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Mercury Scare for CBS’s ‘Guiding Light’ Staff

Aug 18, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The drama got a little too real Thursday morning in the New York studio of CBS’s “Guiding Light,” when some 40 members of the cast, crew and production staff were quarantined and examined after mercury leaked from a blood pressure device mounted on the wall of “GL’s” emergency room set.

Mercury is poisonous. If vapors are inhaled damage can be done to the central nervous system, brain, kidneys and lungs.

The incident started at about 8:30 a.m., when the set was being dressed, according to an account released by Televest. Televest oversees production for Procter & Gamble Productions, which makes the daytime drama for CBS.

Six cast members-Scott Bailey (Sandy), Rob Bogue (Mallet), John Driscoll (Coop), Stephanie Gatschet (Tammy), Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan), and Michelle Ray (Ava)-as well as members of the show’s production staff and crew were quarantined on the East Midtown Manhattan studio’s sixth floor until they were examined and cleared by the city’s health department. A number of fire engines and hazmat trucks from the New York Fire Department were called to the scene to collect the escaped mercury and to test the mercury level at the studio.

While the daytime drama’s emergency-room set was to remain roped off for 24 hours (when the mercury level will be tested again), other production resumed by early afternoon, according to the Televest spokesman.