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TCNJ Quarantine Ends Following Chemical Exposure

Parts of the campus of the College of New Jersey were under quarantine after a student was exposed to a chemical in a science lab and then walked around campus.

Students quarantined outside a science hall at TCNJ in Ewinga
Students quarantined outside a science hall at TCNJ in Ewing (Andrew Logan @DrewChainz via Twitter)

According to an statement emailed by the College of New Jersey, an unidentified female student was exposed to benzyl bromide and then went to the school library and Eikchoff Dining Hall before reporting to health services because of a tingling feeling on her arm.

Students inside those facilities were told to leave and, according to student tweets, were “quarantined” to a courtyard area on campus.

Campus Police Services, Environmental Health and Safety and the Ewing Fire Department inspected each building and determined there was no further contamination of students. The library and Eickhoff were reopened first, followed by the chemistry building.

The affected student was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center as a precaution and was in good condition according to the press release.

Students evacuated from several buildings at TCNJ in Ewing
Students evacuated from several buildings at TCNJ in Ewing (Andrew Logan @DrewChainz via Twitter)

According to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services website, benzyl bromide is a clear liquid with a pleasant odor and is used to make other chemicals and tear gas and as a foaming and frothing agent. 

Breathing the chemical can irritate the nose and throat and lungs, causing coughing and/or shortness of breath. A larger exposure can cause a buildup of fluid in the lungs, a medical emergency and severe shortness of breath. It can also cause mutations.

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