NJ School Voting on Bond to Replace Floor Emitting Toxic Mercury Fumes

South Harrison, NJ, October 13, 2020-A school in South Harrison, New Jersey is encumbered by toxic mercury fumes rising from its floors, reports NJ.com. 

The community is currently voting on a $1 million bond to remediate and replace the all-purpose room floor at South Harrison Elementary School. The phenol mercuric acetate (PMA), used to seal a rubbery surface to flooring, can break down over time and release fumes that are odorless but toxic.

“From the 1960s to the early 2000s, schools, communities, colleges, universities, prisons throughout the country installed indoor gymnasiums, field houses, outdoor running tracks and similar rooms and athletic facilities,” reports Penn Jersey Environmental Consulting. “According to the 3M Corporation, their Tartan brand polyurethane flooring product (along with 8 other known brands) may contain as much as 1,000 – 2,000 parts per million (mg/kg) total mercury. It is now known that the PMA breaks down to metallic mercury over time, which is released as a vapor into the air.”