This morning in the local paper there was a fairly extensive article about our highschool--it seems that in the science lab yesterday someone broke a thermometer. By the time it was over they had involved the hospital, the ambulance, the police, a haz-mat unit from the fire department, the school was evacuated, fans were quickly installed in all the lab windows, and the kids in the class were tested for mercury poisoning. No one at this point is even sure it WAS a mercury thermometer, but someone said it was.
There was a photo of one of the local cops holding the double-bagged pieces, about to be sent off for further inspection.
A great time was had by all, apparently.
My one thought is, how did we ever survive our own childhoods?
The paint had lead in it, there was, until the 70s, lead based inks in all the books and newpapers, and even the toys we had were painted with lead based stuff. We were told not to lick them. Not to eat the paint, and to wash our hands. By today's standards we were walking in a field of grenades and all the pins were loose...the irony of all of this is that the quantity of 'safe' school yard equipment, from swings to jungle gyms, are often made with pressure treated lumber, which up until recently was treated with arsenic as part of the process. Someone is not paying attention, here.