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Emergency Management Officials Contain Mercury Spill at Southern Miss; Area Secured PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Contact David Tisdale, 601.266.4499   

A mercury spill believed to have occurred around noon today on The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus on a street between Walker Science Building and Johnson Science Tower has been contained by emergency management officials, and efforts to clean up the affected area are proceeding. 

The cause and source of the spill are also under investigation, and the area has been cordoned off until the substance has been removed. Additionally, officials are working to determine if the material was tracked into adjacent buildings. There have been no reports of injuries or impact to individuals who may have come in contact with the material.

Southern Miss employees discovered the spill, believed to be about two ounces, on Forrest Avenue between the two buildings. A crew from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and a hazardous material team from U.S. Environmental out of Jackson are responding to the scene.

Also assisting at the scene to secure the area are Southern Miss Police, the Forrest County Emergency Management Agency and Hattiesburg Fire and Rescue.

Exposure to excessive amounts of mercury can be toxic to humans. The amount spilled at the site is considered potentially dangerous.

Southern Miss University Communications will provide updates on this situation as more information becomes available.

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.
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