ARMSTRONG, Iowa (AP) — More than a dozen people, including four children, are being watched for symptoms of mercury poisoning after they were exposed in the north-central Iowa town of Armstrong.
Emmet County emergency manager Terry Reekers says a construction worker remodeling a house found a plastic bottle with about 40 pounds of liquid mercury on Friday.
Reekers says the worker took the mercury to a bar to show friends. Someone dropped the bottle and exposed 10-12 people at the bar.
Reekers says the worker took the remaining mercury to the house and hid the bottle in a sandbox where four children later found it.
An EPA team will clean up the mercury in the sandbox and at the bar.
High levels of mercury exposure can lead to kidney damage, respiratory failure and death.