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(ABC Local)   The moral of the story is that you should never bring something that you just happened to find in a plastic bottle in an alley to school for show and tell, no matter how cool it looks   (abclocal.go.com) divider line 161
    More: Strange, Texas District, moral of the story, plastic bottle, health economics  
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20369 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Apr 2014 at 10:33 AM (18 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-24 09:28:32 AM
I remember that we had vials of mercury to play with in science class.  This was in '85-'86, weird to think now the whole school would be shut down over it.
 
2014-04-24 09:41:38 AM

EvilEgg: I remember that we had vials of mercury to play with in science class.  This was in '85-'86, weird to think now the whole school would be shut down over it.


Same here.  We used to play with that crap in our hands.  I never noticed any adverse effects over the years.  Now excuse me whilst I strip naked, slather myself in shaving cream, and galavant about the city on foot in search of a new kidney.
 
2014-04-24 10:02:27 AM
"The preliminary school cleanup cost has reached $900,000."

Seriously what the hell is going on here
 
2014-04-24 10:23:34 AM
What did they do, add it to the school lunch?
 
2014-04-24 10:35:16 AM
Today for show-and-tell I've brought this gatorade bottle full of trucker piss.
 
2014-04-24 10:37:16 AM

EvilEgg: I remember that we had vials of mercury to play with in science class.  This was in '85-'86, weird to think now the whole school would be shut down over it.


Yeah, unless they drank it, how would brief exposure to mercury result in any healthcare costs at all?
 
2014-04-24 10:38:17 AM

Delta1212: What did they do, add it to the school lunch?


More likely, weaponize it, negotiate kickbacks from clean up contractors, and dump it in the air conditioning intake.
 
2014-04-24 10:38:32 AM
$900K in clean up costs? Did the kid find a 5 galloon bucket of this stuff and poured it down the hallways?
 
2014-04-24 10:38:59 AM
Jenkem?
 
2014-04-24 10:39:20 AM
I found a bottle if glowing nuka cola, if anyone is interested
 
2014-04-24 10:39:38 AM

dantheman195: $900K in clean up costs? Did the kid find a 5 galloon bucket of this stuff and poured it down the hallways?


That would have been cool to watch at any rate.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-04-24 10:41:01 AM
What does a hospital do if somebody has touched metallic mercury? There is a standard treatment for methyl mercury exposure: chelation followed by death.  For metallic, what is there to do?
 
2014-04-24 10:41:10 AM

fnordfocus: how would brief exposure to mercury result in any healthcare costs at all?


3.bp.blogspot.com
It doesn't take lengthy exposure.
 
2014-04-24 10:42:06 AM
What 9th grader doesn't know what mercury is?

Oh, right.  Texas.
 
2014-04-24 10:42:13 AM

rhiannon: "The preliminary school cleanup cost has reached $900,000."

Seriously what the hell is going on here


demotivators.despair.com
 
2014-04-24 10:42:59 AM
WTF kind of an educational system do you run down there in Hickville?
WTF kind of a ninth grader doesn't know WTF mercury looks like?
Farking texas. Everything's bigger, even the derp.
 
Skr
2014-04-24 10:43:28 AM
They'd crap their little pants if they saw or even heard of the gold coin trick.
 
2014-04-24 10:44:18 AM

dantheman195: $900K in clean up costs? Did the kid find a 5 galloon bucket of this stuff and poured it down the hallways?


No, two janitors got $450K in overtime apiece. Probably only one of them was the son-in-law of a school board member, so I'm pretty sure it was on the up-and-up.

/just a guess, though.
 
2014-04-24 10:44:57 AM

Sin_City_Superhero: fnordfocus: how would brief exposure to mercury result in any healthcare costs at all?


It doesn't take lengthy exposure.


My brother had one of those.
 
2014-04-24 10:45:07 AM
It wasn't a six- or eight-year-old doing this, it was a ninth-grader.  Even I had more sense at that age than to pick up random shiat I found in the alley.

Also, how the fark did a bottle of mercury get into an alley?
 
2014-04-24 10:47:08 AM
It's elemental mercury. No harm done.
 
2014-04-24 10:47:17 AM

dantheman195: $900K in clean up costs? Did the kid find a 5 galloon bucket of this stuff and poured it down the hallways?


Could be.  In my 7th grade (1975) physics class there was a beaker full of mercury.  Out in the open for anyone to examine.  Some kid  took it and poured it out into the cracks in the walkways.  The teacher who cleaned it up was already nuts, so it probably didn't harm him much.  We called him Wierd Wigger.
We also had a late term fetus in a jar.
 
2014-04-24 10:48:02 AM

AliceBToklasLives: It wasn't a six- or eight-year-old doing this, it was a ninth-grader.  Even I had more sense at that age than to pick up random shiat I found in the alley.

Also, how the fark did a bottle of mercury get into an alley?


Drug deal gone bad? Meth Mercury?
 
2014-04-24 10:48:35 AM
No, the moral is that zero tolerance policies along with over reactive nannies equal taxpayer pain. So much missing from TFA.  Was is confirmed that the boy indeed "found" the vial on the way to school?  What was the nature of the exposure to the students and faculty?  Did he load it in a supersoaker and hose them down?  What is the "treatment" required that costs $30K each?  How many teachers took advantage of the worker's comp claim, and at what cost? And what in the holy hell constituted $900K for "cleanup"?
 
2014-04-24 10:48:48 AM
I remember as a kid in the 70's playing with this stuff.  You'd try to touch the little balls and they'd run away from your fingers.  One time when I was sick, my mom gave me an empty margerine container with mercury from a broken thermometer.  Wow - moms would not do that now!    I think I survived - but I did become a chemist!
 
2014-04-24 10:55:19 AM
I'm just impressed the school realized they were probably going to be sued and the 30k was cheaper than the legal costs. In no rational was were they at fault, but the courts aren't always rational and the lawyers always aren't cheap.
 
2014-04-24 10:56:02 AM

jtown: What 9th grader doesn't know what mercury is?

Oh, right.  Texas.


Well, it's not common in kids toys anymore and doesn't leak out of broken thermometers manufactured in the last couple of decades so it's not something your average child is ever likely to see in person.

Like others in this thread I remember my chemistry teacher passing around a bottle of mercury so everyone could see what it looked like and as a demonstration on density - that little bottle was surprisingly heavy.
 
2014-04-24 10:56:33 AM
Break out the EDTA!!!

BTW, it's not just the liquid. It's the vapor.
 
2014-04-24 10:59:45 AM

Sin_City_Superhero: fnordfocus: how would brief exposure to mercury result in any healthcare costs at all?

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 500x375]
It doesn't take lengthy exposure.


That looks like it was once a sweet ride.
 
2014-04-24 11:00:19 AM

fnordfocus: EvilEgg: I remember that we had vials of mercury to play with in science class.  This was in '85-'86, weird to think now the whole school would be shut down over it.

Yeah, unless they drank it, how would brief exposure to mercury result in any healthcare costs at all?


Even if they drank it, it likely wouldn't cause any heath issues.  Pure mercury ingestion is only really dangerous if you have ulcers, otherwise it's not absorbed by the stomach or intestines.

If it's dispersed within something else, like fish, or in solution, then it's a different story.
 
2014-04-24 11:00:37 AM

EvilEgg: I remember that we had vials of mercury to play with in science class.  This was in '85-'86, weird to think now the whole school would be shut down over it.


We weren't GIVEN mercury back in my day, we had to farking make it ourselves by fishing for tuna and then squeezing each one until every glorious drop of mercury was in our test tubes.

/Babies.
 
2014-04-24 11:00:55 AM

LrdPhoenix: fnordfocus: EvilEgg: I remember that we had vials of mercury to play with in science class.  This was in '85-'86, weird to think now the whole school would be shut down over it.

Yeah, unless they drank it, how would brief exposure to mercury result in any healthcare costs at all?

Even if they drank it, it likely wouldn't cause any heath issues.  Pure mercury ingestion is only really dangerous if you have ulcers, otherwise it's not absorbed by the stomach or intestines.

If it's dispersed within something else, like fish, or in solution, then it's a different story.


Or in a mist/vapor, for that matter.
 
2014-04-24 11:01:36 AM
We used to break open thermometers when we were kids to get mercury to play with, and I'm fine*

Let's ask Steve Miller what he thinks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJJvyPXPssg

*YMMV
 
2014-04-24 11:02:30 AM
When I was in maybe sixth grade, one teacher brought a little bowl of it to class one day. I remember sticking my finger in it. "See? It's a liquid, but you don't get wet." Twas veddy interest - - -

Son of a biatch! My bottle of mercury's gone. farking kids.
 
2014-04-24 11:02:48 AM

Pointy Tail of Satan: Break out the EDTA!!!

BTW, it's not just the liquid. It's the vapor.


This.

Exposure is also MUCH worse for children than adults.  Though it may seem an overreaction, mercury exposure is pretty serious when you're under 18.  Considering the teacher may not have known it was mercury, the students may have handled it before and/or after the show and tell session until someone with sense told them to stop.
 
2014-04-24 11:03:35 AM
I love stories with morals.
 
2014-04-24 11:06:46 AM

EvilEgg: I remember that we had vials of mercury to play with in science class.  This was in '85-'86, weird to think now the whole school would be shut down over it.


We  put it on dimes and quarters.  It made them really shiny for about a week, then they got dull.  Don't know why that happened.
 
2014-04-24 11:08:00 AM
When I was in school, I used to gargle with mercury. I also used to rub it all over my unit and then have anal sex with the science teacher.

And did we ever get hurt? Well, yes. But did we enjoy it? Hell yes.
 
2014-04-24 11:08:08 AM

rhiannon: "The preliminary school cleanup cost has reached $900,000."

Seriously what the hell is going on here


Sort of a reverse passing the buck, not a single person wants to be on record as not doing enough or saying its not that big a deal, just in case, so better do everything possible.


Its like when hazmat gets called to clean up a broken fluorescent bulb because nobody wants to just clean it up and air out the room in case somebody decides to sue 50 years later when their grandkid has autism or something.
 
2014-04-24 11:08:38 AM
The Southern Logic Company:
Exposure is also MUCH worse for children than adults.  Though it may seem an overreaction, mercury exposure is pretty serious when you're under 18.  Considering the teacher may not have known it was mercury, the students may have handled it before and/or after the show and tell session until someone with sense told them to stop.

It's an overreaction. One time exposure to mercury is not going to fark you up. They're spending $900k for "cleanup"? That's a farking joke.

Now if you happen to be an old timey hatmaker using mercury in the crafting process every day, you're going to go nuts.
 
2014-04-24 11:09:31 AM
Too bad they didn't have some liquid nitrogen and make mercury bars.
 
2014-04-24 11:09:44 AM
 
2014-04-24 11:12:18 AM

Cygnus God of Balance: No, the moral is that zero tolerance policies along with over reactive nannies equal taxpayer pain. So much missing from TFA.  Was is confirmed that the boy indeed "found" the vial on the way to school?  What was the nature of the exposure to the students and faculty?  Did he load it in a supersoaker and hose them down?  What is the "treatment" required that costs $30K each?  How many teachers took advantage of the worker's comp claim, and at what cost? And what in the holy hell constituted $900K for "cleanup"?


I picture every kid in the room, no matter how far away they were from the CLOSED bottle, being rushed to the hospital so that some poor ER bastard could rub a swab on their arm, test it for mercury and then tell them to go home (and charge them $800 for the mercury test).
 
2014-04-24 11:12:32 AM

Cyno01: rhiannon: "The preliminary school cleanup cost has reached $900,000."

Seriously what the hell is going on here

Sort of a reverse passing the buck, not a single person wants to be on record as not doing enough or saying its not that big a deal, just in case, so better do everything possible.


Its like when hazmat gets called to clean up a broken fluorescent bulb because nobody wants to just clean it up and air out the room in case somebody decides to sue 50 years later when their grandkid has autism or something from having to get vaccinated against broken fluorescent bulbs.


/Right?
 
2014-04-24 11:12:43 AM
There was that high school in DC that got closed for a while because some kid spilled mercury he stole in the hall. I forget how many millions they paid to clean the school up but everytime they detected a trace of mercury they had to clean the school up all over again.
 
2014-04-24 11:15:09 AM
Mercury used to be sold in one pound bottles for things like dental fillings. Presuming he found something like that, he was running around the school with what would effectively be the contents of about 150 of the largest mercury-in-glass thermometers most of us are familiar with.

So, no, playing with a bit from a little household thermometer wasn't a huge deal, but playing with 150 of them? Probably not very safe.

I could see how the cleanup could be costly. If the dumb kid was running around the school all day with that much mercury evaporating around him before anyone noticed, I can see how it would require extensive work to clean up all the areas he was in.

As to the inevitable people who show up and harumph about special cleanup requirements at all, mercury builds up forever. The concern over exposures like this that are many, many times the safe limit is not that this one exposure is going to make anybody sick, it's that if there are people around that have already been exposed it creates a huge problem for them. Not to mention if you get exposed to another accident in the future you're in more trouble. And it's all on top of your natural exposure every day that you can't really avoid. It's like ionizing radiation. It doesn't matter if this one big exposure isn't going to kill you, the problem becomes that you've used up your one do-over and if it happens again you could be in a lot of trouble. Hence the desire to avoid ALL big exposures whenever possible.

Of course, TFA can't be bothered to fill in any of the details for us, so this is all just speculation.
 
2014-04-24 11:17:38 AM
When people wonder why Western society collapsed, this will be one of the things they point to.
 
2014-04-24 11:17:45 AM
Too bad the kids absorb more mercury on tuna melt day at the cafeteria.
 
2014-04-24 11:19:23 AM
If only there was a helpful jingle about mercury and the proper method for disposal....
 
2014-04-24 11:20:18 AM

WTFDYW: That looks like it was once a sweet ride.


Looks like a 1970 XR7. what a shame.
 
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