Mercury Scare At Francis Scott Key Middle

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UPDATE: April 30, 2014 3:59 p.m.

LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — Hazmat crews were called to investigate whether a middle school student exposed others to mercury by bringing the substance onto a school bus and into a Montgomery County classroom Wednesday morning.

A student brought a small bottle containing mercury onto a bus and into Francis Scott Key Middle School, according to Montgomery County Public Schools spokesperson Dana Tofig. At some point the bottle was opened.

Hazmat crews detected mercury in several areas at the school, although officials do not believe the substance was spilled, according to Montgomery County Fire Department spokesperson Pete Piringer.

The students on the bus were located and many students are being evaluated out of an abundance of caution. The bus was located and examined near White Oak Library.

According to Piringer, 35 students tested positive for low levels of mercury on their shoes and or clothing. EMS evaluated those who tested positive and no transports were made.

The majority of students were exposed on their shoes and most likely stepped in it, according to Tofig. All of the students took their shoes off and were given a new pair.

No injuries or sickness have been reported. Montgomery County Public Schools will handle clean-up with a contractor, Piringer said.

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(TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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