Search Site
Menu

Toxic Mercury in Gym Flooring Used by Our Children

We have a giant mercury exposure problem in our New Jersey schools. Rubberized flooring found in school gyms cracks over time. And some, not all of the flooring products have been determined to emit mercury when the cracks form. The cracks become a pathway for the mercury to be released into the environment so that our children can inhale it and become poisoned from it.

Testing has been taking place for the past three years to determine which floors are safe and which flooring needs to be replaced. This is a very significant because mercury harms small children and impacts them much more so than it impacts adults.

Mercury is of course naturally occurring. It is (1) persistent in that is really hard to eliminate from the environment, and (2) it causes neurological problems.

Furthermore, our children are especially vulnerable to toxic environmental threats, mercury exposure certainly high on the list of such threats. Their growth and development cycles make them particularly at risk. And certain childhood behaviors, such as hand in mouth behavior, makes children even more vulnerable.
What makes the gym flooring exposure potentially more problematic is that the mercury impacts are culminative. Children already have mercury exposure risk from dental amalgam, take-home exposure from occupationally exposed adults, and accidental exposure. The gym flooring problem only adds to their other sources of mercury exposure.

Washington Township in Gloucester County is reported to be spending $3.2 million to remove its rubberized floors in the gym and all purpose rooms of several schools. Some government officials statewide reportedly claimed that the released levels are low and therefore do not pose a health hazard. But one school reported levels of .74 mg /cubic unit of air and the standard is virtually the same at .8.

According to the NJEA the problem is worsened if the flooring is cracked, the room is hot or poorly ventilated. These seem like the kinds of variables which change often and cannot be readily controlled.

The key is this: no one can tell you that this is safe. Even if levels meet an arbitrary state guideline, the question remains: why should our children be exposed to any of this when it can potentially cause so much permanent harm, when it can be readily avoided, and when the culminative impacts are a real risk.

Some school districts are actively testing and replacing. That is a good start. But any school where exposure may have happened needs to be promptly tested. Two years ago we found out that many students were being lead poisoned in our schools. Some we know are also being mercury poisoned.

Isn’t school supposed to be a safe place where our children can grow and learn?

Our Attorneys

Recent Twitter Posts

  • New Jersey sets emergency water standards for new chemicals. https://t.co/trgaaLL1mD
    1 year ago
  • How will New Jersey manage stormwater as the climate changes and flooding increases? https://t.co/dhVLALyzZ2
    1 year ago
  • Unprecedented storms are slamming NJ – learn how to be the best advocate for your clients when the next flood hits.… https://t.co/TicH6iAjP0
    1 year ago
  • Trenton Water Works has removed 25 percent of lead pipes throughout its service area. https://t.co/KUvhMsJlvU
    1 year ago

Recent Blog Posts

When A First Right of Refusal Is Too Late

On December 22, 2022, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division decided the case Saadia Square LLC v. SM Logistics Member LLC et. al. This case arises out of a
Read More
When A First Right of Refusal Is Too Late

Indemnification Provision Entitles Former Condominium Association Trustee to Recover Certain Fees and Costs for First-Party Claim

Last week, New Jersey’s Appellate Division found that a former trustee of a condominium association’s board was entitled to recover certain fees and costs pursuant to the association’s indemnification provision. In
Read More
Indemnification Provision Entitles Former Condominium Association Trustee to Recover Certain Fees and Costs for First-Party Claim

Court Affirms DEP Direct Oversight of Remediation Efforts of PFAS Polluting Plant

  This week, in In re Dep't of Envtl. Prot. Direct Oversight Determination, No. A-0635-20, 2023 WL-125229 (App. Div. Jan. 9, 2023), New Jersey’s Appellate Division affirmed a Department of Environmental
Read More
Court Affirms DEP Direct Oversight of Remediation Efforts of PFAS Polluting Plant

What to do if a certificate of occupancy has been incorrectly issued?

Town rescinds certificate of occupancy for former motel On January 5, 2023, the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division decided the case Department of Community Affairs, etc v. Kenneth D. Roberts, etc. In this case, Defendant
Read More
What to do if a certificate of occupancy has been incorrectly issued?

In The Media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules

    NJ.com Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  • Dark Waters: How a Class Action Catapulted NJ to Forefront of 'Forever Chemicals' Battle

    NJ Law Journal Jan 09, 2020

    As property owners become increasingly aware of PFAS contamination, and as individuals exposed to PFAS learn of the health risks associated with exposure, liability will likely affect entire supply chains.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form