Mon. May 16th, 2022

Sometime shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday, February 20, 2006, 100 milliliters of the element bromine was spilled on the third floor of the Schmucker Science South academic building.The chemical was being transferred on a rolling cart by a lab technician when the container holding it fell off and broke on the floor, subsequently leaking the hazardous liquid.

Schmucker Science North, South and the link were evacuated immediately, as was the Boucher Science building. The Chester County Hazardous Material Team was called in and arrived on the scene with West Chester Borough Police and Fire as well as several members of the university’s police department.

Taped off by police was Rosedale Avenue between Church and New Streets as well as the areas immediately surrounding the effected science buildings.

The University first let employees know of the incident at 3:08 p.m. in an e-mail sent from the President’s office. Shortly after 3:40 p.m. an e-mail out of the President’s office indicated that the Boucher Building would re-open at 4 p.m. but the Schmucker buildings would remain closed until the haz-mat teams could access the situation completely.

Bromine is a hazardous material with a choking, irritating odor that targets the respiratory system, central nervous system, eyes and skin. Www.webelements.com says, “When spilled on the skin it produces painful sores. It is a serious health hazard, and maximum safety precautions should be taken when handling it.”

For a complete, in-depth report on the chemical spill that occurred on Monday, February 20, 2006, be sure to pick up a copy of next week’s Quad, to be released on Tuesday, February 28.

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