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Employee Evacuation From A Phenol Spill?

Posted Mar 03 2011 1:42pm

A year ago, in my very own community an entire Health Center was EVACUATED when at least a quart of the chemical phenol was spilled.

The headline in the newspaper stated; Chemical spill forces health center staff to leave.

What ?

The phenol laden  or carbolic acid product was apparently a disinfectant sometimes used in podiatry cases for treating ingrown toe nails.

An employee accidently spilled the product and tried to clean it with a spill kit. That didn’t work and they had to call for more help.  The building was evaluated when the noxious fumes got into the air handling system.   Firefighters contained the spill, checked the air quality and had folks back in the building within 3 hrs except for the immediate spill area.  A company licensed to remove hazardous waste had to be scheduled to clean up and remove the chemical

Do we really need phenol products in our health care environments?

This was an alarming and expensive employee accident!

Do we even know as patients what is being put on our body?

Phenol is a widely used chemical and is regularly found in the following common products: air fresheners, aftershave, bronchial mists, chloroseptic throat spray, deodorants, feminine powders & sprays, hair spray, decongestants, mouthwash, aspirin, solvents, acne medications, antiseptics, calamine lotions, cleaning products, detergents, furniture polish, hair setting lotions, lice shampoo, polishes, cold capsules, all-purpose cleaners, aerosol disinfectants, anti-itching lotions , carnex , cosmetics, disinfectant cleaners, hand lotions, lip balms, sunscreen and lotions, insecticides, cough syrups, just to name a few…/

above sourced from  Toxic Household Chemical Facts And Statistics


deoderant flickr image credit

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