EPA Working to Clear Thomas County Home After Family Poisoned by Mercury


August 19, 2018

THOMAS COUNTY, GA. – August 8, 2018 (wctv.com) For several days, crews with the Environmental Protection Agency have been working to clear a house in Thomas County, Georgia, after a family was poisoned by liquid mercury. The story is online at wctv.com.*

Sometime toward the end of July, three children, ages 11 to 15, were visiting a friend’s home and came into contact with liquid mercury. One of the children brought some of the liquid mercury back to their house on Myrick Road in Thomasville, Georgia. About a week after that, around August 4, all three children, their mother, and their stepfather began to show signs of mercury poisoning. 

All of the family members were transported to a local hospital. Most of the family members have been making progress, but the oldest child suffered the most serious of exposure symptoms and has not been recovering. The children’s father, Joey Castillo, said the oldest can barely walk and has tremors. 

“My oldest daughter had the most exposure,” Castillo said. “I still see her symptoms getting worse, instead of progressing. As a parent, I’m absolutely worried for my child’s life. It scares me to death. All I can do is pray and hope we can come through this all right.” 

Back at the house, an emergency response team with the EPA has been working for days to clear out contaminated items. Mercury vaporizes, so it can easily permeate clothing and carpet. The team has removed all of the home’s carpet and furniture, along with some appliances, like the washer and dryer. When they finish at this house, the team members are going to the house where the children originally found the mercury. 

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