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Mercury spill causes scare in South Miami

A blood pressure machine injured at least two people after a mercury spill Friday at a doctor’s office in South Miami.

The incident caused some traffic back-ups on Sunset Drive, shutting down 61st Court and a lane on Sunset Drive.

The spill happened at 6141 Sunset Dr.

“It was a very small spill, there was one possible exposure,” Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue spokesman Arnold Piedrahita said. “The leak has been contained and they are in the process of cleaning.

Three people were tested to possible exposure to mercury.

Workplace that commonly use mercury include dental and health services. The Florida Department of Health reports that when liquid mercury is spilled, it forms beads or droplets that can emit vapors into the air.

Blood or urine samples are used to test for exposure to liquid mercury.

Short-term exposure to high levels of liquid mercury vapors may cause many effects. They include lung damage, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increases in blood pressure or heart rate, skin rashes, and eye irritation.