Health Officials Probe Death Of Man Hospitalized After Mercury Spill

Cleveland, OH - The Cleveland man whose Westside home was cordoned off after a mercury spill has died.

62-year-old Sam Strawber died at Metro following a brief hospital stay for an unrelated illness.

Health officials are now trying to figure out if Strawber's death is linked to last week's spill at the double home on Woodbridge Avenue.

The Ohio EPA spent three days cleaning up the area - and have given the okay for the family who lives in the upper half of the house to return home.

The EPA tells 19 Action News Strawber had been playing with the mercury over the course of the summertime. A neighbor adds Strawber would put Vaseline on his hand and then play with the mercury before violently shaking his hand to rid himself of the potentially dangerous element.

The EPA detected high levels of mercury - 25 parts per billion in the lower level of the unit and six parts per billion in the upper unit.

No higher than 1 part per billion recommended for pregnant women with children.