Noxious odor evacuates two rooms at Woodin Elementary
by Jeff Switzer
Several students and faculty members complained of itchy skin, nausea, headaches, sore throats, and dizziness at Woodin Elementary School on Mar. 6 after a large science thermometer was accidentally knocked off of a wall, shattering on the carpet, and releasing a liquid containing low-level mercury and beechwood creosote.
The noxious odor required Rooms 14 and 15 to be evacuated, while Bothell firefighters, the Northshore School district's hazardous materials unit, and other school officials responded to the incident.
Craig Phillips, Northshore security officer, cut out the liquid-soaked carpet section and sent it to a lab in Redmond for testing. Technicians there positively identified the chemicals and advised those exposed to it to "seek medical advice." The families of those complaining of symptoms were contacted and encouraged to take their children to a doctor.
It was business as usual by Thursday morning. "Once the room was aerated, everything was fine," said Principal Paul Bodner.