A Ventography!

Just two moms letting off some steam

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16 years later

A Ventography!:

We thought this was a great post about reflecting on autism after living it for 16 years. The author gives an honest look at what it’s really like to deal with autism.

Originally posted on Lisa Ackerman - Real Help Now:


By Holly Bortfeld

My son Max was diagnosed with autism 16 years ago today, May 4, 1998. I have been mulling around in my head for a few weeks how I wanted to mark this anniversary of autism entering our lives and had drafted a blog but I didn’t like it. I kept poking at it and it didn’t get better. Just sadder. More bitter.

I was focusing on “lessons learned” in the autism community and frankly, it was just depressing. Little has changed for the positive, many things have gotten worse. Incidence has risen, funding has gone down, there is still a media blackout of the reality of “real autism”, our government hasn’t done anything, waiting lists are longer, services are cut everywhere, and our kids are still neglected, abused, bullied, sick, wandering and dying. Parents are still broke, exhausted, marginalized, heartsick.

I thought I’d take a break to…

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We have been talking about this topic since January of 2012 (click here for article). However, we were excited to see that today, 2 years later, the story has reached the mainstream media.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded from their study of 64,322 live-born children and mothers enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort during 1996-2002 that, “Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for Hyperkinetic Disorders (HKDs) and ADHD-like behaviors in children.”

This is not the first study to replicate the findings reported on by Dr. William Shaw two years ago. Dr. Shaw, in his recent newsletter, refers to a study reported on in the International Journal of Epidemiology between 1999 and 2008 on 48,631 children. They found that:

  • Exposure to acetaminophen for more than 28 days during fetal life increases the risk of adverse psychomotor and behavioral outcomes by almost 70%.
  • Exposure to acetaminophen doubles the risk of language problems in 3-year-old children.
  • In contrast they found no association between ibuprofen on the same neurodevelopmental outcomes, which suggests a specific effect of acetaminophen rather than a general effect of pain medicines.
  • Even short-term exposure (1-27 days) during pregnancy was associated with poor gross motor development.

Also in his recent newsletter, Dr. Shaw calls for a warning label be placed on all acetaminophen products intended for pregnant women and young children. His rationale for this is that acetaminophen has not just been linked to ADHD. It has been associated with:

  • increased rates of cancer
  • plausible causation of autism
  • plausible causation of brain damage (in vitro evidence associated with acetaminophen metabolites)
  • increased risks of testicular damage
  • asthma
  • allergy
  • language problems
  • adverse psychomotor and neurodevelopmental outcomes when used in pregnancy

To read more about the risks of acetaminophen, click here.

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ADHD book cover

Today, February 18th, 2014, a new book is being released entitled “ADHD Does Not Exist” by Richard Saul, M.D.

Molly saw the author interviewed yesterday on “The Doctors” television show and it got us researching to understand more about what the author is really saying. We knew the title would offend lots of people and ignite a firestorm of controversy. But we wanted to take the time to understand… was the doctor really saying ADHD does not exist? Or is he trying to get our attention in order to make another point?

Dr. Saul says the medical establishment’s mistake is defining ADHD by its symptoms — failure to pay attention, too much fidgeting or running around, fast talking, repetitive behavior — rather than what causes it. Said another way, Dr. Saul believes that ADHD is a set of symptoms and not a disease. This belief led to the title of his book. He is not denying that real and devastating symptoms do exist for millions of children diagnosed with ADHD.

His main point is to ask doctors and families to first rule out several other diseases that can lead to the same symptoms as ADHD. In fact, Dr. Saul lists 20 possible “true” diagnoses in his book that mimic the symptoms of ADHD. For example:

  • sleep disorders
  • problems with hearing or vision
  • learning disabilities like dyslexia
  • substance abuse
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • major psychiatric disorders such as depression
  • hard-to-detect seizure disorders (20 second epileptic seizures)
  • simply being gifted

Dr. Saul explains that he routinely administers a series of tests before making any recommendations, beginning with a blood work-up to eliminate problems such as:

  • hyperthyroidism
  • iron deficiency
  • hormone imbalance
  • lead toxicity

If none of these physical causes are at issue, Saul looks for stress-related psychological problems.

It is important to note that none of these 20 other disorders that mimic the symptoms of ADHD benefit from amphetamine-based medications such as Ritalin. Possible side of Ritalin according to the FDA’s website include: slowing of growth (height and weight) in children, seizures, eyesight changes/blurred vision, painful and prolonged erections (priapism), headache, decreased appetite, stomach ache, nervousness, trouble sleeping, and nausea. The inactive ingredients of Ritalin are: D&C Yellow No.10 (5-mg and 20-mg tablets), FD&C Green No.3 (10-mg tablets), lactose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, starch (5-mg and 10-mg tablets), sucrose, talc, and tragacanth (20-mg tablets). We point this out because, often times, children with ADHD are sensitive to dyes and lactose.

If these other diseases/disorders/health problems are ruled out, Dr. Saul admits that the child’s symptoms may need to be treated with Ritalin. Rather than calling the child’s symptoms ADHD, he names it Neurochemical Impulsive Distractive Disorder.

Whether or not you agree with everything Dr. Saul has to say, we hope his point gets across… that we shouldn’t be in such a rush (or allow ourselves to be pressured) to give Ritalin to our children with ADHD. Let’s slow down and take the time to rule out other diagnoses, nutritional deficiencies, and health issues first. Let’s try to get to the root cause of the ADHD symptoms.

As moms, we recognize that parents may not have the time to wait before trying Ritalin for their children. We have heard stories of schools saying that a child cannot return to school without a prescription, and we cannot imagine the pressure that puts on a family. We are not here to judge and we know there are times when Ritalin (or other prescription medications) is the best option for all involved. However, we are simply saying that if you have the time and money for testing to rule out other causes of ADHD symptoms, it may be in your child’s best interest to look into it.

Side Note:

This struck such a chord with us because it is so similar to what we believe about a subset of children with autism spectrum disorder. We believe some children with autism have chronic health issues as the root cause of their autism. As you treat the health issues, their symptoms go away. We are not trying to say that this is true for all children with autism. We recognize that some children with autism don’t even have health issues and that their autism is likely genetic. But with the “spectrum” being as broad as it is, health issues are the root cause of the disease for some children with autism. Here is a link to an article we wrote called Health Induced Autism.




Stewart Airport, 5:00am, Sunday morning.  Still dark outside and not much movement at the airport. The morning rush for flights had not begun.

I entered the terminal and walked over to the rental car counter to turn in the keys. I dropped the keys in the box and turned around meeting the gaze of a TSA agent. I smiled and continued the process of checking in and getting my flight ticket from the JetBlue kiosk. I had the feeling I was being watched and I looked around and noticed the same TSA agent (known from here out as Skeletor) still watching me. He was making me feel uncomfortable. I took the last sip of my peppermint tea and dumped the styrofoam cup in the garbage can.

As soon as I walked up to the TSA line,  Skeletor asked to see the palms of my hands. No hello, how are you, or other form of greeting? He informed me he needed to scan my hands. What the heck? After all my years of traveling, this was a first. What could he possibly be checking for? The only thing that came to my mind were drugs.

Wrong! The lights of the machine turned red and I immediately got the “uh oh” feeling. Skeletor asked me to step aside and called for his supervisor. Long story short, my hands tested positive for explosive residue. Over the next 30 minutes, I was subjected to a humiliating and invasive pat down and my suitcase and purse were ransacked.

After being questioned, I was placed in a holding room where two female TSA agents rambled on about where they were going to touch me and how they would use the backs of their hands and fronts of their hands during the dreaded “cop a feel.” At this point it didn’t matter what part of the hand they were going to use. They were still rooting around in areas I would prefer them not to be. It was disgusting.

After they were done with me, I was dismissed with a wave of a hand and left to re-pack my suitcase and put myself  together. I was mad. No one else had been targeted nor had their hands been scanned. Why was I randomly selected? Why did Skeletor have his eyes on me from the second I walked in the door?

I support the fact we have to beef up security, but in this situation I felt there was more to it. How sensitive are Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) machines?

Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) Machine

Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) Machine

What can cause false positive readings? Did Skeletor know that a styrofoam cup could leave suspicious residue on a drinker’s hands? Is that why he was watching me? Hey, let’s target the tired housewife and make her cry. Five points for the TSA agent who can get her to wail or four points if you make her mad. Is it a sick game in which they tally up the points at the end of the week and the winner gets a free dinner at Bennigan’s?

This experience was scary. I was traveling alone and truthfully, did not know what my rights were in a situation like this. My suitcase, purse, driver’s license and ticket were confiscated from me. They were out of my eyesight and I was at the mercy of the TSA agents.

What would happen if something “magically appeared” in my suitcase or my money/credit cards went missing? It would become a game of he said, she said. And I have a feeling I would not have a leg to stand on.

What are a passenger’s rights in a situation like this? What would happen if a passenger missed their flight?

But this is what I have learned… all the following have the potential to cause false positives on the ETD scan:

  • Taking nitroglycerin-based heart medication
  • Living in & around agriculture
  • Being a legal gun owner
  • Using glycerin-based lotion
  • Being in the active military, guard, or reserves
  • Working in the explosives or mining industry
  • Working in the cosmetics industry
  • Touching styrofoam/polystyrene

Just to name a few.

The moral of this story… next time you go to the airport, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly… but NOT with glycerin-based soap! Happy travels.





When we heard about the tragedy in Connecticut, we like most people in America, were deeply shaken. But for us, the feelings of sadness were more than being parents and relating to the victims’ families. It was more than sadness over the loss of innocence of the survivors. We felt physically sick. We had an uneasy feeling.

When Leah heard that the school principal and school psychologist were shot, she immediately said that she thought it was the parent of a child with special needs who was fed up with “the system.”

We had a sixth sense that some how special needs was involved. When we heard the word autism connected to the shooter, it knocked the air right out of us. If you think about it, there but for the grace of God, any one of us could be Adam Lanza’s parent.

But, we do not want this incident to become the definition of autism. We do not want people to assume all people with autism are violent and someone to be feared. Our children are isolated enough as it is. Will children on the autism spectrum be even more discriminated against because of the actions of Adam Lanza?

When we saw this article, we were so impressed by Liza Long’s courage. She discusses the fears that many of us keep quiet and shove way down into the depths of our hearts.

As a society, we are failing children who have special needs. They are not being educated properly, they are bullied unmercifully, they are often abused by people in authority (the very people they are supposed to be able to trust), they are often times being improperly or over medicated, there are few jobs available for them after graduation, and the older they get people become afraid of them.

In addition, many times it is a single parent doing their best to raise a child with special needs. But even when two parents are involved, they often feel abandoned…left to fend for themselves. They turn to their family, friends, neighbors, and churches for help and nobody knows what to do. So the children continue to fall through the cracks.

We fear there will be more Adam Lanzas if something is not done.

But what should be done?

That is the million dollar question. We asked ourselves, if we had all the money in the world, what would we do to help? Many people are focusing on gun control, but we don’t think that is getting to the root of the problem. The root comes from the break down of the family unit and that we no longer have the “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality in America. Many children are not getting the love and guidance they need at home nor in schools.

We don’t have all the answers, but we know one thing we would do is revamp the school systems. Perhaps, if teachers were given proper training and support and if students were taught from an early age to include children who are different from them, we could make a positive impact.

So, fellow bloggers in the autism community, what do you think? If you had all the money in the world to devote toward this problem, what would you do? Do you think this will lead to increased discrimination against children on the autism spectrum?

Liza Long said in her article, “This problem is too big for me to handle on my own.” She’s right, she can’t handle this on her own. Nobody could. Currently there are no good options. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… the autism community is screaming out for help. We need to support each other (instead of tearing each other down for our varying views) and we need society to stop trying to sweep us under the rug.

1:88 is not going away.

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We shared last week that we have been heavily engrossed in starting a school program for Annie and Brody. In keeping with that theme, this week we’d like to tell you about our top 5 educational apps. In no particular order they are:

BrainPOP was conceived by Avraham Kadar, M.D., an immunologist and pediatrician, as a creative way to explain difficult concepts to his young patients. They have a BrainPOP Junior version for kindergarten to 3rd grade and another version for older children. It’s great because it covers every subject imaginable: science, social studies, english, math, arts and music, health, and technology. Currently, we are both are too cheap to pay the monthly subscription price so we just have the free version of the app. However, we plan to get the full access subscription for Annie and Brody as Christmas gifts. http://www.brainpop.com/

Language Builder
Great for children with auditory processing issues and receptive/expressive language delays. The children are presented with real life pictures and are asked to record their own sentence(s) based on the picture. There are 3 different levels of difficulty and the children can get a visual or verbal hint. Cheapskate Leah actually splurged and spent $9.99 on this app and she feels it has been well worth the money. Even more shocking, she might open her wallet again and spend $19.99 on Conversation Builder (see below).  Consider that a strong endorsement! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/languagebuilder-for-ipad/id405801365?mt=8

Conversation Builder
Good for children who struggle to carry on back and forth conversations. The app shows images of children in social settings and the user is prompted to initiate a conversation (by recording his/her voice) to join in on what the children are doing in the picture. Hints are provided if needed.  If the user is successfully able to join the children, (s)he is then asked another question by the children in the app. In this way the user gets to practice peer interaction in an engaging and non-threatening way. Annie has used this app with her ABA therapist this school year and she loves it! She requests to talk to her “kid friends on the iPAD” every time we go to therapy. I (Molly) truly feel it has helped Annie get better at initiating and maintaining conversations.

Empowers kids to draw, animate, and narrate their own cartoons and share them. But this isn’t just about children creating fun cartoons. It teaches them the fundamentals of story telling (setting, conflict, challenge, climax, and resolution). We both especially love this app because it’s… FREE!  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/toontastic-play-create-learn!/id404693282?mt=8

SpellingCity is a fun way to learn spelling and vocabulary words by playing engaging learning games using any word list (i.e., you can type in your child’s spelling list given to you by the school).  Annie’s favorite games are: Missing Letter, Word Scramble, and Hang Mouse. It is a pain-free way to get her to practice her spelling/vocabulary words. Another fabulously free app! Leah doesn’t have it yet and will be downloading the app as soon as we finish writing this post. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spellingcity/id538407602?mt=8

Now that we’ve shared some of our favorite apps, we need your help. Brody is a math “genius” (Molly is saying this, Leah disagrees with this statement and is very uncomfortable right now) but Annie really struggles with math. She says she can’t do it and she is “stupid” in math. Both Leah and I are desperately searching to find a good math app  that our children will do without us torturing them. The app doesn’t have to be free, we’d even cough up some money for this one. Has anyone come across such an app? All recommendations are welcome!




After taking the summer off, we’re trying to get back into our blogging groove. We had a very eventful summer that distracted us from our weekly ventings.

Our local ABA therapist was approached by a private school to start a program for children with special needs. She made the mistake of mentioning this opportunity to us and now we’ve roped her into something that has taken on a life of its own.

There are lots of programs in our community for children on the spectrum. But we realized what is lacking is a program that is uniquely tailored to each child. There are so many children falling through the cracks right now. Some are falling behind because they are in a self-contained classroom where the teacher has to teach to the lowest academic level in the room. Others are falling behind because they are in a regular classroom and the work moves at a pace where the children just can’t keep up.

Children are being moved along with major holes and skill deficits that are only going to hold them back more and more as time goes on.

Our other frustration was that our children are above grade level in some areas and yet behind in others. We want them to keep moving forward in their strength areas while having a chance to catch up in the areas where they struggle. However, teachers who have 20+ students are simply not able to accommodate this need.

Our third major frustration was that the school systems don’t seem to believe in our children’s potential the way we do. We have not written off our children. We want them to have the same learning and career opportunities as everyone else.

What were we to do? Start our own school! So that’s what we did this summer. It’s a pilot program, and we hope and pray it will be successful.

Here are the ideals of our program, straight from our brochure:

We recognize that every child is unique and that an academic program must be tailored for each individual child. We help students achieve their full potential by offering a smaller, hands-on, interactive, non-traditional learning environment.

There are no reduced expectations for our students. We teach the same material as traditional schools, but we teach it in a way that matches our students’ individual learning styles so that they are met with academic success instead of frustration and feelings of failure.

Our program equips students with the confidence and study/organizational skills to successfully transition to a traditional school, if desired.

Our pilot program is for elementary age students. However, we hope to start middle and high school programs soon.

So we’d like to know… have any of you out there taken on this same challenge? We’d like to learn from you. What were the biggest challenges? What were your lessons learned? What do you wish you would have known before starting this adventure? Any advice you can offer us would be greatly appreciated.

We are learning as we go along. Truth be told, we’re winging it. Sometimes we fear we’re in over our heads. We just have to have faith that our love for our children and our sheer tenacity will see us through.  Thanks in advance for your help!

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We are combining ideas from two articles we came across about mandatory participation in vaccine trials.

This idea burst on to the scene back in January of 2012 when Oxford University’s Susanne Sheehy and Joel Meyer wrote an article entitled Should Participation in Vaccine Clinical Trials be Mandated?  The article was published in the American Medical Association’s Virtual Mentor journal.

This week, we read an article/interview between Natural News and Dr. Blaylock outlining reasons against requiring mandatory participation in vaccine trials.

Below, we give a high level summary of what the articles said in favor of compulsory vaccination. Then, we summarize the arguments against compulsory vaccination.

As always, the links to the full articles are included at the end of our summary.

 Reasons Participation in Vaccine Trials Should be Mandated:
  • To date vaccination has saved many lives and has the potential to save millions more, especially if vaccines are developed against the “big three”: malaria, HIV, and TB.
  • The lack of animal models that can reliably predict vaccine efficacy means that development still unavoidably relies on testing of novel vaccines in healthy individuals.
  • In recent decades there has been a significant decline in the numbers of healthy volunteers who participate in clinical trials, a decline that has the potential to become a key rate-limiting factor in vaccine development.
  • “Someday there’s going to be a big pandemic and if the vaccine industry doesn’t have this machinery and this investment in its infrastructure it won’t be able to churn out the cure that saves us all from total death and destruction.”
  • For every one person that is killed from a vaccine trial, maybe a million people will be saved, thus it’s for the greater good of society.

Dr. Blaylock’s Response Against Compulsory Vaccination:

  • It’s a violation of the Nuremberg medical code that is supposed to protect the public against being experimental animals for governments or vaccine companies.
  • It’s against the founding principles of our country. It is not consistent with the values of a free republic, rather it is socialist in nature.
  • A lot of the damage done by vaccines is hidden from the general public because: the mainstream media doesn’t cover it and it’s extremely difficult for a parent to appear before the vaccine injury court, let alone to get a settlement.
    • Blaylock says that often (like with Gardasil) the serious complications of vaccines exceed the death rate from the disease we’re vaccinating against. If we, the public, had accurate data on vaccines injury/death, we would see that we are “…harming more people than benefit from the vaccine.”
  • Blaylock argues that we (the USA) do have the capability to respond to a mass pandemic, however, the vaccine makers likely would not make the huge profits they are used to unless the vaccines were mandatory.
  • Sticking vaccines into the muscle of our children’s arms and legs actually suppresses the immune system. It causes the immune system to switch to TH2 type cytokine production, which inhibits immunity and leaves you with little protection against viruses and bacteria.
    • Dr. Blaylock says if you look on the CDC site they’ll tell you, “…if a child gets a HIB vaccine, for the next two weeks, they’re much more likely to get HIB and to die from it than they would if you didn’t give them the vaccine.”
  • Blaylock says that we, the public, have been led to believe that vaccines have controlled epidemics, but in actuality, “The vaccine came out at the very end of the fall in these infections.  The reason is, when you get natural infections, over time the population develops massive immunity to the infection.”
  • Blaylock mentions a “secret conference” called the Simpsonwood Conference held in Georgia where big wigs from the vaccine industry met to discuss whether giving mercury containing vaccines caused neuro-developmental problems. They concluded that mercury containing vaccines did cause a problem. When the chairman of the committee heard the data, he said he no longer wanted his grandchild to be vaccinated. Blaylock feels this is a common occurrence… that the very people pushing vaccines do not allow themselves, or their loved ones, to be vaccinated because they have knowledge we (the general public) are not privy to.

Blaylock’s Public Challenge to Anyone Pushing Mandatory Vaccination:

  • We (the public) should be able to see the vaccine records of anyone pushing mandatory vaccination (to see if they actually have been vaccinated).
  • If they have not been vaccinated, they should be publicly vaccinated with “off the shelf” vaccines like our children are (not a specially formulated version of the vaccine that has the toxic ingredients removed).
  • He wants the heads of the vaccine making companies, and their Boards of Directors to be vaccinated with every vaccine they manufacture.
  • He believes that if all vaccine pushers had to respond to this challenge, we would hear a lot less about mandatory vaccinations.

Sources and More Information:







In Lisa Collier’s article, “What’s Causing the Autism Epidemic?”, she discusses what are and what are not potential causes of autism. For instance, she says that the “refrigerator mom” theory has been proven incorrect. Then, she goes on to say, “Another thoroughly discredited belief was that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in childhood vaccines, such as the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) shot, was the culprit.” 

Let us be clear. We DO NOT believe that vaccines are the sole cause of autism. Nor do we believe that thimerosal (mercury) is the only ingredient in vaccines that can cause a health reaction like autism.

We do, however, believe that vaccines can be one of the many environmental triggers of autism. In addition, we cannot logically comprehend how it could be safe to inject thimerosal into our children’s bodies (through vaccines). We question why thimerosal in vaccines has been ruled out as a potential autism trigger.  We wonder why there is such a campaign to make the public think mercury containing vaccines are completely safe when our own government agency, the CDC, puts out the following guidance on how to properly clean up a mercury spill from a light bulb or thermometer:

CDC Instructions on How to Clean up a Small Mercury Spill
(a broken thermometer, thermostat or compact fluorescent bulb)

Step 1. Isolate the spill and ventilate the area right away.

  • The person who will clean up the spill should have everyone else, especially children, leave the spill area, including pets. Don’t let anyone walk through the mercury on their way out. L&M Comment: Don’t let your children, or even your dog, walk through the mercury…but please, inject it into your child’s body
  • Open all windows and doors that open to the outside of the house.
  • Close all doors between the room where the mercury was spilled and the rest of the house.
  • Close all cold air returns so that mercury vapor is not carried throughout the house.
  • Turn down heaters and turn up single-room air conditioners, but don’t use central air conditioning.
  • Use fans to blow mercury-contaminated air outside. Turn off fans that do not blow air to the outside.

Step 2: Get the items needed to clean up a small mercury spill.
You will need the following items:
1. 4 or 5 zipper-top plastic bags
2. trash bags (2 to 6 mm thick)
3. rubber, nitrile or latex gloves
4. paper towels
5. cardboard or squeegee
6. eye dropper
7. duct tape, or shaving cream and small paint brush
8. flashlight
9. powdered sulfur (optional)

Step 3: Cleanup Instructions

  • Put on rubber, nitrile or latex gloves.
  • Pick up any broken pieces of glass and place them on a paper towel. Fold the paper towel, place it in a zipper-top bag, and seal the bag.
  • Clean up the beads of mercury. Use a squeegee or cardboard to slowly roll the beads onto a sheet of paper. An eye dropper can also be used to collect the beads. Slowly squeeze mercury from the eye dropper onto a damp paper towel. Put the paper towel, paper, eye dropper, or anything else that has mercury on it, into a zipper-top bag, and seal the bag.
  • After you remove larger beads, put shaving cream on top of a small paint brush and gently blot the affected area to pick up smaller hard-to-see beads. You can also use duct tape or masking tape to collect smaller hard-to-see beads. Place the paint brush or tape into a zipper-top bag.
  • It is OPTIONAL to use commercially available powdered sulfur to absorb beads that are too small to see. The sulfur does two things: (1) it makes the mercury easier to see since there may be a color change from yellow to brown, and (2) it binds the mercury so that it can be easily removed, and it helps to keep mercury that may have been missed during the cleanup from vaporizing into the room. Mercury spill kits that contain sulfur can be purchased from laboratory, chemical and hazardous materials response supply manufacturers. Read and understand how to use the cleanup kit before using. Note: Powdered sulfur may stain fabrics. Also, when using powdered sulfur, avoid breathing in the powder as it can be moderately toxic.

Step 4: Look for mercury that may have been missed during the cleanup.

  • Take a flashlight, hold it at a low angle close to the floor in a darkened room, and look for additional glistening beads of mercury that may be sticking to the surface or in small cracks. Note: Mercury can move surprising distances on hard and flat surfaces, so be sure to carefully inspect the entire room when you are searching.

Step 5: Remove contaminated carpet and throw away.

  • Place outside the house in a safe place until household trash is picked up.

Step 6: Remove mercury from shoes, clothing, and skin.

  • If mercury had touched your skin, shoes or clothing, remain still and have someone bring you a plastic trash bag and wet paper towels. Wipe off any visible beads of mercury with the wet paper towels and then put them into the trash bag. Remove contaminated shoes and clothing and place them in a trash bag. Seal that bag and place it in another bag. L&M Comment – Our children are contaminated with mercury from their vaccines… does this mean that we need to throw them into a trash bag?

Step 7: Properly dispose of contaminated cleanup materials.

  • Place all materials used in the cleanup, including gloves, in a trash bag. Place the zipper-top bags that contain mercury and other objects into the trash bag. Close and seal the trash bag and place it in a safe place outside your house. Label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department. Contact your local health department, municipal waste authority, or your local fire department for proper disposal in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Step 8: Following the spill

  • Keep the area well ventilated to the outside (i.e., windows open and fans in exterior windows running) for at least 24 hours after cleaning up the spill. Continue to keep pets and children out of the cleanup area. If anyone gets sick, call your doctor or the Poison Control Center at (888) 222-1222 immediately.
  • You may want to hire a contractor who has monitoring equipment to screen for mercury vapors. Consult your local environmental or health agency to inquire about contractors in your area.
  • If young children or pregnant women are in the house, seek additional advice from your local or state health or environmental agency.

Something to think about…

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