New Britain

Hazmat Crews Return to New Britain Home Contaminated By Mercury

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Crews from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and from the Environmental Protection Agency returned to a New Britain house Wednesday that was the site of mercury contamination earlier this month.

They planned to go into the home on Hatch Street to determine if it can be decontaminated, or if the home will have to be torn down.

Several people who were in the home were hospitalized, including two children, on August 9, after exhibiting signs of mercury poisoning.

Initial tests showed mercury levels at 600 times the acceptable limit for human exposure in the house.

A young child found a jar of mercury in the house and began playing with it, according to DEEP. A teenager then spotted the child playing with it and cleaned it up, but didn't initially tell the parents about the mercury.

According to Rick Swan, of DEEP, the small child began developing open sores in her mouth, had gastrointestinal issues, and muscular problems as well. Other family members showed signs of mercury contamination as well, he said.

Swan said the children weren't exposed to small beads of mercury, but a much larger amount from the jar. He urges anyone who might have mercury in their home to properly dispose of it.

"We highly recommend people that if they have mercury in their house for whatever the reason over the years -- might have collected it, or someone in their profession collected it, your hazardous waste days are coming up," Swan said. "Now is the time to take it to a professional and have it properly disposed of."

Swan said to seal up the mercury and don't throw it in the regular trash.

Contact Us