with one START contractor.  A thorough screening of the home with two different Lumex Mercury Vapor Analyzers showed no elevated levels of mercury vapors in the home.  A visual inspection of the home found no evidence of the release of mercury from its container.  OSC Shun-Ping Chau took possession of the chemistry set and is arranging for the proper disposal of the mercury and other hazardous materials therein.  EPA and START departed the Site on the afternoon of April 23, 2023.