Chemical exposure sends USPS worker to hospital

Published: Jul. 28, 2012 at 5:56 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 30, 2012 at 7:41 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An employee of the United States Postal Service was taken to the hospital on Saturday morning after he became ill while handling a parcel that contained a chemical substance.

The Honolulu Fire Department was called to the Post Office at 335 Merchant Street in downtown Honolulu after the employee, a male in his sixties, reportedly fainted. The man was handling parcels when he discovered one that was wet and had a blue tinge, according to authorities.

The man apparently went to wash his hands after coming into contact with the substance, but reported feeling nauseous and out of breath a short time later and was transported to The Queen's Medical Center.

When the Honolulu Fire Department's Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) team arrived, another postal service employee gave them authorization to open the parcel and examine the chemical substance. Tests came back showing the presence of a chemical from the amine family, commonly found in cleaning materials and perfumes.

Fire Department officials then contacted the staff at Queen's to relay their findings in case special treatment was required. According to the Honolulu Fire Department, the Post Office was not evacuated during the incident but the area where the specimen was found was cordoned off to prevent further incident. No other injuries were reported.

The State Department of Health was also called to the scene to collect a sample, which authorities say probably won't be tested until Monday.

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