E-Cigarette Plant Leaves a Dozen Workers Hospitalized

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Panic and sickness spread among nearly 30 workers while at Salem, Massachusetts E-Cigarette production plant. Around 9:15 Sunday night, the fire department was notified for the second time that day and arrived to investigate a potential chlorine leak.

The incident caused many workers to become nauseous, along with trouble breathing during their shift. As this happened, many of the workers were either sent to the hospital or evacuated from the building until further notice. This event was reported by officials as a “mass hysteria” due to the dozens of workers that rushed out of the building.

As the workers were receiving treatment, it was reported that one employee had experienced a seizure. The seizure has not been determined to be related to the E-Cigarette plant.

Up to 500 people were working at the time of the incident. CBS Boston said reports of the sickness followed as those people changed shifts. In correspondence, CBS Boston also reported the treatment of at least 20 people on Monday for illnesses related to the manufacturing plant.

The reasons for the illness among the workers were unidentified. Previously thought to be relating to an earlier chlorine leak at 3:30 in the afternoon, the fire department was surprised to find that there were not dangerous readings detected that might have caused such a potential hazard.

As a precaution, the E-Cigarette manufacturing plant was declared as closed to workers on Monday, and the building will be thoroughly investigated. With the help of the Occupation Safety and Health Administration sending in an industrial hygienist, the manufacturing plant plans to keep workers updated on the cause and solution to the problem.

The manufacturing plant produces E-Cigarettes, as a rising alternative that teens and adults use instead of smoking cigarettes. Although the number of teens that smoke is at a rapid decrease, health officials are concerned with the risks that come with E-Cigs. Even though ingredients listed in the product are labeled as “food grade,” officials confirm that it does not mean safe to inhale.

Marketing by companies, have used E-Cigs as a smoking cessation aid targeting teens and less knowledgeable parents. With the guise of cartoons and various flavors that do not leave a strong odor like cigarettes, parents are tempted to buy it for their children as a “safer” alternative.

Written by Brielle R. Buford
Edited by Jeanette Smith


News Herald: E-cigarette use among teens on the rise
NewsWeek: Salem E-Cigarette Plant Hazmat Incident Latest: Dozens Hospitalized After ‘Mass Hysteria’ Event
Gizmodo: Fire Cheif ‘Bewildered’ After Mysterious Incident at E-Cigarette Plant Left 29 Sick
MASSLIVE: Workers of Massacheuts e-cigarette manufacturer seek treatment after reporting breathing problems
MSN: “Mass hysteria” at e-cigarette plant, 20 hospitalized

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Vaping360’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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