Commentary
5/13/2009
01:40 PM
Cora Nucci
Cora Nucci
Commentary

The Most Dangerous Spam. Or Maybe Ham.

The offices of an AT&T call center in San Jose were evacuated Tuesday when refrigerator odors mixed with cleaning fluid smells created a hostile-to-the-nostrils work environment.



The offices of an AT&T call center in San Jose were evacuated Tuesday when refrigerator odors mixed with cleaning fluid smells created a hostile-to-the-nostrils work environment.Seven employees were transported to the hospital, 28 were sickened before the odiferous incident was over.

An employee had moved the contents of the refrigerator to a conference room so she could clean the appliance. The introduction of at least two chemical cleaning solutions created a vile vapor that triggered nausea and vomiting and the eventual evacuation of 325 people.

The woman cleaning the refrigerator "didn't smell a thing," Capt. Barry Stallard of the San Jose Fire Department said, because she had undergone nasal surgery for allergies.

The food source was not identified, but Stallard speculated that it may have been meat. "A steak and a dog and a person, when they all start to rot, it's a horrible thing," he told the San Jose Mercury News.

As the Britney Spears tune, "Toxic," goes, noxious fumes were "in the air and all around" and had office workers' heads and stomachs "spinning round and round." A San Jose Fire Department hazmat team determined, however, that no toxins were present.

Stallard pinned the blame squarely on the mix of cleaning solutions, rather than the mystery meat.

What's in your office fridge?

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