According to Armstrong Police, a glass container containing 15 ounces of the heavy metal, and weighing about 40 pounds had been sitting in the basement of an Armstrong home for several years. Apparently, a painter getting the house ready for renters found the mercury and took it to a local bar, where the container was dropped and broke, spilling the poisonous metal. Authorities say that’s when the bar’s owner tried to clean it up with a shop vac, possibly spraying tiny particles of mercury around the bar.
According to police, the painter was able to recapture some of the mercury and take it back to the house. But the problem didn’t end there. The renters moved in on Sunday and three small children found the mercury, pouring some of it into a sandbox. One child touched the mercury.
Those exposed are being watched for signs of mercury poisoning, and both the home and bar were quarantined for a time while the EPA evaluated and cleaned the sites.