McAdory Middle School given "all clear" following mercury spill

Testing is complete at McAdory Middle School Wednesday evening after an accident forced the campus into a temporary lockdown.

Principal James McLoud told ABC 33/40 reporter Sherrie Evans that the school has been given the "all clear" following the conclusion of testing done by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and class is expected to resume on a normal schedule Thursday.

The school went into lockdown at around 10:30 a.m. after a student reportedly dropped a vial containing mercury found in a thermometer on the gym floor. The vial broke and leaked less than an ounce of mercury.

Following the spill, the student immediately told a physical education teacher who then told school leaders. The fire department was first to be notified of the spill, and they, along with the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency, ADEM and the health department, responded to spill.

Bob Ammons of the Jefferson County EMA said cleanup crews followed all safety procedures while working at the school which is crucial when dealing with mercury.

"The way they cleaned it up, they did everything right." Ammons said. "It can be dangerous because the exposure, if there were higher levels of it, it's a breathing level that you're concerned about. If you're in a certain position close enough to it, and you breath it concentrated for hours, it can do things to you."