The Texarkana mercury incident.

L. K. Lowry, P. P. Rountree, J. L. Levin, S. Collins, Wyndham Anger

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Abstract

In November 1997, 2 teenagers allegedly removed a large amount of metallic mercury from an abandoned sign plant and distributed the material among friends. One teenager developed symptoms and admitted playing with mercury to his physician. His blood mercury was elevated. In February 1998, faculty from the University of Texas Health Center at Tyler conducted an investigation that included in-depth evaluations on 10 patients with urine mercury concentrations up to 100 micrograms/L. Exposure pathways and timelines were reconstructed from records assembled by the Arkansas State Health Department epidemiologist. Mercury contamination was found among teenagers, children, and adults who came in contact with the metal. Biomarkers of exposure documented reduction in mercury concentrations after these persons were removed from their homes and sources of mercury. Neurobehavioral assessment, including assessment of tremor, failed to establish a relationship between mercury exposure and performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalTexas Medicine
Volume95
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Lowry, L. K., Rountree, P. P., Levin, J. L., Collins, S., & Anger, W. (1999). The Texarkana mercury incident. Texas Medicine, 95(10), 65-70.