Eric King, NBC 5 News
City crews found approximately 1,000 electrical and fluorescent bulbs dumped at the playground at Peary Park and a vacant lot across the street.
A South Dallas playground has been shut down after light bulbs containing mercury were dumped at a park Thursday night.
The city said Park and Recreation crews found approximately 1,000 electrical and fluorescent bulbs dumped at the playground at Peary Park and a vacant lot across the street. A substantial number of the bulbs were broken, the city said.
City crews cleaned the affected areas, but the playground at the park in the 2800 block of Peary Avenue will remain closed until the city has deemed it safe.
David Rochelle, who lives next to the park, said illegal dumping is a constant problem in his neighborhood.
"Of course it makes me mad," he said. "We're not savages. We don't want to be polluted in our neighborhood. You don't do that in North Dallas. You don't do that in Plano."
He said he never received any information alerting him to the mercury. The city said it used its reverse 911 system to alert nearby residents to the possible danger.
The City Marshals Office and other city agencies are working to locate children and others who may have been exposed to the mercury so they can get appropriate medical care.
Short-term effects of mercury exposure include, but are not limited to: metallic taste, vomiting, difficulty breathing, bad cough, swollen bleeding gums, restlessness and light-headedness.
The city offered a list of clinics for people seeking medical attention. They include:
Testing conducted by a firm contracted by the city determined that the light bulbs contained mercury. Further testing, which could take one to two weeks, will also be conducted, according to the Dallas Morning News.
NBC 5's Eric King contributed to this report.