On August 20, 2020, Gresham Fire/Hazmat Team 3 notified EPA of a mercury spill at a residence in Odell, Oregon, where two individuals were reported to have been exposed to, and suffered from acute mercury poisoning.
On August 21, EPA mobilized OSC Franklin and the EPA START contractor to investigate the spill and assess the site. During the assessment, EPA observed extremely high levels of mercury vapor (up to or greater than 500,000 ng/m3) on interior surfaces and household materials inside a separate, very small room/outbuilding, as well as on some materials and trash outside. All levels in the primary residence were low (at background levels).
Reportedly, a family member was temporarily staying in the room and spilled approximately 1/2 cup or less of liquid mercury across a dresser drawers, onto household items in and on the dresser, the floor, and some bedding. The individual and one other family member were exposed to mercury after sleeping in the room for extended periods of time, and later developed acute mercury poisoning. Both individuals have been hospitalized.
EPA and its START and ERRS contractors mobilized to the site to conduct an ER removal action on August 25, 2020.