Students, professor exposed to chemical in Saginaw Valley State University lab

KOCHVILLE TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (9/26/2017) - Four students at Saginaw Valley State University were taken to a hospital Tuesday after suffering skin reactions to a toxic disinfectant and antiseptic substance.

Fire crews congregate outside a science lab at Saginaw Valley State University, where an unknown number of people were exposed to a chemical inside.

Emergency crews from several agencies were responding to a chemistry lab in the Herbert Dow Dean Science Building on campus around 3 p.m. They were setting up for a hazardous materials incident.

Four students in a chemistry lab suffered a skin reaction from phenol, which is also known as carbolic acid. The first person exposed began feeling symptoms around 1:45 p.m. and was transported to an area hospital for treatment, according to a statement from university spokesman Justin Engel.

An hour later, three other students began suffering similar symptoms with a skin irritation on their wrists and forearms. Five other students and a professor in the lab when the students began feeling symptoms did not report any adverse reactions. A total of nine students and one professor were in the chemistry lab at the time of the incident.

All of them were quarantined in a separate room. A hazardous materials crew set up and decontamination area, which all of the affected students and professor went through before being transported to an area hospital.

Emergency crews at the scene said nobody received life-threatening injuries.

Everyone in the lab was wearing standard safety equipment, including gloves and goggles, when the chemical exposure occurred, Engel said.

Other classes went on as scheduled as the incident was contained to the one lab.

SVSU is working to find out what lead up to the exposure.

We're told the organic chemistry two students, were doing an experiment, and it did involve other chemicals. However, it's not clear what other chemicals were involved.

SVSU will work with an outside company to clean up the lab.

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