Must have been scary

Has anyone out there ever play with mercury when a thermometer broke?  Watching that silvery-looking liquid metal roll around was pretty cool to the young mind.  This, of course, was before we were educated about the toxicity of mercury.  I only mention it because a school in Florida went into lock-down because of mercury.  A science teacher asked students to bring in an element from the Periodic Table and one of the students chose mercury, in a thermometer.  Upon arrival at school the thermometer was discovered and the school was put in  immediate lock-down.  The thermometer never broke and no one was exposed, but as a “precaution” a HAZMAT team was sent.  I can just imagine all the classrooms were shut and the HAZMAT team placed the offending device in a blast-proof container for immediate disposal at a secure facility.  Wouldn’t surprise me in the least.  This is pretty silly.  Yes, mercury is toxic but do we live in so much fear of everything that we overreact to such situations?  My questions are this:  Will the student be charged with bringing a toxic substance to school?  Even more pressing, what is one of the main ingredients in the florescent bulbs that surely line every room and hallway in that school?  If you guessed mercury give yourself a gold star.  Its a miracle that any of us over the age 30 have survived this long.  This is just one example of the rampant stupidity out there and I guarantee there is more to come.

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One Comment on “Must have been scary”

  1. Darryl Says:

    Unreal. I guess based on that story I, and many others in this country that live on the edge of constant danger, can expect a visit any minute now from my local HAZMAT team since I dare to have a thermostat to control my A/C and heat. Guess what controls it. *sigh*

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