Phoenix, AZ, March 17th, 2016
Earlier this year, several articles were published in Arizona about concerns over aging floors in school gymnasiums that could emit mercury into the air. The most recent concerns are associated with mercury-catalyzed polyurethane flooring used in some older gyms and particular issues with schools in Pine and Young, Arizona.
The State School Facilities Board conducted testing after a request was made to repair the gymnasium floors. Previously, the issue of mercury emitting from these types of floors came to light when an insurance company found mercury was a potential issue when damaged floors in two other small Arizona towns were tested.
Mercury-catalyzed polyurethane flooring has been an underlying issue for schools across the country for some time. In 2010, the Wisconsin Department of Health, under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, released a report on the subject. It found that mercury vapors typically emitted from the floors that were studied did not pose a risk, but many parents are still concerned.
From the 1960s until its use was discontinued in the mid-1980s, mercury-catalyzed polyurethane flooring was commonly installed in school gymnasiums. It was discontinued due to concerns of mercury exposure and many of the floors that were installed still exist today.
“Exposure to mercury is a serious health concern for the general public and our children especially,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Fortunately, most tests have found the levels of mercury emitted from these floors to be low, but even low level exposure can be a concern over time. Mercury exposure at high levels can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune system of people of all ages. At EMSL, we offer mercury testing and sampling supplies to identify its presence from indoor and environmental samples to help prevent human exposure.”
To learn more about mercury or other environmental, occupational, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.