Three Employees Are Treated After Hazmat Situation at Riverside Regional Medical Center

We were alarmed to read about how three employees were treated in the emergency room after a hazmat situation at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News this week.

Fire officials were called to the hospital at 500 J. Clyde Morris Boulevard at 4:23 p.m. on Thursday. The fire department’s hazmat team responded to the incident along with firefighters, reported WAVY.com.

The hospital later said the incident was not a chemical spill. Administrators said a piece of faulty equipment that holds Xylene was off-gassing.

Xylene is used as a solvent, according to information from the National Institutes of Health. It smells like paint thinner.

The gas can cause a range of side-effects for human health. It causes depression of the central nervous system, with symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Exposure can occur via inhalation, ingestion, eye or skin contact.

Exposure to Xylene at levels of 200 ppm or greater can irritate lungs, causing chest pain and shortness of breath.

Hazmat situation reported at Riverside Regional Medical Center

Riverside Regional Medical Center

The three employees were later released following treatment after the hazmat situation at Riverside Regional Medical Center. Reports said crews stopped the leak and promptly ventilated areas near the loading dock.

They isolated the leak to equipment in a lab in the hospital’s basement and evacuated the lab where the spill occurred. Riverside Regional Medical Center closed its heating and air conditioning system in that part of the building as a precaution to ensure the odor didn’t spread.

Fire officials said no hazard was found beyond the loading dock area. Patients in other areas of the hospital were not affected. The faulty equipment was closed down and a mechanic was due to address it on Friday morning.

h2>Hazmat Situation at Riverside Regional Medical Center and Industrial Accidents

Every year, workers are killed and injured by industrial accidents in Hampton Roads.

Industrial accidents can occur at manufacturing plants, on building sites, at shipyards and facilities like hospitals.

In the past, we have noted industrial accidents, including the death of a worker at Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk. Every year, railroad workers are harmed by exposure to dangerous chemicals or materials like asbestos.

If you or a loved one has been hurt by a dangerous chemical or involved in an industrial accident in Virginia, we would like to hear from you. Please call us at (757) 455-0077.

Bill O'Mara

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