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Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking:Talk to your school teachers about mercury toxicit
2003-10-23
Name: Rach Mercury and schools. The combination can make for engaging science classes, or potentially lethal consequences.
Are the risks worth the wow? The answer, increasingly, is no.
Mercury is poisonous when ingested or absorbed through skin it can cause toxic effects like
loss of eye contact, personality changes,
agressiveness and mental retaradation.
As stories about mercury spills at schools tumble across newspaper headlines, more states and districts abroad are deciding that the educational benefits that mercury might have in lessons do not outweigh the hazards
associated with handling the toxic, and enticing, element. Eleven states in US, at
a minimum, have taken steps to rid schools of the substance through legislation or other means.
It's too dangerous, declared Kenneth R. Roy, the head of the safety
advisory board for the National Science Teachers Association.
When mercuryspecifically, metallic mercuryis released, it breaks apart into tiny beads and releases a vapor that can cause shortness of
breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly death.
At least seven U.S. schools, in separate incidents, have been evacuated because of major spills so far this school year.
The latest, and possibly the most dramatic, incident happened at Ballou Senior High School in Washington this month.
After taking about half a cup of mercury from an unlocked science lab at the 1,300-student school on Oct. 2, a student shared it with some
classmates, who played with the dangerous material.
The student's actions resulted in a massive cleanup involving school district officials, the District of Columbia fire department's
hazardous-materials team, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, and
the local health department.

We in India at least can take up this issue with our childrens school, I am sure many if not all
the teachers are unaware of the mercury toxic effects.

I remembered as a student in class XI doing mercury experiments, which are quite dangerous now that I think of it.
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