EKU students cope with delays caused by mercury spill

By: Brittany Pelletz Email
By: Brittany Pelletz Email

EKU staff members believe that a barometer spilled on the first floor in room 108 of the Moore Science Building. Staff believe the mercury leaked sometime on Wednesday but was not discovered until Thursday.

EKU students hoped that the mercury spill on campus would prevent them from having to take their final exams.

"Oh yeah, I was really hoping that my final was canceled," says Biology major, Spenser Geordi.

EKU students that were scheduled to take their final exams inside the Moore Science building were moved to a different place on campus.

"We actually tried to use that as an excuse to our professor saying that we were going to get worse grades because we switched locations," says Allyson White, a Biology student.

"I tried finding some articles describing how it can lower your test grade and then just show it to them but he said it needed to be in AP format. So I couldn't do it," says Ben Pingilley, a Biology student.

Regardless of the excuse, the finals went on.

But for those that had been inside of the Moore Science building or the new science building during the spill, they were urged to come in for mercury testing.

"Just to be on the safe side, I brought the shoes I walked to work in yesterday morning and the other shoes I had been wearing, just in case," says EKU faculty member, June Settle.

Some shoes were confiscated after test results showed high levels of mercury, but most people left without any problems.

"My tennis shoes did have a little bit of mercury, nothing to be concerned about and my other shoes they had nothing," Settle adds.
Settle was cleared to go back to work.

As for the students, despite having to take a test in a different setting, most felt confident they got a good grade.

The Moore Science Building and the new science building remained closed, while decontamination efforts are underway. EKU staff say it's unclear how long the clean up of the mercury spill could take.
Local, state, and federal agencies are still on-site at the Moore Science Building.

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