Toddy Kaminsky

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Mercury Vapor Detected In 3 Long Island Schools

May 20, 2019 - 2:55 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A New York state senator is proposing tougher regulations after mercury vapors were detected in three Long Island schools.

The schools closed down their gym areas after mercury vapors were discovered in the synthetic rubber-like flooring that was installed in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Senator Todd Kaminsky is proposing new legislation to regulate how much mercury is safe in schools.

"We fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg," Kaminsky said. "No parent wants to send their child to school knowing that child is being exposed to toxic mercury fumes and for our gym teachers and other personnel who spend long hours every day or every year inside gymnasiums this is a troubling consequence."

The schools effected are in Miller Place, Merrick and Amityville. School administrators tell parents that their children are safe but in an abundance of caution they will replace the flooring over the summer.

"I've worked on environemntal issues for three decades and to find mercury vapors in school is a new and emerging issue," said Adrienne Esposito from the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

She says mercury vapors can cause a variety of health issues including neurological disorders, memory loss, tremors and eye problems.