; Mercury Contamination
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Mercury Contamination


A residential elemental mercury contamination incident in Rhode Island resulted in the evacuation of an entire apartment complex, temporary relocation of 140 residents and subsequent investigation of 130 additional sites in 15 cities across two states. This study was undertaken to develop evidence-based recommendations for responding to future incidents, thereby increasing the efficiency and expediency of response and remediation processes; minimizing secondary contamination of evacuation sites; facilitating a more timely return of residents to their homes; and assuring residents that their homes are safe once again. This study's recommendations were based on the ALARA principle. Recommendations were matched to key findings. Data showed that lower action levels were achievable with currently available remediation methods. Modification to NIOSH method 6009 needs validation. Further research is recommended to assess the procedural efficacy and long-term outcomes of these recommendations. Efforts to modify EPA regulations and guidelines should be initiated as well.

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									Public Safety

                  Review of a Residential Response
                                                   By Marcella R. Thompson

                               residential elemental mercury contami-                 and extracted and compiled large amounts of en-
                               nation incident in Rhode Island resulted in            vironmental monitoring data collected during spe-
                               the evacuation of an entire apartment com-             cific phases of the re
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