Johor Baru family evacuated after mercury spills from blood pressure measuring device

KULAI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A family of three had to evacuate their home at Jalan Serunai 5, Taman Saleng, Senai on Tuesday night (Aug 2) after a blood pressure measuring device fell to the floor, spilling mercury.

Bandar Putra Fire and Rescue Department operations officer Mohd Nasib Mohd Sham said the device fell to the floor in a storeroom at around 11pm, spilling the mercury which weighed about 3g.

He said the house owner, identified as Ms Nor Haya Mohd Said, 61, used a broom to sweep the mercury into a plastic bag and placed it on the dining table. She then called the department.

"We received a call and when we reached the scene, we immediately asked Nor Haya and her two children to evacuate the house.

"We also asked them to go to the nearest hospital as the woman's hand had accidentally come into contact with the mercury," Mr Mohd Nasib said.

Eight personnel from the department's Hazardous Materials Squad were at the house to carry out cleaning-up operations.

Mr Mohd Nasib said the woman did not suffer any serious injury but there were corrosion marks on her jewellery, including a ring and bracelet, possibly due to the mercury.

"The cleaning operation ended at around 2.04am on Wednesday and the family was allowed back into their house," he said.

Mr Mohd Nasib urged the public to be extra careful when handling hazardous materials, such as devices containing mercury.

He said it was better to call the Fire and Rescue Department immediately and avoid any contact with the materials, which could cause cancer and death.