Wayne County schools closed Friday due to mercury spill

WAYNE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - School had already been dismissed Thursday, and the building was empty of students when a science teacher was doing some late day work.

“The chemistry lab teacher had noticed a small mount of mercury spilled on the countertop. We called the local health department..they advised us who to call on the state level,” said Wayne County Schools Superintendent John Dalton.

Mercury can pose a serious health risk and Dalton knew it would be best to cancel school for Friday. And since other schools were close by, the decision affected the entire district.

“One day is nothing compared to the health and safety of our kids,” Dalton said.

The amount of mercury spilled was small but officials say the vapors can travel through the air, even through walls; and possibly contaminate others.

Yellow caution tape…and signs warned people not to enter Friday. A crew from Nicholasville was called in to clean up and dispose of the mercury.

“They will monitor the air levels later and let us know when the building is clear,” Dalton said.

That’s expected to happen well before next Tuesday, when classes are scheduled to resume..

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