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Mercury spill leads USPS to isolate portion of Scarborough processing center

A delivery unit in Portland was also affected. According to the Postal Inspection Service, anyone mailing injurious or hazardous materials could face legal penalties

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — The United States Postal Service (USPS) said it has isolated a portion of the work area at its processing and distribution center in Scarborough due to a mercury spill Thursday.

According to Postal Service officials, the mercury came from an old-style barometer that was being mailed and broke during transit.

A delivery unit in Portland was also affected.

Environmental contractors are conducting tests and remediation of a small area in the building. Officials said overnight mail processing operations did go forward.

Joey Estes, an employee of the Forest Ave. post office in Portland told NEWS CENTER Maine he was quarantined for about five hours while his clothes were tested, and also said everyone who was in the building has to get tested for mercury exposure. 

According to the Postal Inspection Service, anyone mailing injurious or hazardous materials could face civil or criminal penalties. Currently, nobody has been charged.

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