HOUSTON — Officials said the risk to the public is "extremely low" after mercury spilled Sunday afternoon in west Houston.
According to officials, a "small amount" of the chemical spilled around 1 p.m. Sunday at a Walmart, a Sonic and a Shell station across from Sonic near the intersection of Beltway 8 and Westview Drive. Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena said the amount of mercury at each location is less than a pint.
Editor's note: In an earlier version of this story, Houston Fire officials reported more than 60,000 gallons of mercury spilled. The story has since been updated with the most accurate information.
Houston Fire officials said 30 to 60 people were processed for decontamination, including one pregnant woman who was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
No shelter-in-place was issued, but people were advised to avoid the area while crews worked to clean the spill.
Authorities urged anyone who believes they were exposed to see their doctor within 24 to 48 hours after potential exposure. Symptoms of acute mercury exposure include headaches, eye and throat irritation, coughing and nausea.
Police are investigating whether the spill was intentional or accidental. They are looking into a nearby warehouse burglary that could be connected to the spill. Fire officials said they have no reason to believe the mercury fell off a truck at the three locations.
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