Friday, July 11, 2008

Undisclosed Health Hazard to Our Children?

A reader reports a serious concern that appears to have gone unreported in the media and undisclosed by Fayetteville city officials. Two children playing at the Yvonne Richardson Center last week discovered a wonderous substance and were all excited about how they had discovered something that could be an alien life form or the world’s replacement for oil. It turned out to be mercury, or quicksilver, as it is sometimes called. Bad stuff for kids to be handling.

One of the parents says that her son was interviewed by Fayetteville Firefighters, who subsequently returned to the Yvonne Richardson Center and during a cleanup discovered almost a pound of mercury in numerous places around the community center where children have been playing daily during the summer months.

Mercury poisoning can be quite serious. The National Institues of Health has valuable information about symptoms and treatment. What we don't have is answers about how such a large amount of mercury ended up at the Yvonne Richardson Center, or where it came from. How many other children might have come in contact with it before it was reported? And when will the City provide public information about the incident?

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