PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University Environmental Health and Safety staff, police and fire units responded to a chemical leak at the university’s Fulmer Synthesis Building early Friday afternoon (Jan. 25).
A facilities operations staff member reported a strong, irritating smell in the building, and public safety units were called about 12:15 p.m., said John Reed, the environmental services manager for EHS. Two students complained of dizziness and nausea. They were treated at Pullman Memorial Hospital and released.
The chemical, dicyclopendadiene, was being stored in a fourth floor cold room, assigned for chemical storage. At least one of the small containers containing the chemical had tipped over, eating through the container onto a counter top. The smell become stronger as the chemical leaked out.
The building was cleared and an emergency services entry team investigated the lab and confirmed the chemical involved was nontoxic, although it had a strong odor. The container was put into a flume hood that removed any remaining fumes while a crew vented the building. It re-opened about 1:45 p.m.
Pullman fire personnel and emergency medical technicians also arrived on scene. When they were not needed, they returned to the station.