NY lawmakers call for probe into mercury vapor found in LI schools
State lawmakers are calling for an investigation into potentially dangerous mercury vapor that has been found at three Long Island schools.
Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School in Amityville and Norman Levy Lakeside School in Merrick have shut down some facilities after tests found low levels of mercury vapor coming from rubber-like synthetic flooring.
At Park Avenue Memorial, mercury vapors were detected in the school's gym. And for Norman Levy, the vapor was found in an area where children eat lunch and play.
Officials say measurable amounts of the dangerous fumes were found two weeks ago in the Miller Place High School gym.
Environmentalists say the vapor can be extremely toxic.
State Sen. Todd Kaminsky says he wants the state Department of Education to determine the scope of the issues and take necessary steps to remedy them, including a comprehensive plan to have every school tested.
Kaminsky has introduced a bill that would set standards and procedures to deal with the issue.
Some of the mercury levels discovered exceed levels set in other states, but New York does not have an allowable standard.
Dr. John Zaso, a pediatrician, says mercury vapor can lead to symptoms such as confusion, agitation, headaches and changes in behavior.
Pediatricians urge anyone concerned about their child's possible expose to mercury vapor not to panic. They say a simple blood test is needed and that mercury poisoning can be treated.