Cochrane & Associates, LLC

Mercury Dangers Lurk in Buildings across Chicago and the Nation


Source: Cochrane & Associates, LLC

The environmental and building consulting experts at EC2 provide mercury and heavy metal testing services to protect people from their deadly exposure.


Last week it was reported that the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued three citations against the City of Dubuque Water Pollution Control Plant due to a mercury spill.   Also in the last several weeks there have been multiple cases of mercury spills in schools leading to students being taken to the hospital and parts of school buildings being evacuated.


An article in the September 2010 issue of Indoor Environment Connections (IEC) newspaper entitled “All that Glitters is Not Gold – Sometimes it’s Mercury” discusses the hazards of mercury.   According to the article, “It can get in your body via your gastrointestinal system if you eat or drink contaminated items, via your pulmonary system if you inhale mercury vapor, and via your integumentary system (skin) if you handle it.  Mercury is difficult for the body to eliminate.  It can accumulate in the body, reaching dangerous concentrations over time.”


“According to a fact sheet from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) a dime-sized amount of mercury is considered a small spill, anything above that amount is considered a large spill,” reported Ed Chambers, President of EC2, an Illinois based environmental consulting firm.  “Mercury is harmful to both humans and animals.  Children are even more susceptible to mercury poisoning than adults so it is crucial that when a mercury spill occurs the proper environmental professionals are contacted immediately.”


The IDPH fact sheet goes on to report, “Exposure to even small amounts of mercury over a long period may cause negative health effects including damage to the brain, kidney, lungs, and the developing fetus. Brief contact with high levels of mercury can cause immediate health effects including loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia, and changes in behavior or personality. Depending on the length or degree of exposure, additional symptoms such as nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, eye irritation, weight loss, skin rashes, and muscle tremors may occur.”   


To learn more about mercury, indoor air quality (IAQ) or other environmental testing services please visit, email or call (815) 703-9000.


About EC2, Inc.

EC2 is a leading provider of environmental consulting and inspection services for clients across the United States.  Based in the Chicago area, the company provides their services to clients ranging from local companies and institutions to international Fortune 500 corporations.

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