Perfume puts 34 people hospital Texas health alert.
Ft. Worth, Texas, July 30:
Thirty-four employees of a bank call center were transported to hospitals Wednesday after a co-worker sprayed strong perfume inside the office, according to several media reports that are making rounds all over the Internet.
Initially, it was believed that a leak of carbon monoxide- a colorless, poisonous gas with no odor- was the cause of workers’ dizziness, but later it turned out that the actual culprit was a particularly strong brand of perfume Scores of workers at a Texas call centre became sick yesterday afternoon after they smelled mysterious fumes at the workplace. The strong scented perfume spread panic through the building, triggering fear among workers that they were under chemical attack or the victims of a carbon monoxide leak.
Initially, it was believed that a leak of carbon monoxide- a colorless, poisonous gas with no odor- was the cause of workers’ dizziness, but later it turned out that the actual culprit was a particularly strong brand of perfume.
How the panic triggered:
The incident occurred in a Bank of America complex, located in the 5400 block of North Beach Street, near Loop 820 in north Fort Worth after scores of employees started feeling sick and dizzy.
Lt. Kent Worley with the Fort Worth Fire Department said the situation started when two staff members started feeling sick and dizzy after a female co-worker sprayed perfume.
"Just two employees reported some dizziness in close association with someone spraying on some perfume," said Worley.
After some others suffered the same problems, they notified the supervisor about their illnesses after which an announcement was made, urging those who felt sick or dizzy to exit the building.
"When these employees reported their illness to a supervisor, an announcement was made over the building's PA system saying that anyone feeling these symptoms should exit the building to an outside location," he added.
Workers report symptoms:
According to Lara Kohl, a MedStar ambulance spokeswoman, 34 workers were taken to a hospitals, 12 by ambulance, after they reported dizziness and shortness of breath, while another 110 were treated at the scene. Some people reported the dizziness while some others complained of chest pains and head aches.
"We have multiple patients experiencing symptoms of shortness of breath and chest pain," said Kohl.
Lt Worley said that the situation had become complex because of "psychosomatic behaviour" and "contagious fear". He said several employees from other floors of the building also started coming out and "many continued working with no ill effect."
Initially it was feared that carbon monoxide or some other toxic substance had leaked into the building but after hazmat crews and the fire department workers inspected the entire area they did not find anything harmful.
"We called a (hazardous materials) unit to the scene but they didn't detect anything on their air monitoring unit," Worley said. "That air monitoring unit can detect carbon monoxide and several other chemicals and products that can be in the air.
"But they found nothing that would have caused people to get sick."
Firefighters declared the area safe at about 3 p.m. and allowed employees to re-enter the building. The investigators have assessed that the incident was caused by some perfume, however they have not yet determined which brand of perfume had sparked hysteria.
What's that I smell? *sniff sniff* Ah! that's the sweet sweet smell of Karma.