A faulty package leaked mercury among sorting equipment at the FedEx hub facility in Memphis. At approximately 1345hrs on 10/8/2009 FedEx personnel identified visible mercury on the floor and chute along one of the sorting conveyors. The safety office and dangerous goods office were immediately notified, and personnel in the affected area were promptly evacuated.
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FedEx obtained USES, subcontractor to XL Environmental, to perform the response and flew in USES response gear from Jackson, MS on a FedEx aircraft to expedite appropriate response activity. USES conducted air monitoring and collection of visible mercury. During USES’s first operational period, approximately 3 to 4 fluid ounce of free mercury was collected from an estimated spilled volume of 5 to 6 fluid ounces.
The source package was identified at 0830hrs on 10/9/2009 in an AMJ container containing parcels transported on behalf of the US Postal Service (USPS). Affected articles include one package chute, two conveyors, a container scale, a floor drain, the concrete floor, the AMJ container and its contents, computer equipment, and several handheld scanners. An industrial cleanup level of 3µg/m3 was used for clearance of equipment and ambient air space within the building.