Work on a grandfather clock has forced an Overland Park woman out of her home Monday night.
Authorities said firefighters were called to the Regents Walk Apartments in the 9100 block of Riggs Lane just before 9:30 a.m.
The counterweights on the clock were filled with mercury and some weeks earlier had broken on the back porch of the woman's apartment.
Up to 10 pounds of mercury may have spilled. The woman didn't realize that the material could be hazardous and didn't immediately report it, Overland Park firefighters said.
A relative found the broken tubes and called for aid. The Environmental Protection Agency assisted and determined that the woman shouldn't be allowed in her home until the area is deemed safe.
The residents of three nearby apartments were allowed to stay in their residences.
"The EPA is working with the apartment complex management to clean up the remaining substance and return the apartment to safe levels," the fire department news release said.
Residents have been told to contact the federal Center for Disease Control to determine if there have been any exposure issues.
"Mercury spills are not uncommon, but the amount of mercury involved in this incident is rare," the news release said. "The Overland Park Fire Department wants to remind residents that if they have mercury or unknown substances in need of disposal, they should contact their local hazardous waste disposal agency."
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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