Detroit teen recovering from mercury poisoning - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Detroit teen recovering from mercury poisoning after spill at home

Posted: Updated:
Jamile Carter, 17, was diagnosed with mercury poisoning in January. Jamile Carter, 17, was diagnosed with mercury poisoning in January.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Tasha Brown says some mercury spilled in her home last year, and it was cleaned it up using her vacuum. Now her son has mercury poisoning and she learns that, in addition to the improper handling of the spill, it may not have been reported properly either.

Brown says the spill happened in November of 2013 after her younger son found mercury in an old garage. He accidentally spilled some in his older brother's room, and also brought it to school in a plastic bag to show a science teacher.

Officials say the school was put on lockdown and Hazmat, police and fire were called. After no exposure, the lockdown was lifted, and Brown says Hazmat then came to her home.

"They came in. They had just the blue gloves ... and they tried to clean it up with tape and little pieces of cardboard, and then they asked me did I have a vacuum. I said yes. They used my vacuum and vacuumed it up and told me it was clear," Brown tells FOX 2's Erika Erickson.

Brown says she thought the mercury was gone. Then her 17-year-old son, Jamile Carter, became extremely ill a month later.

"Body aching and nerves, like, my body was twitching, and I was sweating," Carter remembers. He also experienced burns and vision loss.

He was rushed to the hospital and later diagnosed in January with mercury poisoning.

Brown says the EPA and Health Department cleaned and stripped her home, but says now no one is taking responsibility for the clean-up back in November.

"They say they never came to my house; they never used my vacuum," Brown says.

Detroit Fire Marshall Robin Eagan says that is not the way mercury is cleaned up, and Detroit Fire and Hazmat do not have a record of ever visiting Brown's home. Brown insists a Hazmat crew did visit the home.

"It was wrong for them to do that, and they knew that they [weren't] supposed to use our vacuum," says Carter.

Carter says he is finally starting to feel better.

LINK: Click here to hear more about mercury releases and spills

The EPA says exposures to mercury can affect the human nervous system and harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune system.

Common symptoms of mercury poisoning include burning, itching and/or pain. You may also notice skin discoloration in your cheeks, fingertips and toes. Your skin could even start shredding.

Other symptoms include swelling, profuse sweating, increased salivation and high blood pressure.

In children you may notice red cheeks and lips, hair loss and/or rashes. They could also experience a loss of speech and/or increased sensitivity to light.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Livonia man dies after 2 dogs attack him

    Livonia man dies after 2 dogs attack him

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:49 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:49:30 GMT
    A 46-year-old Livonia man was killed Wednesday evening after he was attacked by two dogs while jogging in Metamora.
    A 46-year-old Livonia man was killed Wednesday evening after he was attacked by two dogs while jogging in Metamora.
  • Council considering land deal for US-Canada bridge

    Council considering land deal for US-Canada bridge

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:48:33 GMT
    The Detroit City Council is considering the transfer of 301 city-owned properties to the Michigan Land Bank in exchange for $1.4 million from the Canadian government as part of plans for a $2 billion international commuter bridge.
    The Detroit City Council is considering the transfer of 301 city-owned properties to the Michigan Land Bank in exchange for $1.4 million from the Canadian government as part of plans for a $2 billion international commuter bridge.
  • Porch shooter: I didn't know gun was loaded

    Porch shooter: I didn't know gun was loaded

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:48:56 GMT
    A suburban Detroit man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch immediately suggested to police it was an accident and that he didn't know his shotgun was loaded, according to recorded remarks played in court Thursday.
    A suburban Detroit man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch immediately suggested to police it was an accident and that he didn't know his shotgun was loaded, according to recorded remarks played in court Thursday.
Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices